Once the worst of a cold is over with, your baby or child may seem to be back to normal, with the exception of stuffy nose or a lingering wet cough. Parents, beware! Just because your sweet Honey is acting normal, doesn’t mean she is recovered. In fact, this is the phase where your child is at greatest risk of developing an ear infection.
It can be easy to forget about all the measures you previously took to keep that mucous moving once your child is happy and on the go again. While it may seem quicker to just give that little nose a wipe in the car before you head off somewhere, it won’t pay off in the long run. The fact that the mucous is still there should tell you that your baby is still fighting off an infection. If left to thicken up in their sinuses, the mucous is likely to back up into their ears, eventually causing a painful ear infection. So the next time you weigh the option to skip the saline and suction bulb, imagine yourself up at 3 a.m. with a helpless, hurting baby. Then do the right thing and help her avoid it by taking the time to use some saline.
If your baby does develop an ear infection, don’t worry. Ear infections are common and easily treated. While most people head straight to the doctor for antibiotic treatment, many people don’t know that ear infections generally self-heal without treatment in about 10 days. But ear infections are painful and most of us want to do whatever we can to speed up the healing process for our little ones. Plus, some ear infections can spread to the bony area directly behind the ear and can be particularly painful for a baby–not to mention dangerous to their hearing. If your child ever displays sensitivity or redness in this region, get them to a doctor right away.
If you are sure that your child’s ear infection is “normal,” it is probably OK to try a natural remedy before going to full-blown antibiotic treatment. Garlic contains strong antibiotic properties which can be particularly useful for topically treating ear infections. Making a garlic oil ahead of time is an easy way to ensure that you will be ready with a remedy when baby wakes up in the middle of the night.
You will need:
Garlic, Olive Oil, a small dropper bottle
Mince the garlic and place it in about a cup of olive oil. Cover and allow it to sit overnight, up to 2 days. You may wish to give it a swirl or stir occasionally.
Strain the garlic pieces out of the oil using muslin cloth or mesh, discarding the garlic. Pour the garlic oil into the dropper bottle and tighten lid. That’s it! Your treatment is ready to go.
If you suspect an ear infection, place a few drops of oil into your baby’s ear. Tear a small piece off a cotton ball and place it in their ear canal to keep the oil from running back out. This can be done frequently without worry about over-dosing. Plus, if it turns out that your baby does not have an ear infection, the garlic oil will not cause them any harm. Give it a try!
Jen DeBrito, CCLD, CCBE
Jennifer is a Holistic Christian Doula & Birth Educator in Colorado Springs. In addition to coaching couples toward a Christ-centered childbirth experience, she also specializes 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, please visit: www.edenspromisellc.com