Now that you are through the holidays….you and/or your kids, partner, neighbor, office mate, and everyone else for that matter is sick. Blame it on the weather, the gatherings, the late nights, the egg nog, the wine… Whatever it is, at least someone in your household is sick. Last year at this time, so was I, and so was my baby. For her it was the first real cold virus. Now we’re at it again. My house has been germ city for about a week. If you’ve read my previous posts and/or know me at all, you know I turn to more natural and non-invasive cold remedies. So what do I do to help Maddie get healthy and for that matter me too?
Breastfeed as much as possible
This is especially important for your baby’s first cold when they aren’t drinking water yet. Not only do they need to stay hydrated, you give them antibodies for the virus they are fighting. And not only will your boobs deliver antibodies for illnesses you’re immune to already, but germs you’ve never been exposed to as well. When your baby nurses they pass germs to you and your body immediately begins producing antibodies that will protect you and your baby. Just repeat “My boobs are magical!”
Get the snot out
Most colds lead to congestion, which can lead to headaches or worse…sinus and bronchial infections. So keep it loose, so you can get it out. Take your baby with you in the shower and leave the fan off to fill the room with steam. Also be sure to keep a humidifier going in their room when they are sleeping. Use saline drops or spray to keep the sinuses moist and thin mucus. Then, if it sounds really loose, use a Nose Frieda to suck it out. Yes, your baby will hate it so be quick about it.
Support that Immune System
Be sure to check with your healthcare provider about supplements for an infant. During her first cold, I upped her Vit D, gave her Vit C tabs and doubled her probiotic dose. Now I also give her elderberry syrup. I didn’t give this to her before she was 16 months, but not sure why you couldn’t as long as your babe can have berries. We have a great local option called Antho Immune, and you can find it in Whole Foods. And of course, nothing supports the immune system better than sleep!! Try to make sure your babe gets a lot of it. Lastly, get them some sunshine and fresh air. Get them outdoors to play if they are healthy enough, or go for a walk in the stroller. It will do you good too!
Treat the Symptoms
When Maddie was super sick recently, her homeopath had me make a “cocktail”. It was a 1/4 teaspoon of Elderberry, 15 drops echinacea (here’s an alcohol free version made locally), and the typical toddler dose of Chestal cough syrup. This cough syrup has honey, so wait until they are one year old. This seemed to help her cough less and sleep more, and may have shortened the duration of her cold too. I also use ibuprofen compounded at Apothecary by Design. They can make it for you with nothing but the drug itself suspended in cellulose. If she is in obvious pain and can’t sleep or has a fever that won’t quit after a day or two, I give her some, again so she can sleep. I refrain from giving it in the first 24 hours of a fever, so that the fever can do its job.
Prevent an infection
After I determined she wasn’t allergic, I gave her steamed garlic mixed in with her food. Garlic is a natural antiviral and antibiotic. I also give her one drop of Oreganol p73, another powerful antiviral and antibiotic. It’s strong stuff, so make sure it’s diluted or disguised in something yummy like elderberry syrup maybe. A common concern with babies is ear infections. We use garlic oil in the ears during a cold and have since the very first one at 6 months old. When I was told she had an infection, we did raw garlic in her ears. I cut the garlic large enough so that it couldn’t go into her ear, but small enough to sit just inside. Then I wrapped some gauze around her head to keep it in place. I left it there for as long as she would let me and repeated for a couple days. This, plus a visit to the chiropractor (also a great thing to do when your babe has a head cold) got rid of the infection without antibiotics. I’ve done it a few more times as a prevention method too.
What do you do to keep your family healthy?