Most moms are stricken with fear and worry when their little is feeling under the weather. This stems from the ‘nothing can be done’ notion as they are too small for most over the counter medications. There is also, of course, the fear of potential RSV, phenomena, etc. but we will be optimistic here and talk about common cold symptoms. A runny nose? Coughing? Decreased appetite? Irritability? There is plenty you can do to combat this cold, Mama! Here are a few tips that work for us. I will note- these wont make a cold disappear overnight, they will simply help alleviate symptoms. Also, I am NOT a doctor- just a Mom who has her daughter’s Pediatrician office on speed dial.
Cool Mist Humidifier
This one is a given. Though what most don’t know (or think about) is the careful cleaning that needs to be done in order for a humidifier to be beneficial and not harmful to their little one. Always read and follow the usage directions exactly for your humidifier. Ours, for example, needs to have the water changed daily. I dump out the leftover water each night, fill it back up, shake, empty, then refill. It needs to be cleaned weekly. We clean our humidifier (per the directions) with water and white vinegar. NO harsh chemicals should ever be used in these. Its job is to convert water into breathable air for your child- you want this water to be as pure as possible. Once a week, I pour a capful of vinegar into the water chamber with about a cup of hot water and shake. I then pour the mixture into the base where water sits and scrub with a sponge then rinse. Humidifiers are a great thing as long as you use them correctly.
You don’t need to have a ‘Vicks’ brand humidifier to use these! Just place the pad at the top of the humidifier where ever it will sit and cool mist can flow through. It shouldn’t be submerged in any water or placed inside of the water chamber. A few studies have deemed Vicks Vapor Rub unsafe for babies (even the kind marketed for babies). This can be a great alternative or just as bad- who knows. When we use it, our entire nursery is filled with the scent of soothing menthol. Some say the pads are expensive and not worth the money but I personally disagree. It’s about $10 for 12 one-time use pads. You aren’t using these every night for months on end- just when your little has a cold that is keeping them from a good night’s rest. Wait. A good night’s rest? Shut up and take my money.
Ah, the Nose Frida. Most non-parents gag at the thought of sucking a child’s boogers out with your mouth. To me, a Mom, I bow to the makers of this handy device. You can use a bulb syringe to get the boogies out, sure. To me, it seems a bit medieval. It’s painful as the suction is too strong for their little nostrils, you can’t see what you were able to get because the material isn’t transparent, and who knows how to clean the thing?? The Nose Frida is gentle as it is controlled by your own lung capacity and see-through so you can see the good stuff (soo satisfying). I squirt a little saline in each nostril, let it sit for a few seconds, then suck out the boogers. No tears (usually) and highly effective. I will note to first time users that you should rinse it out immediately after use. Snot dries like cement inside and you have to soak it in water for a day to clean otherwise.
Johnson’s Soothing Vapor Bath
Another great product that fills the room with a soothing menthol aroma. Warm baths are great for a cold anyway as it helps break up that congestion. The Vapor Bath takes it to another level though. You just pour a few capfuls into a tub full of bath water and mix with your hand like bubble bath. It’s ah-mazing. Note that it isn’t baby soap, however. Don’t lather it up in a rag and wash your babe with it, it’s much too strong for that. Babyganics makes a vapor bath too, Johnson’s is just what we have.
Prop Up The Mattress
For naps and night time, put a rolled up receiving blanket under the head of the mattress. This makes it easier to breathe with a stuffy nose which equals a sounder sleep. The elevation should be slight and even. The baby should not be rolling to one side or the other because they are propped up too high.
If your little is refusing to consume their usual diet, you could offer some Pedialyte. They make a flavored version without dye now- win! Fighting a cold takes a lot of energy so hydration is important. I would also give the Pediatrician’s office a call at this point. They will likely connect you with a nurse who can give advice based on your child’s symptoms or decide if they want you to come in or not.
REASONS TO CALL THE DOC:
- Tugging on ears
- Refusal to eat
- Rapid or struggled breathing
- If your Mommy instincts are telling you to