It's always worrisome when your little one suddenly catches cold and becomes listless, uncomfortable and clingy. It's normal to want to jump right into action to reduce the fever and relieve the suffering, but what's the safest way to treat your baby's cold, cough and fever naturally?
I wear quite a few hats in my life, but one of my favorites is supporting my family and friends during times of illness. So a couple of weeks ago, my friend Julie dialed her personal Ask-a-Nurse hotline (a.k.a. my cell phone) when her 4 month old baby woke up with a heavy duty cold. I got busy doing my geeky research thing and found plenty of natural remedies to boost her immune system and comfort her achy little body.
How to Handle Your Baby's Fever Naturally
The fever your baby has may be the cause of discomfort, but it's actually beneficial – a positive sign that her immune system is working. With Tylenol's latest – and very scary – warning, it's even more important than ever to skip the treatment most often used by parents to reduce fever.
Here's how we should be handling fevers instead:
- Natural Remedies for a Fever by Mommypotamus
- Why Not to Reduce A Fever And What to Do Instead by Wellness Mama
- Fevers: Good or Bad? by Modern Alternative Mama
Natural Remedies to Ease Stuffy Noses and Coughing (While Fighting Bacteria + Viruses)
Over the years, I've witnessed the power of how simple elements found in nature can work wonders in my own kids. We very rarely visit the doctor for anything that doesn't require serious medical intervention anymore.
Here are my favorite ways to ease cold symptoms naturally:
- Diffuse essential oils in a pot of boiling water or with a warm steam humidifier. Some essential oils that are generally considered safe for babies 6+ months and are great for loosening congestion and fighting the cold itself are cedarwood, sandalwood, cinnamon leaf, thyme, lemon and ginger. *NOTE: Be sure to use certified organic essential oils when available to make sure you're not absorbing or inhaling concentrated amounts of harmful chemicals or pesticides used during the growing process.
- Add some lavender to the humidifier to help your baby relax.
- Use Badger Balm Aromatic Chest Rub or make your own using 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil with 10 drops each of eucalyptus (eucalyptus radiata for children under 6 years of age) and oregano essential oils. Remember to never use any essential oils directly on baby without proper dilution with a carrier oil, and be sure to choose only those that are known to be safe for children.
- Place a few drops of preservative free Nasal Saline drops in baby’s nose and gently suction with the amazingly effective Nosefrida (see our how-to video here).
- Give her Hyland's Baby Tiny Cold homeopathic tablets.
A few notes on essential oils safety:
NEVER apply the potent undiluted oil directly to the skin.
Choose 100% pure essential oils and be sure to use certified organic when available to make sure you’re not absorbing or inhaling extremely concentrated amounts of harmful chemicals or pesticides used during the growing process.
ALWAYS keep essential oils out of reach of children. Use only eucalyptus radiata for children under 6, or substitute lemon or oregano essential oils in its place.
For more information, please see this helpful article on safe essential oils for babies and children.