‘Tis the season for runny noses and coughs. Mommies everywhere are going through packs of tissues, wiping up snot and reminding their little ones to cover their mouths. Seeing your Coco Bean sick is probably one of the hardest parts about being a mom. It breaks your heart to see them unwell. You wish there was something more you could do to help them feel better.
Unfortunately, with a cold, there is not much you can do to help rid them of the germs. In most cases, it has to run its course. However, there are a few tools you can use to ease the blow of the symptoms and make them feel more comfortable. Here are some of the cold tips we have found helpful when our little ones are feeling under the weather. However, be sure to check with your health professional before you use any of these methods.
1. Humidifier: At the first sign of congestion, we always set up the humidifier. Increasing the air moisture can help to relieve a stuffy nose as well as other cold symptoms. We prefer to use the dual chamber humidifier because it holds more water, making it last longer, ensuring that it will run continually throughout the night. If you don’t have a humidifier, you can always take your Coco Bean into the bathroom, run the hot water from the shower and sit in the steam for about 15 minutes. Sometimes we even sneak a few drops of essential oils like eucalyptus into the bathtub to help open up the nasal passages.
2. Aromatherapy Diffuser: Although this device is similar to a humidifier in that it emits water vapors, the option to add essential oils gives it an extra benefit. When our Coco Beans gets sick, we like to add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to help sooth inflammation and ease mucous. And this device is not limited to being used only when your Coco Bean is sick. It can be used throughout the house with different types of essential oils to help improve the atmosphere of your space.
3. Saline: As simple as saline drops are (salt and water), they work wonders. Saline nasal spray helps to restore moisture to dry nasal passages and lessens the inflammation of mucous membranes. It also loosens up the boogies so that they are easier to catch with the snot sucker. Back when the girls were nursing, doing a saline wash and snot suck 15 minutes before a feeding really helped them to breath easier so they can feed better.
4. Snot Sucker: There are many different kinds of nasal aspirators out there, but we promise you this one is the best. Yes, the idea of sucking out your little one’s boogies can seem a bit disgusting, but it is 100% hygienic due to its included filters, which means no boogies will be get sucked into your mouth. We use ours all the time, even when our Coco Beans aren’t sick. It is extremely effective at cleaning their little noses and making sure they are breathing clear and free.
5. Chest Rub: Finding a baby safe eucalyptus chest rub can prove to be a great tool when your Coco Bean isn’t feeling their best. When our Coco Beans get extremely congested we will rub a little on their chest and back to help relax the throat and bronchial muscles. Eucalyptus has many different healing properties that work well to provide relief and comfort.
6. Rest: In order for their bodies to heal, it is important for our Coco Beans to get enough rest. However, congestion is always worse when you are lying down which makes it hard for your little one to get the sleep they need. Keeping your Coco Bean upright will help them to sleep better. Depending on their age, using a pillow to prop their head up or even raising one side of their crib can help tremendously. When our Coco Beans were younger, a nurse suggested having them sleep in their car seat. This method works great for naps during the day as it is easier for them to breath when they are sitting up.
7. Hydration: The number one thing you can do to help your Coco Bean feel better is to make sure they are hydrated. When our Coco Beans were smaller and still nursing, they pretty much wanted to nurse non stop when they were under the weather. And that was ok with us. Not only is breast milk hydrating, but it is filled with nutritional goodness that will help their body fight off the illness. Now that our Coco Beans are getting older, and no longer nursing, we will often make them herbal tea and squeeze in some fresh lemon and a few drops of honey. This homemade concoction is comforting and warm as well as soothing to their throat and helps to suppress their cough.
8. Call for Help: When our Coco Beans were younger and started showing signs of their first cold, we called the nurse at our doctor’s office right away. We wanted to review the symptoms with her to make sure that we didn’t need to bring them in. We still check in with them from time to time when we have questions, but we are starting to learn on our own which things are cause for concern and which things are just part of growing up and being a baby. If you ever have questions about your Coco Bean’s health and wellbeing we would strongly advise you to call your doctor’s office. They are there to help and hopefully their advice will put your mind at ease.
Runny noses and coughs are part of growing up. Our little Coco Bean’s immune systems are immature and therefore are more susceptible to bugs. But each time that they get a cold and recover from it, their immune system gets stronger. So as much as we want our Coco Bean’s to be healthy all the time, a little cold here and there won’t hurt them. In fact, in the long run, it can help them.