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12 Ways to Treat Baby’s Cough & Cold That Pediatricians Won’t Tell You
It is inevitable; no matter how carefully you watch your child’s eating habits and tries to keep their hands clean, they will come down with a cold or one of those nagging winter coughs sooner or later. Coughs are uncomfortable and irritate everyone who has to listen to them all night long. When very small babies get those nagging coughs or a winter cold, they generally have trouble sleeping, which means mom and dads must stay awake as well!
When it comes to young children, modern medicine really doesn’t have a good solution for coughs and certainly nothing that you can safely use for infants. Over the counter cough syrups do not work for children and can actually be downright dangerous for children under 6. Most cough syrups contain dextromethorphan (DXM), which can be harmful and even fatal! About ten percent of all children under six cannot metabolize this compound according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The AAP doesn’t recommend any over the counter cough or cold medicines for children under six years.
So if you can’t use anything over-the-counter to get your baby (and yourself!) some relief from the coughing, what is a parent to do?
We have just the answer for you: Twelve of the best ways to naturally treat a baby’s cold symptoms or cough. Your pediatrician probably won’t tell you about these kinds of methods, but each and every one is a tried and true home remedy that parents have used for a hundred years or longer.
1. Essential Oil Steamy Bath
For those stuffed up noses and annoying night time coughs, start a hot bath or shower, allowing the hot water to run. Close the door and allow the steam to fill the bathroom. Add a few drops of pine, fir needle, or wild mountain sage essential oil to the water in the tub or to a bucket of water in the shower, and allow the steam to ease away that cough and open up the respiratory tract. This method only takes about fifteen minutes, and your baby will usually fall asleep afterwards.
This time tested home remedy is a good one because not only does it help to clear up stuffy noses and ease sore throats, but the vitamin C in lemon will also provide important support for the immune system. Peel two lemons and squeeze out the juice. Put both peels and juice in a pan along with a few slices of ginger. Add just enough water to cover all of the ingredients. Turn on the fire and simmer for a few minutes, then cover and cool. Strain and then add a few teaspoons of raw, organic honey. You can add a bit more water if you feel the flavor is too strong. Offer this solution, warm but not too hot, several times each day.
3. Chest Rub
Using essential oils as a chest rub can go a long way when it comes to breaking up chest and nasal congestion. This works well for children eight years old and up. The typical over-the-counter chest rub, the one in the blue jar, uses petrochemicals. That does not sound healthy for anyone, let alone young children! For making your own chest rub, simply mix a few drops of camphor essential oil or eucalyptus oil in a tablespoon of coconut oil or jojoba oil. Rub this gently on your child’s chest and upper back. Allow it to warm the chest area for ten to twenty minutes, and then wipe off with a warm washcloth. Never apply essential oils directly to the skin!
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