As the weather cools down, out comes the woollies, the beanies, and those pesky winter cold germs. It’s awful watching our little ones under the weather but the good news is that most kids bounce back from a cold or flu very quickly!
You probably have a few go-to cold and flu products you use every time you get the sniffles. But how many are suitable for young children? Toddlers? Babies? Newborns?
Below are a few ways to help soothe a sick baby, toddler, or child when the winter sniffles leave them stuffed up, coughing, sneezing, and likely feeling very miserable.
1. Toss the schedule for the next day or two
Regular meals and naptimes probably won’t be happening when your little one has a winter cold or flu. Let them eat when they’re hungry and sleep when they are able to. This probably means lots of upright cuddles on Mummy.
Colds can linger for days but don’t rush back to the regular routine if you don’t have to. The more time your child has to rest, the better.
2. Unblock their little noses
FESS® Little Noses is a gentle saline solution spray that you spray into your baby’s nostrils that will begin to thin the mucus that is causing the congestion. Because it’s non-medicated and suitable for newborns and up. In fact, it’s Australia’s #1 saline range for newborns*.
Whether using it on a baby or toddler, this product may help with reducing congestion to allow your little one to breathe easier to feed or suck without struggling to breathe out of their nose. The saline solution is also available in drops for newborns and mums who prefer drops over a spray.
3. Go for warmth and water
Colds and flus often involve congestion, aches and pains, headache, fever (seek medical attention) and sinus pressure as well as a general feeling of ickiness. A lukewarm bath can alleviate the pain associated with all of this. If your little one loves the bath, then this is another great way to make him feel comfortable as well as content.
Other easy ways to help alleviate cold and flu pain is with a warm blanket to keep them cosy and a warm washcloth placed their head or face.
You can also use warm water (or steam) to relieve nasal congestion. Soak a clean washcloth in water and gently place it on your child’s nasal area while in the bath. Or soak a clean washcloth in water, heat it for 30 seconds in the microwave and then place it on your child’s nasal area. Just be sure to test the cloth’s temperature first.
Another safe and natural way to help clear congestion is a vaporizer which is a device that turns water into steam and circulates it around the room. You can also buy natural essential oils to add to the vaporizer but for young babies, stick to just water.
As always, we recommend you seek medical advice via your GP or Health Direct Hotline, especially if your little one’s health isn’t improving, their fever keeps climbing or isn’t responding to treatment.
4. Try fruits and soup
Boosting your child’s immunity is important when they are under the weather but many kids don’t feel like eating much when they are sick.
Fruit is also a good choice for foods to help with a cold or flu because plenty of fruits are high in vitamins and water content – two things your little one needs right now. Plus fruits can be easy on the tummy or blended into a yummy smoothie. Chicken soup is another good choice – not just good for the soul, it helps control congestion-causing cells, called neutrophils.
5. Try a nasal aspirator
Another option that works well with FESS® Little Noses is a nasal aspirator. It’s a flexible bulb syringe with a soft tip designed to gently suction the softened mucus out of the baby’s nose
It’s especially great for babies and toddlers who don’t know how to blow their noses and who depend on their ability to breathe out of their nose when feeding or sucking on a dummy.
6. Lots of fluids and a little bit of honey
Speaking of water, another thing to watch is that bubs stays hydrated, meaning plenty of breast or bottle feeds for babies and lots of little sips of water for toddlers.
If your child is over 12 months, then you can try giving them a tiny spoonful of honey before bed. This may help reduce their coughing.
But the best medicine of all? Mum.
It’s hard watching your little one sniffle, cough and cry due to cold and flu. You want to do whatever it takes to help them feel better. Do you want to know the one thing that works better than any other remedy to make them feel better? YOU.
This is the main thing your baby needs right now – your cuddles, your touch, and your presence to remind them that, even though they feel yucky now, it’s all going to be okay. Soon they will be all better and back to doing what they love doing – playing. Until then, extra kisses, extra cuddles and extra mummy attention is just what the doctor ordered.