Cold in the infants gets scary because the nose can get blocked and your baby may not be able to breathe easily. There is always a worry about the congestion travelling down to the lungs from nose, making it even more worrisome.
Over-the-counter medicines are not recommended for infants, so, that makes us go for the home remedies at the first signs of cold. There is a lot that you will have to do to relieve your baby of the symptoms of cold. Usually, with simple home remedies your baby will become alright and there will be no need for you to go to your pediatrician.
Effective Home Remedies for Infant Cold
Warm steam is the very first remedy that you have to start, it will loosen the mucus in both in the chest and the nose. You can use a steaming hot pot of water or use a mini sauna.
Hold the baby in your arms, keeping her away from the hot pot. For a good and effective steam session cover yourself with a sheet, making a tent with the steam unit inside.
Fill the steam in the bathroom and give this steam treatment to your baby. First of all prepare the bathroom by keeping the geyser or your water-heating unit at full heating. Now run the shower and let the steam fill up the bathroom. The exhaust fan and the door of the bathroom should be closed for the steam to remain side. Now sit with the baby inside for as long as the steam remains there. Sitting for 15 to 20 minutes is good enough for the mucous to loosen up. It is beneficial if one can do it once in the morning and again at bedtime.
Run the vaporizer so that baby’s room has moisture. Humidity will help the baby breathe well. You can add eucalyptus oil to the water to give added benefit. This oil helps in relieving the symptoms of congestion due to cold. You will have to make sure that the vaporizer is cleaned every day and the water is also changed every day, otherwise it will do more harm than good.
You can use saline water drops for the baby. They can be bought ready made or you can easily make them at home. Mix a bit of salt to water. The taste of this water should be like that of the tears. Take a clean dropper and put two drops of this water in one nostril.
Watch for baby to be a bit comfortable, then put it in the second nostril, It will help the mucus to become soft and easy to blow out. It is recommended that you prepare a fresh saline solution every day.
Clear The Nose
You can either wait for the mucus to drain out on its own or use a bulb syringe. Buy a good quality bulb syringe and learn to use it, it is not a complicated procedure.
Just remember to fist blow the air out of this bulb before you put it in the nostril. You have to insert just the tip of this syringe, allow the bulb to inflate slowly and see that it draws the mucus out of the nose. Keep some warm water ready to clean the syringe. Clean it very well. Dry it up after every use.
Elevate Baby’s Head
When the baby has cold, it is recommended that you keep the baby’s head elevated at all times. You can put a small towel underneath the head. The crib can also be tilted in a way that head remains elevated, so as to ease breathing.
When the infants lie on the flat surface, the congestion of the nose gets intensified and the breathing becomes difficult. If their heads are kept at the elevated position, the gravity of the earth will help the baby keep free form congestion by allowing the natural flow of the mucus.
Hydrate Your Baby
Cold dehydrates the newborns very quickly. So, try to keep your infant well hydrated. Water intake plays a major role in the treatment of cold. The water content in the body will help the baby fight off the infections. A well hydrated infant will have less congestion and other associated symptoms.
Her mucus is likely to remain thin with the adequate amounts of water content in the body. You can give extra feeds to your infant, if she accepts them. Usually, because of congestion they find it difficult to feed because of inability to breathe well. Try feeding soon after you have worked towards decongestion.
Give Herbal Tea
Your baby should be given light herbal tea made by boiling 2 to 3 leaves of holy basil in a cup of water or a quarter tsp of fresh ginger boiled in a cup of water. They are very good herbs to treat the cold. Give these thrice a day.
The American Academy of Pediatrics guides the parents to administer the physical therapy to the infants, by putting the baby across your knees, with her head down. All you do now is to tap her back with a cupped hand. This helps the congested nose to loosen the mucus and come out.
Either the mucus will get drained out automatically or you can use the bulb syringe to remove the already loose mucus.Alternatively, keep the baby in your lap in the sitting posture, with one hand to help her bend towards the front. Now tap the back using the cup shape of the hand as mentioned earlier. The physical therapy helps the child cough up the mucus. Help her in releasing the mucus, thus produced.
No Smoking And No Fumes.
Keep the baby away from smoke of all kinds. Adults are not to smoke where there is a baby. When you smoke, it can even cling to your body and dress, even that can bother your baby.
The pharmacies and drug stores sell child rubs, child rubs are gentler and milder versions of adult rubs. People rub them on the chest of the babies, but the best place to rub is their back.
The aromatic vapor of this rub start working and they help in decongesting your baby.
Seek Medical Attention
If you see that the fever is exceeding 101 degrees or there is redness in the mucus, or the nails of the baby are no more pinkish, but have a bluish tinge, please consult a doctor.