My big boy had a cold this week. Boo. Poor guy. Then he gave it to my little guy (who just turned 6 weeks old). Yikes. He is toooooo little to get sick. I wasn't sure if it was just a cold and not the flu, plus I was just nervous about the little one getting sick so early on, so I took them to the doctor... She said it was just a cold and that what I thought was the baby throwing up was probably just spit up (phew! So as it turns out, there was no barfing, besides the dog, but that's another post and the title just sounded better with the word 'barfing' in it!). The doctor also said that when a baby spits up breast milk, they get the antibodies again, so it is actually a good thing- weird!
Anyway, besides the usual rest and lots of fluid, these are the things that she suggested (and what we have been using) to help both little ones feel better:
This is way cuter than the one we have, but we have been using one religiously through the winter months with our older son and it does seem to work. He rarely gets sick, even though he is in a mommy and me preschool class full of snotty-nosed kids!
I remember my mom using this gunk on us, but guess what? It still works! My friends have suggested putting it on the babies' feet and then putting socks on- I guess so they don't rub it everywhere or accidentally put their hands in it and then put their hands in their mouth? I'm not sure, but for my little one I did the feet thing, and for my big guy I rubbed it on his chest. Luckily, he has been really good about not touching it.
Along the same lines as the vapor rub, this vapor bath and the warm water/steam made our big guy feel so much better! I was too scared to use it with our little one since he is so tiny and has such sensitive skin. When he gets his next cold and is (hopefully) much bigger he can enjoy the actual bath... for now, I wore him in his sling while I bathed his big brother, so at least he got the benefit of the warm steam.
Saline nasal drops/ aspirator:
We love this non-medicated spray.
Here is the aspirator we use with our toddler. Believe it or not, he likes it! I think it is because he likes to look at the "boogies" inside. Gross.
Even grosser is the one that I use for the baby. I was a little freaked out when I saw it, and when the girl at Whole Foods told me how to use it.... but I have to say, it works sooooo well and really is the ONLY way that works to clear that tiny little nose. Even that blue bulb aspirator from the hospital doesn't get the job done like this bad boy. The weird thing is that you use the suction from your mouth to suck the yuck out of your little one's nostrils. Before you judge me (or throw up), know that somehow the stuff does not get in your mouth, I swear! It just stays in the tube until you rinse it out. The things we do for our babies!! Here it is, on all its glory:
A few more things:
My pediatrician is a little old school. While she is very educated on all the latest developments in medicine, she also thinks some things that are "no-no's" these days shouldn't be. She usually believes that organic and natural is the best way to go, but she also said that my older son could have half a dose of children's cold/allergy medicine to help dry out the snot so it doesn't drip into his throat when he is trying to sleep. I was a little surprised by this, because right on the package it says that it is not for children under 4, and he is only 2. She says that this is because some parents were using cold medicine to make their kids sleep (yikes!) so they came up with the new directions and age limits. Do any of you other mommies ever use children's cold medicine for your kids before they are 4? I figured since my doctor said it was ok that it would be fine, and especially since we were only giving him half a dose... and she was right! It made him feel much better! Of course it won't be something we use often, and I think the other remedies are very important too, but it is good to know that this is something that we can use once in a while to give him some relief. Of course she would never give the ok for us to give it to our infant, nor would I do it, even if she did!
The other thing that she suggested about a year ago was to let our big guy sleep with a firm pillow. It was because, at the time, he was on his third ear infection in a row, and she was convinced that if we propped his head up a little at night, the problem would be solved. It worked like a charm! I couldn't believe it. Of course we would never give him a pillow when he was tiny, but once he was past the danger zone for SIDS, she said it was ok, and he hasn't had an ear infection since!
The last thing she said was to make sure that I was nursing the baby as much as possible, because the antibodies in the milk were the best protection for him. I took her advice of course, and even gave our older son some pumped milk... he hasn't had any boobie milk for about a year, but he seemed to like it and hopefully it made his sore throat feel better. He better not get any ideas though- he is not going to start nursing again! I have my hands full as it is! :)
Stay healthy! This cold/flu season seems worse than it has been in a while!!