by Michele Carelse on March 1st, 2011 at 7:00 am
For any parent, seeing a little baby in distress – such as struggling with a cold and feeling miserable—is understandably heartbreaking. Little ones are helpless, unable to voice the exact cause of their unhappiness, and rely solely on us for a comforting hand.
The fact remains that colds and flu are pretty much inevitable during the first few years of life – especially in the winter months – as a baby’s immune system is still in development and susceptible to flu symptoms prevalent in winter weather. Still, there is a lot that can be done to give your child support and protection and lessen the discomfort of a blocked nose, congested chest and general discomfort.
Most conventional adult cold and flu medications are not suitable for use on small babies or infants. Unfortunately, in desperation, many parents resort to using all sorts of congestion balms and ointments that are far too strong for a baby’s delicate skin and fragile respiratory system – with disastrous results.
Conventional decongestants can also have upsetting side effects such as irritability, restlessness, difficulty with sleeping, or drowsiness, depending on which is used. Most petroleum-based balms contain harmful petrochemicals and are dangerous for use on adults, not to mention babies! Luckily there are non-petrochemical alternatives that can do the job, without the harm.
Eucalyptus essential oil has been used for over 150 years to support easy breathing and healthy chests. Eucalyptus has been researched for its ability to support the respiratory system. Chamomile essential oil has been studied for its calming properties, specifically with regard to small children and discomfort. Remember that a baby that cannot breathe properly will not sleep soundly. Lavender essential oil, a commonly-used essential oil, is renowned for its ability to support relaxation and help improve quality of sleep.
Clogged noses can interfere with feeding too! Furthermore – the natural process in the body is to expel germs through mucous, yet some medications can dry out mucous membranes, and as a result your child may be left vulnerable to secondary conditions. You may try increasing the humidity in the air with a vaporizer or humidifier. Natural, therapeutic vapors will then dilute into the room and provide baby with some relief of congestion and blocked airways. Best of all – it contains no synthetic or chemical ingredients!
To combat other symptoms, properly formulated homeopathic ingredients get to work fast and fight acute symptoms without harm to baby. Ferrum phos (D6) is a biochemic tissue salt that is most useful during the first stages of inflammation or the early stages of a common cold that starts slowly, while Nat mur (D6) is good for addressing mucosal discharge and extreme tiredness. This remedy also addresses coughing, a runny nose, and common chest congestion. Alium cepa (30C), homeopathically prepared, also helps with watering eyes and a runny nose, and for addressing a fever, Arsen iod (30C) is a good choice.
Some additional tips for handling colds & flu in babies:
- Babies should not be too warmly dressed at night, as they tend to sweat and may lose fluids. Windows should be closed near to the baby’s sleeping area and a lightweight blanket placed over him or her.
- Good nutrition is key to keeping an immune system strong. Breast milk contains vital nutrients to help boost baby’s immune system. If you are not able to breastfeed, or if you choose not to, speak to your pediatrician about a formula that contains the required minerals.
- Always ensure your child drinks extra fluids to stay hydrated.
- Also, be sure to keep those infected with colds and flu away from your little one while they are still very young.
- Keep bottles and pacifiers sterilized and make sure that you wash your hands after changing diapers and handling baby again.
- Last, but not least, there is nothing more soothing than a mother’s touch. While a baby might not feel up to a bonding massage, simply holding a sick child in your arms while rocking him or her to sleep can work wonders.
FluGo™ is a homeopathic remedy safe for all ages that relieves flu and cold symptoms – cough, runny nose, fever, sore throat and fatigue
BaniFlu™ is a homeopathic remedy that protects against flu virus and germs and is safe for all ages