I remember being filled with worry as a new mommy, when my baby girl got her very first cold at just a few months old. I had always told myself that I only wanted to use natural methods when she got sick, but now those natural remedies would be put to the test, and if they didn’t prove to be successful, I wasn’t going to watch my baby girl suffer! Thankfully the natural remedies I tried really did (and still do) work for her.
Our culture has become so used to grabbing medicine for every ache and pain. There are times where medicine is truly needed, but more times than not, it’s really not needed. It can seem a lot easier to just grab some children’s acetaminophen next time your baby or child is sick, but do you know how harmful it can be to your child’s health in the long run? There’s so much research out there, showing just how harmful it can be. There’s been a lot of research linking acetaminophen to liver damage, and there are reports of babies and children dying from taking it. Although I’m just pointing out acetaminophen, most medicines are better to avoid altogether and replace with natural remedies when possible.
Did you know fevers are a good thing? They are the result of your body trying to fight off the infection. There are dangerous levels of fevers, so be sure to know the difference between a safe fever and a concerning fever.
There was a time when natural remedies were all we had! Of course, the invention of certain medicines has been live-saving, so I’m not trying to downplay that. But our bodies can take care of themselves more than we give them credit to. Sometimes we just need to give them a small boost – through a natural herb or supplement, to help it do it’s job more efficiently.
My 13 month old has been sick about 3 times in her life, and each time she was only really sick for one day. Each time she’s been sick, I have used the same natural remedies, and each time I saw her health improve very quickly. I hope these remedies will help your family next time cold or flu season comes around!
Please note that I am just a mama seeking natural alternatives, and each mama should do their own research on these remedies. I would never tell a mother to give medicine or to not give medicine, as I do not have a medical degree. I have given my daughter dye free infant ibuprofen when she’s gotten a high fever or just been completely miserable. I do believe there’s a time and place for medicine, I just don’t feel it should be used quite as frequently as many use it.
Cold & Flu Natural Remedies for Babies & Toddlers:
-Luke warm apple cider vinegar bath
-Mix a little apple cider vinegar into a fruit smoothie (Use lots of citrus fruits for vitamin C.)
-Drink lots of bone broth (My daughter actually loves drinking this cold in her straw cup.)
-Elderberry syrup (They make some for ages 1 and up. For babies I recommend a good immune support vitamin.)
-Probiotics (I actually use these frequently anyway, but I especially don’t miss a dose when she’s sick.)
-Humidifier at night (I’ve used it during the day when I felt she was really miserable.)
-Lots of nursing! (Breast-milk is filled with antibodies that help fight off all kinds of things, and breast-milk actually changes based off of your baby’s needs. It is so amazing that our bodies can know when our little ones are sick. So nurse away! Plus, they need the extra comfort when they’re sick anyway. 🙂 )
-If you breast-feed, make sure you take care of your health also. I usually take probiotics, elderberry, and make an extra vitamin C smoothie with apple cider vinegar.
-Coconut oil on the nose to keep from getting sore (And since coconut oil is so amazing, I actually give her a spoonful to eat and she loves it!)
-During nap time and night time, keep your child’s head elevated by putting the mattress at an angle (I use a rolled blanket under the mattress at one end.) Or let baby sleep on you to help make their night more comfortable (I usually do this. Make sure you follow safe co-sleeping guidelines if you do this.)
-Run a really hot shower and don’t turn the fan on in the bathroom, or boil a pot of water. Let baby breath in the steam (Be careful not to allow them to come into contact with the hot water.)
Update: Additional Remedies (Added February 27, 2017):
-Warm garlic bath. Garlic is a powerful natural antibiotic and antibacterial ingredient. I know a garlic bath sounds strange, but this is my personal remedy as an alternative to the sock method or drinking the cloves with water. I knew my daughter wouldn’t do either of those two methods, so I figured if the sock method absorbs the garlic through the skin, then why not a warm bath? I added a few cloves of garlic to my daughter’s warm bath when she was recently sick. It didn’t seem to bother or irritate her a bit!
–Homemade electrolyte drink. (Keep in mind honey is not recommended to give to children under one year of age.)
-Peppermint oil diluted in a carrier oil on forehead to help cool a child from a fever. (Please research for yourself what oil brands are safe, what oils are safe for what age, and the appropriate amounts.)
-Eucalyptus oil diluted in a carrier oil on chest for a natural vapor rub. (Please research for yourself what oil brands are safe, what oils are safe for what age, and the appropriate amounts.)
-Warm liquids. (I boil water and add some honey, lemon, and coconut oil. Then let it cool down until warm, before giving to my daughter. Keep in mind honey is not recommended to give to children under one year of age)
-Cinnamon. This is a great antibiotic and antiviral ingredient as well. You could make a cinnamon tea with some honey by mixing a bit of honey and cinnamon together in a mug, and then pour hot water on top. (My daughter doesn’t love warm beverages so I just usually give her some applesauce with cinnamon and ginger on top.) (Please also note to never give cinnamon powder by itself – this is a major suffocation hazard!) (Also keep in mind honey is not recommended to give to children under one year of age.)
-Apple Cider Vinegar shot. (I wouldn’t recommend this for a baby but my toddler is able to drink this (through a dropper). If she’s sick I’ll take a shot with her so we can both take the nasty stuff together. I usually just give her 1 teaspoon ACV mixed with 1 teaspoon water.)
-Saline Nose Drops.
I hope you’ll find this list beneficial for your babies and children. Please remember, I’m not a doctor so the methods that I’ve shared should be researched for yourself.
What natural remedies do you use for illnesses in your family?