What’s inside the balm and baby rubs – An Overview

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It is true that a baby’s medical kit must have a vapor rub or a chest rub but you should know what is inside the chest rub that you are planning to use for your baby.

What are the common ingredients in popular balm and baby rubs

Camphor

Why is it used – It is used because of its cough suppressing and analgesic properties. It is a sleep inducer.

Is it safe to use in baby rubs – It is easily absorbed by the skin. When it penetrated deep into the skin it can be highly toxic. It can cause irritation to your baby’s skin. It can also cause irritation to eyes and mucus membranes.

Menthol

Why is it used – It has analgesic properties. It gives a cooling effect.

Is it safe to use in baby rubs – Experts say that menthol tricks the brain to think that breathing has become easier by triggering cooling sensation. It can be of a little positive physiologic consequence in older children but not in kids. It can actually cause respiratory distress in little babies. 

Petrolatum or paraffin wax

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Why is it used – It is used because of its moisturizing properties and it’s a cheap base.

Is it safe to be used in baby rubs – It is not water soluble. It creates an illusion of moisturizing skin. However, blocks the pores and restricts air flow into the skin. This prevents the skin from breathing.

Eucalyptus

Why is it used – It has anti microbial, decongesting, cough suppressing and pain relieving properties.

Is it safe to be used in baby rubs – It is safe when used in the right quantity. Study the ingredient list and make sure the dosage is minimal, especially, if your baby is below 2 years old. Eucalyptus radiata is a milder and safer variant.

Lavender oil

Why is it used – It has calming and soothing properties. It encourages a fussy baby to sleep.

Is it safe to be used in baby rubs – It does have sedative effects and it does not cause any side effects .

Rosemary oil

Why is it used – It helps in clearing mucus and in decreasing inflammation.

Is it safe to be used in baby rubs – It is safe for children when diluted. When used without diluting it can cause side effects on skin. To be on the safer side check the dosage of rosemary oil on the label.

These are the common ingredients in baby rubs. Some of these ingredients do have potentially harmful side effects. 

Natural  rubs contain essential oils and real moisturizers like sunflower oil or coconut  oil. They contain beeswax or shea butter in place of petrolatum. Organic or natural baby rubs and homemade baby rubs are best for your baby’s health. 

Further reading : 

Are balms/baby rubs safe? Which ones are? 

Soups And Common Cold(for older babies) – Does It Soothe The Symptoms

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There is no complete remedy for colds. It is the harsh truth. All you can do is to take steps to reduce the severity of the symptoms. Soups are generally recommended to soothe the symptoms of cold. Do soups really work?

Science and researches have not yet confirmed that soup is a key to improving the symptoms of cold. However, doctors and nutrition experts say that soups do help because of the following reasons.

1) Soups help in decreasing inflammation and congestion

Ingredients in soup like garlic, onions and pepper etc. are natural antioxidants and help in reducing inflammation which in turn reduces the symptoms of cold.

Chicken soup has the property of reducing congestion. How is it possible? Chicken contains an amino acid called cysteine. It has anti viral, anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It breaks apart the mucus and alleviates congestion.

Capsaicin in pepper helps in healing sore throats.

Garlic is nature’s antibiotic.

Ginger is a natural anti inflammatory ingredient. It gives relief from pains like throat pain, body ache and headache related to colds.

2) The heat of the soup has healing properties

It is a medically proven fact that hot liquids help in soothing cold symptoms. A clinical study was conducted to find out the effects of hot liquids to alleviate the symptoms of cold. The subjects who participated in the study were divided into two groups. The subjects in one group were given a hot drink. The subjects in the other group were given the same drink in room temperature. The researchers concluded that subjects who drank hot drink demonstrated better relief of symptoms than the subjects who drank it in the room temperature. Hence, it is proven that when you give hot soups to your babies it will surely help them.

