From the tiny stuffed-up noses they can't blow on their own to the throats they can't tell you are sore, baby colds are a little trickier to tackle than treating a toddler's or preschooler’s cold. To help baby (and mommy!) through the misery, Circle of Moms members have shared the following key tips for soothing your little one through his first colds.
A humidifier is one of go-to tools many Circle of Moms members reach for at the first sign of a baby's runny or stuffy nose. Renowned pediatrician Dr. William Sears recommends a warm mist humidifier to ease nasal congestion. He says the steamy environment helps to clear noses and chests and is less likely to blow contaminants into the air. (There is one exception, though: if your baby has a barking, croupy cough, cool air is better to soothe the inflammation.) Some moms have expressed concern that young children can be scalded by the mist of a warm humidifier, but the risk isn't as much of a concern with non-ambulatory babies.
2. Waterless Vaporizers
A relatively new product that many moms swear by to help ease congestion is a waterless vaporizerr. Mom Elisa E. explains the product: “They work kind of like a Glade PlugIn. You put in a pad that is soaked with a menthol-type solution, and it gets heated in the outlet vaporizer to keep the room smelling like a big tub of Vicks.” Since not all moms and pediatricians are comfortable using vapor rubs directly on a baby’s skin, this is a great solution.
Keeping your baby hydrated is a baby cold remedy that has been passed down from generation to generation. Circle of Moms member Julie F. has heard the advice as “make sure the [baby] is always hydrated,” while other members stick with the more oft-stated “plenty of fluids.” Either way, it may take some work because with a stuffed-up nose, it’s hard for babies to suck and breathe at the same time. Just keep offering the breast, bottle or sippy cup as frequently as you can.
4. Use the “Boogie Bulb”
Most moms would recognize what Helen K. calls the “boogie bulb” if they saw it. In our house we always called this ubiquitous blue bulb syringe the “boogie sucker.” Call it what you will, but use it! Mom Lee-Anne C. suggests spraying a little saline solution in their nose first to “get the mucus loosened” and then gently squeeze and release the bulb to create suction.
Keeping in mind that your strategy may change if your baby is a climber, a Circle of Moms member named Sonya suggests you “raise their head by putting pillows UNDER their [crib] mattress.” The elevation helps nasal passages drain, while keeping pillows under the mattress is safer than putting them in the crib.
6. Run a “Breathe Better” Bath
Since both steam and soothing vapors are good at loosening congestion, it only makes sense to combine them in the bathtub. A number of moms recommend adding Johnson's Soothing Vapor bath soap to your baby’s bath as a way to calm and decongest them. If you’re not keen on using a commercial product, mom Sharise N. suggests buying “pure peppermint” at a health food store and adding that to hot water. I’ve used peppermint extract for the same purpose and it’s worked wonders!
Do you have another trick for soothing your baby's cold? Share it with other moms in the comments.
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