A friend contacted me today wondering how she can help her infant, who recently came down with a runny and stuffy nose. Looks like cold/flu season is coming early this year!
The runny/stuffy nose is a clue for which homeopathic remedy you could start with, if you feel comfortable giving one. An explanation of homeopathic remedies was provided in my previous post, ‘Step 1: Homeopathic Remedies.” Since we covered Step 1 in the last post, here’s what to do next:
2. Burt’s Bees Hand Salve on the feet.
Wierd, I know…but the ingredients in it are similar to–but better quality than– what is in Baby Vicks. I had heard of Vicks as a remedy and tried it on my son, and it did help him. But I wasn’t satisfied with using petroleum jelly and isolated, lab-produced chemicals on him. (Natural remedies are effective yet gentle, due to their naturally-occurring combinations of chemicals. It is the combinations which work together to enhance the positive effects of the remedy, while limiting the negative effects.)
When my little guy was sick with a cold, I happened to notice that the ingredients in Burt’s Hand Salve contain everything I would personally choose if I were creating my own salve for my sweet baby’s stuffy nose, so I went ahead and tried it on his feet–along with a little swipe under his nose for good measure. The fact that it contains several antiseptic/antiviral essential oils, all balanced in a rich jojoba-based salve, has me convinced that in addition to helping clear nasal passages with eucalyptus (which contains menthol as one of its active ingredients), it is also delivering effective yet gentle medicine to baby’s blood stream to help fight whatever bug has infected them. Win-win.
A fun fact to keep in mind when applying this remedy to baby’s feet? It only takes 1-2 minutes for an essential oil to travel from the nerves of the feet to the nerves of the brain in an average adult! So, they should feel some relief almost instantly.
3. Saline nasal drops (labeled for your baby’s individual use) and bulb suction at every diaper change.
This is important for keeping everything cleared out of the nasal passages and sinuses so baby’s cold doesn’t turn into a sinus or ear infection. You can just turn them a little bit upside down on your lap, like you’re going to tickle them, and add 3-4 drops per side. Try not to get it in their eyes. Keep them tilted while you count out loud with them, “One Alligator, Two Alligator….” to 10. Then sit them up and suction everything out of their nose that you can with the bulb. Your baby will probably get mad and cry. That’s the bummer about being the adult sometimes; you need to do it anyway. Besides, tears are also helpful for helping thin mucous.
Once you are done, tell them so – and mean it. They’ll forgive you as soon as they realize they can breathe again. (As a side note, I always tell everyone to ask for an extra suction bulb when they bring their baby home from the hospital, because the bulbs at the store are just not the same. When my daughter was born last November, I realized that the bulbs from the hospital are actually labeled for use with ulcers. So, if you need to put out an order for a bigger bulb, maybe that little tidbit will help in your search.)
4. Eucalyptus Oil at Bath Time
Put a dime-sized amount of eucalyptus oil in a cup of very hot water and bring it in the bathroom with you at bath time. (Don’t put it in the bathwater, just bring it into the room). It will fill the whole room with an antibacterial, antiviral respiratory steam treatment. You can include lavender if your baby seems restless or uncomfortable. 10 minutes or so is sufficient to be effective. If your baby is older than 1, you can also leave a cup in their bedroom at bed time. It’s that simple!
Steps 2,3, and 4 are inexpensive, easy, and effective for both fighting the cold bug and providing comfort to your sweet baby. Don’t forget to call or visit the doctor. There’s a reason they get paid the big bucks.
Next I will cover how to care for stomach bugs, since apparently that is going around already, too!
Jen DeBrito, CCLD, CCBE
Jennifer is a Holistic Christian Doula & Birth Educator in Colorado Springs. In addition to coaching couples through Christ-centered childbirth, she specializes in wellness coaching for prenatal and postpartum women and their babies. She is the author of Expectant Parents Workshop: Devotional and the proud owner of Eden’s Promise, LLC.
To learn more about Jennifer, visit: www.Edenspromisellc.com