3) Soups keep the children hydrated

Doctors say that it is important to keep your children hydrated when they are suffering from colds. When the kids are not well hydrated, the mucus turns into hard cement like substance. It becomes very difficult to get rid of hardened mucus. On the other hand when the kids are well hydrated the mucus gets loosened up and starts to move around. This makes it easier for you and the baby to clear it.

4) Soups are easily digestible

The ingredients in the soups are well cooked. The fiber in the vegetables and other ingredients is tenderized making soups easily digestible.

5) Soups are packed with nutrients

A soup is a well balanced diet with several nutrients. None of the vitamins and minerals is lost from the ingredients of the soup. A wholesome soup will provide the nutrients needed by your child. It improves your child’s immunity and helps in giving quick relief from cold.

Soups are not only helpful in alleviating the symptoms of cold but also are helpful in building the immunity and preventing your child from catching frequent colds. Build their immunity with hot soups.

Light Soup Recipes To Feed Your Child With Cold Symptoms

Here are a few recommended  child-friendly soup recipes from nutritionists to feed your child when he has a cold.

1) Clear mixed vegetable soup

Ingredients

  • Carrot (grated) – 1
  • French beans (minced) –  a few, say, 5 or 6
  • Beat root (grated) – Half
  • Tomato (chopped) – 1
  • Garlic – 1 clove
  • Small onions (chopped) – 4
  • Ladies finger (chopped) – 4
  • Peas – ¼ cup
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Salt and pepper to taste

(You can add any seasonal vegetables of your choice but adding carrots and peas give a good taste to the soup).

Method

Cook all ingredients for about 15 minutes in a pressure cooker in slow flame. When cooked, mash the vegetables with a wooden spoon. Strain and then add a little pepper and salt. Don’t add too much of pepper. Serve when it is warm.

2) Thick mixed vegetable soup

The ingredients and the method are the same except for one variation. When the ingredients are cooked and cooled down, you should pass them in a blender instead of straining. The benefit of thick soup is that the fiber content is not lost in this method.

Note: This soup is not suitable for small children because the fiber content makes it a little difficult for digesting.

3) Clear chicken soup

Ingredients

  • Chicken – 100 g
  • Garlic – 3 to 4 cloves
  • Small onions – 5 to 6
  • Pepper corns – 4 to 5
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Cook all ingredients in a pressure cooker for about 20 minutes in slow flame. Strain the broth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm. (You can skip pepper because you have already added pepper corns to the soup).

Note: Chicken provides protein content to the soup. If you want it to make nutritious with vitamins and minerals, you can add chopped vegetables with chicken.

4) Vegetable pulse (dal) soup

Ingredients

  • Moong dal or split green gram – ¼ cup
  • Chopped vegetables – 1 cup
  • Garlic – 2 cloves
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Salt and pepper to taste

(The chopped vegetables can be of your choice including carrots, French beans, cabbage, ladies finger and peas etc.)

Method

Cook all ingredients in a pressure cooker for about 15 minutes in slow flame. When cooked blend in a blender and serve warm after adding salt and pepper.

Note: Moong dal is packed with protein. This makes this soup a wholesome food. Avoid adding other pulses like Bengal gram and red gram because they are not as easily digestible as split green gram.

5) Tomato soup

Ingredients

  • Tomatoes (Finely chopped) – 3
  • Garlic – 2 cloves
  • Small onions – 4 to 5
  • Pepper corns – 3
  • Cumin seeds (jeera) – ¼ tsp
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Cook all ingredients in a pressure cooker. When cooked, strain the broth. Add salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Note : Tomatoes are a rich source of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps in building immunity that facilitates quick recovery from cold.

Do Balms/Baby Rubs Really Work ?

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I am sure everyone remembers how their mom rubbed vapor rubs on their chests when they were a child. However, most of the young parents today are reluctant to do the same to their own kids. They are not sure if it really works or it has some harmful ingredients.

In the year 2010, a study was conducted on a group of 138 children aged 2 to 11 years. All the children who participated in the study had cold symptoms. The children were divided into three groups. Children of the first group were treated with rubs. The second group was treated with petrolatum and the last group was given no treatment.

