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Top 5 Old School Remedies to Soothe a Cold

Babies get colds all year round but especially in winter, so now is the time to make sure your cold and flu remedies are ready to go. There are plenty of old school remedies to soothe a cold that have stood the test of time and will help ease some of the symptoms of your baby’s cough or cold.

  1. Increased Fluid Intake
    Offer your baby more breast feeds or bottles to help keep them well-hydrated. If they are over six months also offer drinks of boiled water in between feeds. Ensuring good hydration will aid recovery as well as help loosen congestion.
  2. Steam Therapy
    Steam therapy has been proven to help loosen phlegm and ease a dry sore throat, so it is worthwhile investing in a vaporiser that you can run at nap time and overnight. Steam therapy is particularly useful for coughs at night when the air is cold. The warm steam loosens phlegm and eases a stuffy nose. Adding an inhalant to the vaporiser will also increase its effectiveness. It’s important to always set up the vaporiser on the floor, and leave the door open a little for ventilation. You can read more about steam therapy and vaporisers here.
  3. Saline Drops and Bulb Syringes
    Learning to blow your nose is a skill that comes much later in life, even beyond toddlerhood, so having a blocked or runny nose is a particularly irritating symptoms for babies as they are unable to clear their noses on their own. Saline drops are a great natural way of loosening phlegm and the use of a bulb syringe will help you remove excess phlegm from you baby’s nose. While it’s a bit of a yucky job for Mum, it will make a big difference to how your baby feels. You can buy saline solutions that are specially formulated for babies and come with a baby sized bulb syringe at most pharmacies.
  4. Vapour Rubs
    A chest rub may help your baby sleep better over night. Most use ingredients such as eucalyptus, rosemary oil and menthol that are shown to help with symptoms of a cold. For babies younger than 24 months it is advised to use the chest rub on their singlet or bedclothes rather than directly on their skin.
  5. Plenty of Rest
    If your baby wakes up with a cold it is worth cancelling your plans for that day and having a quiet day at home. Staying home and offering extra opportunities for naps will be just what your little one needs. We know ourselves we just want to stay home when we feel miserable, so providing a day of rest will help. Fighting winter bugs takes lots of energy so the more rest your baby gets the faster they will recover.

While these remedies won’t reduce the duration of your baby’s illness they will help them feel a bit more comfortable. Don’t underestimate the power of touch and the comfort of Mum’s cuddles. It’s likely they will want to be held by you any way, so offer your baby lots of cuddles; lying down with them will provide extra opportunities for naps, which aids recovery too.

If your baby is running a fever, doesn’t show signs of improvement after a few days or you are worried about them, it is worth taking them to be checked by your GP.

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