It’s change of seasons. A runny nose, nasal congestion, cold, and flu are common spread amongst children. We go the library, or during playtime and everyone’s nose is running and sneezing. Especially if you have children that are going daycare or school, this is unstoppable. The hardest is the babies with the cold or a runny nose. They can’t breathe, they don’t know how to blow their noses. Since there is no medication to stop the runny nose, it is really hard. I remember when my son was 6 months old when he had a flu shot, his nose started running and continued until he turned 1.
Especially, if you do not take care well, when you nurse your baby while he has a runny nose, the nasal fluid may get into the middle ear and cause otitis, an infection of the middle ear. We had this happen to my son for 3 times during his second 6-months.
There is no definite treatment to cure flu or a runny nose. Doctors don’t prescribe antibiotics until there is an ear infection. However, there are few things you can do to help your baby sleep more comfortably at night and so that you can get rid of the runny nose a little faster:
- At the beginning of the flu or cold, if your baby is eating solid foods feed, your baby with chicken broth soup. This is really helpful. The helpfulness of the enzymes in the chicken soup have been scientifically proven.
- If age appropriate, have your baby consume foods and fluids that contain vitamin C. If you are nursing, you increase the consumption of vitamin C containing foods.
- Use Saline Solution to clear nasal congestion.
- Before going to bed at night, fill the bathroom with hot water steam and sit there with your baby. This will help relieve the nasal congestion and help him or her sleep better. (This steam bath is my favorite, it is really helpful, our nights are much better)
- For little babies you might want to use Nosefrida to suck the fluid from baby’s nose. I discovered this tool last year. I bought one for my son and one for my daughter. I have to make sure they each have their own to prevent the viruses from playing nose hopping. Because my daughter is still too young and don’t know how to blow her nose, this is very ideal to use before nursing or after bath. The strength of the suction depends on your lung capacity. Don’t worry there is a filter in there. Also since it does not go deep into the nostrils, like the other bulb syringes, it will not harm your baby’s nose. Some babies might not like this application but the results and its success is what matters at the end. Fall is back, we started using it again.
- Make sure to dry your baby’s hair well after bath and make sure you don’t go outdoors after baths.
- Place a humidifier in her or his room at nights. During winter, due to heat, central heating systems dry the air in the room. This might cause their little noses to dry and since they sometimes sleep with their mouths open cause irritation in the mouth as well as a sore throat.
- If your baby has a severe runny nose issue, I would recommend raising the mattress from under his or her head a little with a wedge instead of adding another pillow.
- I found Sudacare vapor plug pretty helpful. I make sure to have the humidifier plugged up not so near my son and that the room is not filled with strong scent when I close the door. At one point during the night, I unplug it.
- We use an essential oil diffuser and diffuse special essential oil blend to relieve nasal congestion. Our blend consists of Eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, rosemary and lemon essential oils
- If the color of the mucus has a certain color like green and you hear wheezing from the chest, consult your doctor.
- Change the bed sheets and duvet covers often.
- Clean your baby’s nose with a soft tissue. Wash everyone’s faces with water often.
- When sneezing, use your arm to cover your mouth. Use separate towels or paper towel in the bathroom.
- Aerate the house with fresh air frequently even it’s cold outside.
Important Note: OTC Baby Products for cold or flu have been removed from pharmacies voluntarily for babies under two. As per my dad’s recommendation (my dad is a doctor) we never used decongestant products containing Sudafed. We tried to get rid of my son’s congestion and runny nose using methods listed above. One of our happiest days was when my son was 1.5 years old and started blowing his nose by himself. We were so happy as if our son had discovered another element.
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