There is no cure for the common cold. There are a variety of viruses that cause the common cold and they are always changing. This makes ﬁnding a cure nearly impossible. There are, however, ways to ease the symptoms of a cold.
Many people turn ﬁrst to their doctors demanding antibiotics. Antibiotics do not work on viral infections (a cold is an upper respiratory tract infection) so doctors will not prescribe them for a cold.
Next, people often turn to over-the-counter remedies found at their local pharmacy. While many of these can be effective they often carry a level of risk should they be misused or over-used.
The third option people look to are home remedies. When your baby has a cold, reverse the order in which you seek relief for your baby. Start with simple, safe, effective home remedies. Use over-the-counter medications sparingly, if at all. If all else fails and your baby is still miserable, then call your doctor.
Home remedies to try as soon as your baby gets a cold.
Home remedies are effective, safe and inexpensive. Take note of these remedies and keep the supplies for them in your home so that you are prepared as soon as you suspect your baby is getting a cold. Take note of the age restrictions (if any). If you are in doubt, call your doctor for advice before trying any of these remedies.
For all babies and children
Saline drops can be used in a baby’s nose to keep it moist and the passages open.
Nasal aspirators are a highly effective way to keeping a baby’s nasal passages clear so your baby can eat and breathe more easily during his cold.
Get over your fear of “yuckiness.”
You’ve been changing diapers so you know what yuckiness is. When you experience your baby’s ﬁrst cold you, along with many other parents, might experience a new sensation of yuckiness when confronted with the concept of having to unstuff your child’s nose. That’s right – not a one of us was born knowing how to blow our noses. Using a nasal aspirator can be disconcerting at ﬁrst but, when you see the relief it gives your baby, you will get past the less glamorous details. A bulb aspirator is likely what you’re most familiar with. While they work, they are less than gentle and hard to control. Look into using a manual nasal aspirator. They are more effective, easier to use and much more baby friendly. Whatever your choice, this is one of your best weapons against a stuffy baby nose!
Tips and Tricks for manual nasal aspirator
It’s safe to let your baby play with the tube and get familiar with it before you use it.
You can also try blowing through the aspirator to make a whistle sound that babies like.
With older babies, use the aspirator on his arm or stomach to let him see what it does before you try using it in his nose.
Use the aspirator before each feeding and again before bedtime for best results.
- Using the aspirator along with saline nasal drops increase its efficiency.
Steam is your friend.
Fill a large pot or bowl with boiling water. Sit quietly with your baby under a towel or blanket and inhale the steam, preferably with a drop or two of eucalyptus oil included, and breathe the steam for 15-20 minutes. The steam opens up sinuses and nasal passages. The warmth relaxes you and the baby. Skin-to-skin contact helps sick babies regulate their temperatures.
Skin-to-skin contact helps sick babies regulate their temperatures.
Elevate your baby’s bed.
Use folded towels under the mattress to allow your baby to sleep with his head and chest in a slightly elevated position. He will breathe easier and sleep longer.
Rest is the best cure for a cold. If that means having your baby sleep with you in your bed or you sleeping with your baby in a guest room or on the couch, by all means do it. Not only does your baby need the rest, you do too!
For babies 0-6 months
Breastfeed. The best thing you can do for very young babies is to breastfeed them. Allow them to nurse as often as they like. Experiment with nursing with baby in an upright position to help them breathe well. Use the nasal aspirator with saline before each feed. This will help him to feed better.
Skin to skin. Babies who rest and sleep skin to skin with their mothers are better able to regulate their body temperatures
Use a garlic and ajwain pouch. On a tawa/skillet dry roast a tablespoon of ajwain and two cloves of garlic. Tie them up in a piece of clean muslin or cheesecloth and place the pouch in your baby’s crib (where he cannot reach it). The scents will help keep his nose and sinuses open.
Change your diet. Breastfeeding moms can add/increase tumeric, onion and garlic in their diets. Young babies are not ready to eat these things themselves but will gain beneﬁts through their mother’s milk if she eats them.
For babies 6-12 months (in addition to all of the above)
Encourage your baby to eat warm soup. Just like steam, warm liquids keep Passages open and make breathing easier
Apply a baby-safe rub . Apply a essential oil based natural Baby Rub to the soles of your child’s feet and cover them with cotton socks before bedtime. It reduces coughing and the scent eases breathing.
Use the garlic and ajwain pouch as a rub. Make the pouch as directed above. When the pouch is pleasantly warm to the touch, rub it on your baby’s chest and back for even more relief.
Use nilgiri/eucalyptus oil. Soak a cotton ball with the oil and place in your baby’s Bedroom (out of reach). The scent can help ease breathing.
Even if you are a ﬁrst-time parent, you know your baby better than anyone else. Give these home remedies a try and see which ones work for your baby and which ones are not as effective. Keep the ones that work. If your baby’s symptoms do not improve or worsen after 7-10 days, call your pediatrician to rule out a sinus or ear infection.
If your baby’s symptoms do not improve or worsen after 7-10 days, call your pediatrician to rule out a sinus or ear infection.