Dear Boogey Mama,
Your poor girl, and you poor Mama! I know firsthand how helpless you feel as a Mom when your baby is unwell, and how much the discomfort of a cold can throw your toddler out of whack. It really is the saddest thing to see little babes suffering through Cold Season. (Marlowe can’t even really figure out how to blow her nose yet, which makes the whole situation seem even more pathetic…snot dripping down…gahh!) This question is actually coming at the perfect time, since I just started Marlowe in Daycare– and we recently got hit with a monster Cold Season! It was pretty rough, even with all the religious hand washing that our Daycare providers exercise with the kids!
It’s super important to me not to give Marlowe any serious medicines or chemical-laden products when she’s sick if I can help it– and colds are so tricky because you really need to just boost the immune system and deal with any discomfort that arises. Because of this, I’ve researched and found a lot of great all natural solutions for keeping colds at bay and boosting her immune system after the fact to keep them away! I’ll split this answer in to two branches: Cold Remedies and Immunity Boosting. (I’m obviously not a Doctor, so take all this advice with that in mind– please visit your doctor if your child is very sick, has a high fever, or is not responding to over the counter medicines!)
- Homeopathics! I love Homeopathy so much, and have used it on myself for decades. It’s an all natural but targeted style of medicine to treat a great range of symptoms. There are doctors who only specialize in Homeopathy (a really cool experience if you are ever inclined to check one out for a chronic ailment) and who trust in this brand of medicine to treat almost anything. I’ve used Homeopathic medicines for Marlowe for teething, and recently started with colds as well! If you go to a Natural Store such as Whole Foods, they can help you search for what your looking for. I like to start in the children’s aisle and find homeopathic blends that are pre-made for common baby and toddler ailments. Hyland’s makes “Cold Tablets that are awesome and really shorten Marlowe’s colds.
- Vitamin C! The second Marlowe starts to show symptoms of a cold, I load her up with Vitamin C. She loves clementines, and so I give her one or two a day. I also dissolve about a third of an Emergen-C packet in a few inches of water and have her drink it down once a day.
- Hydrate! I make sure Marlowe is drinking extra water when she’s sick to really flush everything out
- Coconut Oil! Marlowe’s little nose gets so sore and red from my constant wiping when she’s sick. In between wipes I like to rub a bit of Extra Virgin Coconut oil all around her nostrils and on her lips to keep everything soothed and healing. Extra bonus: coconut oil is antiviral and antimicrobial!
- Humidifier! At even the slightest sign of a stuffy nose or onset of sickness, I bust out her humidifier. It makes the air more moist and allows the virus to get flushed out by the body instead of getting stuck in the nose and throat. It also helps with the breathing and cough if your little one is super congested! Remember: It’s SO important to clean your humidifier well so it doesn’t grow bacteria or mold– Disinfect once a week by soaking all parts in vinegar for about an hour, and change the water out every single day.
- Saline Spray! I love this saline spray, and use it on Marlowe three times a day when she’s stuffy. I just tilt her head back and drop about 4-5 drops in to each nostril. It helps flush out the nose and get rid of the virus!
- The Nose Frieda! This thing is a total lifesaver. Before your child is old enough to blow their nose, you can help dislodge the mucus blockages by using the power of your breath to suck them out! This contraption works like a charm, and don’t worry you don’t even come close to getting any mucus in your mouth. I use some saline spray in her nose first, wait about thirty seconds, and the suck that gunk right out! I recommend doing this 2-4 times a day, with the last time right before bed for a peaceful night’s rest.
- Diffuse Essential Oils! If you don’t already own an essential oil diffuser, I highly recommend them! I could go on for hours about all the amazing benefits of incorporating essential oils in to your family’s life (this book is great if you’re interested) but for now I will just say that they are a great way of bringing comfort to your child when he or she is sick– and you disinfect the air while you’re at it! I like to use a mix of two drops lavender oil and two drops lemon oil in my diffuser. Both Lavender and Lemon essential oils are extremely purifying, detoxifying, and antibacterial– as well as soothing and calming. If she happens to have a bad cough as well I add one drop of Eucalyptus to the mix. I use my diffuser in the kitchen or family room area where we will be hanging together (resting and watching movies!) so that she gets all the benefits.
- Disinfect the house naturally! I love making my own chemical free cleaning products that use essential oils to be super disinfecting!
- Build Immunity with essential oil rubs! Every day before Daycare, I rub a mix of 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, and 1-2 drops of DoTerra’s “On Guard” to create a salve. Then I rub it on her back under her shirt and on the bottoms of her feet before putting on her socks. “On Guard” is a mixture of essential oils that is great for immunity boosting! You can put this in a diffuser as well!
- Probiotics! Probiotics are “good” bacteria and yeast (found in live active cultures) in foods such as yogurts and fermented vegetables. Probiotics are an excellent way to boost the immune system and protect against tummy bugs. You can buy probiotic smoothie packs specifically for kids at the grocery store and they come in lots of yummy flavors.
- Try Organic! Eating organic really helps kids boost their immune systems. No yuckies in their foods means less for their bodies to fight with, resulting in healthier kids! If you don’t have the budget to do an overhaul, I recommend starting with the foods your kids eat the most– specifically Wheat and Dairy! Try Organic breads, cereals, waffles, yogurts, milk, and cheeses first. You can always build from there.
- Remove Chemicals from their routine! Chemicals in our daily products have been proven to disrupt the hormone balance of the body, as well as lowering our immune response to diseases and aging of the body. Try subbing out your normal baby products with natural ones that don’t contain chemicals, so you can give your baby’s immune system the best shot! I like The Honest Company, Tubby Todd, and Babyganics, to name a few.
I hope these little tips and tricks inspire you in your own routine– and help your little one along the path to great health! Does anyone else have any excellent all-natural cold remedies? Please share in the comments below!