The children were studied after two days. Factors like ability to sleep, severity and frequency of cough and congestion were studied. The results showed that the symptoms were better for all the children but there were significant differences in the levels of improvement.

Statistical data showed that children who were treated with rubs had the best improvement. They slept better. Their congestion improved and they had less severe and less frequent cough. The least improvement was found in children who were given no treatment.

The essential oils like eucalyptus in the balm have proven health benefits.

The study proves that baby rubs do work in improving the symptoms of cold in the little children.

Nevertheless, you should not forget that you should be careful in choosing the rub. Avoid baby rubs that contain  menthol, camphor, petroleum jelly. They can have adverse effects and worsen the baby’s health.

You should make sure that there are no harmful ingredients in the rub. A natural ,  essential oil based rub will help ease your baby’s nasal congestion and cough.

Further reading : 

Are balms/baby rubs safe? Which ones are? 

What’s inside  the balm and baby rubs – An overview 

Home remedies Vs Western medicine

Medicine heartWho can suggest home remedies for minor illnesses better than your grandma? If you have a grandmother I am sure she would suggest honey, ginger, turmeric and pepper for cough, banana stem for kidney stones, soaked raisins for constipation, asafetida for digestion and lots more.

Should  you listen to her treatment options or just ignore them as just myths and superstitions?  Listening to and following  home remedies is not wrong.

Here is why :

  • Scientific evidence : Western medicine is on a trip of rediscovering health benefits of centuries old home remedies, which were earlier brushed aside as tall tales.  Drugs manufactured with the same ingredients become expensive because they are processed in factories, packed and marketed. Here is an example. Black cumin seeds, used as a spice in Indian cooking, have a lot of health benefits. They help in improving digestion, in boosting immunity and in treating cancer without any side effects. In the modern days its benefits have been forgotten and ignored. Today researches have proved that they do help in destroying cancer cells. A drug company has got the patent rights for making medicines with black cumin seeds as ingredient. It definitely will charge a lot of money to sell the medicines made form black cumin seeds. Why should you waste your hard earned money?
  • They are safe to use. Medicines with chemicals and synthetic ingredients cause dangerous side effects. Grandma’s home medicines are usually vegetables, fruits and spices from your kitchen shelves. They don’t cause any side effects. While the modern medicines destroy your immunity, grandma’s medicines build your immunity apart from treating the illness.
  • They are easily available. Unlike the exotic herbs used in Ayurveda, grandma’s remedies are easy to find and mostly food ingredients.  Ayurvedic texts too shed light on the benefits of using  these versatile ingredients.
  • They are effective. Most of the home remedies suggested by grand moms have been studied by research scholars and have been proven to be effective. For example turmeric’s benefits have been well established in both western medicine and ayurveda. 
  • They treat the cause and not the symptoms unlike conventional medicines that treat the symptoms.

But this doesn’t mean that you should ignore your pediatricians treatment choices. As in life, there is truth on both sides of the argument. Do not attempt to try every possible  home remedy out there. Use home remedies that has a scientific rationality and a long history of evidences backing it.

Make use of the safest treatment choices available from both Western  and Indian medicine, to help your child . In the end that is what matters.

This is the core principle behind Nasobuddy’s products, safe treatment choices backed by scientific evidences.

 

The Proven Benefits Of Aspirators

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Stuffy nose is one of the most common concerns of parents in their infants’ early months of life. Your newborn can be very cranky when they have a stuffy nose. They will have difficulty in breathing, sleeping and feeding.

Nasal aspirators have proven to be the best option to relieve your baby from stuffy nose. If you are skeptical about using aspirators for your little one, you should know about the proven benefits of using aspirators.

