My son was really sick over the past few days. It just came out of nowhere, all of a sudden he was very cranky & lethargic which is unlike his normal self. I noticed that he sounded really congested and he looked very uncomfortable. His nose was both stuffy and runny.
I will never give my son any OTC exportant or toddler decongestant. I prefer to implement home remedies for whenever my baby is sick because conventional medicine is not regulated. The last thing I want to do is put stress on my sons liver and his kidneys because of processing the medicine in order to “feel better”. Doesn’t work for me. I have other strategies.
Because you see, giving your child a pill is a “quick fix” to a problem that can actually be handled holistically instead. Of course, doing things the natural way requires more work, more patience and your little one will be slightly more uncomfortable than if you had given them a decongestant.
The trade off is that your baby gets better the way they should and without stress to their organs.
Because he wasn’t feeling well, the rules at bedtime needed to be bended; meaning my son was permitted to sleep next to me since he was happier and comfortable doing so. Whatever is necessary to make your little one more comfortable at night while they are sick without resulting to conventional medicine.
At 19 months old, my son has been through enough colds & fevers for this mama to know what to do. I know that the very first time my son was a wee baby and he had his first cold I freaked out. I called my doctor and they walked me through the basic steps of sick baby care. Was he going to be alright? Would I have to bring him to the hospital? No, it wasn’t that serious.
A toddler typically cannot blow their own nose until they are around 2 to 5 years old.
For some reason, it was much easier to convince my son to use the Arm & Hammer Simply Saline Nasal Mist vs the red cross bulb syringe thereafter. My guess is because Elmo was on the can. I allowed my son to take a good, hard stare at both of these items before I even attempted to use either of them on him. I even demonstrated how they worked in front of my son and even let him push the nozzle.
My son held the can up to my nose. He needed a little assistance but I helped him find the spray button and told him to push it so he could see what happened. I made sure to laugh out loud as soon as he pushed the spray button. I didn’t want to scare him. I made it seem like it felt really good, tickled even.
The whole point was to indicate to my son that this can of saline was meant to put in your nose and that it wasn’t a scary or bad thing. It made it a lot easier to say, “Okay now your turn” with less hesitation on his part.
Until your baby or toddler can blow their own nose, this works by helping push the mucus out. I really like the Arm & Hammer brand because its easy to use and very effective. You are meant to use the bulb syringe as well, to remove the gunk. Although my son was willing to use the saline mist spray in his nose, the bulb syringe was a different story. He was not willing to let me put it in his nose and suck out the excess mucus.
How you do it is have your baby lay down on a flat surface, such a bed ( not a water bed, something firm. ) Tilt the head back, aim the nozzle into the nose and spray for two seconds. If your baby allows you to, take the bulb and squeeze it at first to decompress the air out, stick the tip of into your baby’s nostril and very slowly release the air from the bulb. If you do it right the mucus will come right out.
Make sure to keep tissues handy as it will get a little messy.
To be honest I had no idea what kind of humidifier to get. I did what any other mom would do. I did research based on reviews and what other moms said. According to the general consensus; a cool-mist humidifier works by keeping the nasal passages moist, and in turn will soothe coughs and sore throats.
I chose the Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier because it had the best reviews. It says for “temporary relief from cough and congestion for better breathing and a more comfortable sleep.” It is manufactured by the Vicks company; it comes equipped with a slot on the side where you can insert Vicks brand “Scent pads” which make the mist more vapor like (*however you need to buy these separately*). Similar to rubbing vicks rub on your child’s chest. You may or may not use the scent pads, your choice.
This humidifier has no filters to clean or replace and it is really easy to clean. There are adjustable mist control settings so you can set it to how you like.
Hot-water humidifiers are dangerous to curious kids who might make it topple over.
Make sure you use distilled always water in your humidifier because hard water deposits and mold can form and build up. Very nasty and not good for your baby.
When people are sick, their bodies are ridden with icky germs, mucus which can all be easily flushed out. You would be surprised to know how dehydrated most sick children are because they are unwilling to drink water. You should offer your little one Pedialyte diluted in fruit juice.
My son personally loves sparkling water. He will drink so much of it and make the cutest little faces as the bubble water snaps in his mouth, most likely fizzing in his nose. But if he will drink sparkling water by the gallons, I see no problem with that as long as its not Pepsi or juice from concentrate, with sugars, etc. We like the sparkling water from Trader Joes.
When I say fluids, I mean use your common sense and choose things that are healthy and reasonable for your little one. Remember that children under six months should not have more than 4 ounces of water a day.
If you think fevers aren’t risky enough to treat, think about your child’s comfort level. A fever is a really miserable experience to have. Your little one might really suffer and be restless and achy, as well as chilly whereas their body is hot to the touch Don’t put your baby through that. Medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin) will bring your baby’s temperature down within 30 minutes.
If your baby is younger than 3 months, call your doctor first. You can give Tylenol to babies between 3 to 6 months but you will still need to call your doctor to have them tell you the appropriate dosage to give according to your baby’s weight measured at the last pediatrician visit. You would be surprised but the dosages are very exact because you are dealing with a tiny persons weight, don’t make the mistake of taking a guess according to whatever you read on the internet.
The FDA is still trying to evaluate if cough medicines are safe for children under 12 years old. That means that its not okay to give them to your little one. Treat the cough with a humidifier, lots of fluids and Pedialyte. Chicken noodle soup is always a winner as well as home mad Popsicle for fevers.
Hopefully these tips have been helpful to you. The most important thing to remember when your baby is sick is to give lots of TLC. Lots of cuddles. And comfort. Take it easy on yourself mom or dad, because taking care of a sick baby isn’t fun or easy. When other people offer help, accept it. Taking care of a sick baby is not fun or easy. The best part is when the next morning you discover your baby’s fever has broken, or your baby feels 100% better. All colds and fevers eventually do run their course, remember that.