Your little baby has the sniffles. But most doctors do not recommend over-the-counter cough medications for children under 6. So what can you do to help them? Try these gentle and safe home remedies. But they will help your child feel much better.
1. Lots Of Rest
When your child is fighting an infection, it takes a lot of energy. This can wear out a child. But when your child is resting, he is also healing. When he is not sleeping, try to encourage some quiet activities. You can read to him or let him watch a favorite movie. You can give him crayons and a coloring book.
2. Steamy Air
Breathing moist air will help to loosen the mucus in the nasal passages. A warm bath is also very relaxing. You can have a humidifier or a cool-mist vaporizer going at night. You can also use one during naps and during playtime in the bedroom. Another way to provide this air is to run a hot shower for several minutes. Then you can give your child a warm bath. You can also just sit with him or her in the steamy bathroom.
3. Saline Drops
Saline drops will clear the nose when children are too young to blow their own nose. Just tip your child’s head back. Then squeeze three saline drops into each nostril. This will thin and loosen the mucus. You should try to keep his head as still as possible afterward for about 20 seconds.
4. Vapor Rubs
Vapor rubs will help children sleep better at night. The rubs make the cold sufferer feel as though he is breathing better. It produces a cooling sensation in the nose. You can use vapor rub products made especially for babies 3 months and older. Natural vapor balms that do not contain petroleum are also available. Rub the vapor rub on your child’s chest, neck, and back. Do not apply it to your child’s mouth or nose or anywhere on his face.
5. Extra Fluids
Drinking plenty of fluids will help to prevent dehydration. It also flushes and thins nasal secretions. Select a drink your child enjoys. Plain water is great, but it is not very appealing. You can try fruit smoothies or ice pops made from 100 percent juice. You should stick with breast milk or formula for babies younger than 6 months old. Babies that are that young do not need water. Too much water could even be harmful.
6. Elevating The Head
Elevating the head will help children breathe more comfortably than when they are lying down. If your child sleeps in a crib, put a couple of towels underneath the head of the mattress. For children who sleep in a big bed, using an extra pillow under the head will work.
Honey will coat the throat and help reduce a cough. Just give your child 1 teaspoon of honey with a spoon. Another way is to mix the honey with hot water and add a squeeze of lemon. This will provide a little vitamin C as well. Honey is a sticky sweet, so it is important for your child to brush his teeth after he takes it.
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