  • It is a hygienic way to get rid of phlegm in the baby’s nose.
  • They help in clearing the nasal congestion in a jiffy.
  • It gives instant relief to kids when they have trouble in breathing due to obstructed nasal passages.
  • It facilitates better breathing, sleeping and feeding.
  • It is easy to use.
  • It is affordable.
  • It is safe to use. It is suitable for newborns as well.
  • When you use manual aspirators you have full control over the suction.
  • It is recommended by doctors because of its effectiveness.
  • It has soft tips to make sure that the tender skin of the baby is not hurt.

If you follow the right instructions to use the aspirators and if you clean it properly, aspirators are really beneficial.

Breast Feeding Difficulties When Your Baby Is Having A Stuffy Nose

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Breastfeeding is a must when your baby falls ill because

  • Breast milk is easy to digest when compare to formula.
  • Breast milk contains antibiotics that help in quick recovery from illness.
  • Breast milk helps in keeping your baby hydrated.
  • Breast milk provides the baby with plenty of nutrients.
  • Breast milk gives comfort to your baby.

However, breastfeeding a baby with stuffed nose is not easy. It can be very challenging. There  are difficulties that you may face when you nurse a baby with stuffed nose.

The baby latches on your breast. He tries to suck. However, he finds it difficult to suck because he has to breathe through his mouth when his nose is blocked. Breathing and sucking through mouth at the same time is impossible.The baby gets upset and lets the breast to go.The baby starts to cry.When the baby cries the nasal passage becomes more congested. This makes breastfeeding more difficult.

When the baby does not feed on the breast milk, the mother too has to suffer from a lot of discomfort and pain.

One simple solution is to clear his nasal congestion before feeding. 

Nasal aspiration  along with saline drops before feeding your baby will help him to breath better, allowing  him to feed better.

 

A Short Guide For Using The Manual Nasal Aspirator

Nasal aspirators combined with saline nasal drops is the recommended remedy for nasal congestion , by pediatricians worldwide.

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The two types of aspirators available  are the bulb syringes and the manual aspirator types like Nasobuddy, Nosefrida, Narhinel. We saw earlier about the limitations of bulb syringes. 

Manual aspirator is the most gentle and most effective way to clear tiny stuffed noses and to improve breathing.

  • It solves the bulb aspirators problems of inadequate suction . You can control the amount of suction generated. A low , steady and continuous suction can clear out the hardest of mucus.
  • The aspirators tips are designed to stay outside the nostrils,  virtually eliminating the risk of injury. 
  • They are easy to dismantle and clean. Just warm water and soap is sufficient.  No risks of molds and infections.

Simple two step process :

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Keep the aspirator at the opening of baby’s nostril.

 

 

NASOBUDDY ins 2Suck in air through the mouthpiece.

 

 

 

The mucus will collect inside the aspirator.  The filter inside the aspirator stops the mucus from going higher up.

Tips & Tricks

  1. Always use a few drops of saline before starting  to aspirate. Hard mucus gets liquefied by saline. This will make it easy for you to clear it.
  2. Before using it on your baby, practice  sucking in a couple of times and feel the suction from the aspirator tip on your palm. This will help you adjust the suction depending  on the need.
  3. The position : Be comfortably seated and put your baby down on your lap, with the baby’s  neck slightly tilted upwards.  Gently hold both the baby’s hand down with your left arm. Keeping the other arm free , to place the aspirator  tip on the opening  of baby’s nostril.
  4. Fussy baby ? Do not despair,  some babies are naturally averse to any meddling.  You can use the following tricks (shared by parents) to make him comfortable.
  • Familiarize the object . Allow the baby to hold it in his hands.  But only under your supervision, prevent them from taking it to their mouth.
  • Play with him. Before using the aspirator,  blowing the air through the mouthpiece produces a whistling  sound , something  that would grab your little one’s interest.
  • Before you use it on the nose Suck in and keep the aspirator tip on his tummy, hands, cheek . He will find it as a ticklish fun rather than as a object to dread.

When to use it ?

Use it before feeding the baby and putting him to sleep. This will help the baby feed and sleep better.

Most babies accept  the aspiration meddling immediately,  some don’t.  Be patient with him, take it slowly,  he will accept it once he gets familiar with it.