First and foremost, I’m not a doctor so check with your pediatrician if you have any questions about the things that I am going to recommend below, they are just mommy tricks that I do and that my mommy friends have shared with me. They seem to be tried and true.
When our children have colds, especially ones that have coughs, it can be heartbreaking and tiring. They don’t know how to truly blow their noses so their congestion travels down their throat into the chest area, hence the endless hacking.
Steps you can take:
1. Steam up the bathroom – keep your child away from the hot water but run the shower at a high temperature with the door closed to create a steam room so to speak. Then cool the water and run the bath – It helps clear your child’s airways even though you’ll probably be sweating
2. For the little ones – I know it is so stressful – but saline drops and the aspirator are a great option. If you make it fun for them it won’t be such a struggle – but especially early on in a cold, it is important that you help your child clear the congestion. I’ve found the simple, squeeze and go aspirators to be the best over the automated ones. Try the aspirator on yourself one time just so you can understand how it feels, you’ll find that while it feels odd, it isn’t uncomfortable and it most definitely isn’t hurting your child if done correctly. Also, as you all probably know – your nose is connected to your throat and your mouth so when you are using the saline drops – if you put too much in, it will travel down their throat and into their mouth and they will taste the saltiness and begin to cry. To that point, you also don’t want your child swallowing too much saline – so if you do it while your child is laying down or sitting up, do one squirt in one nostril at a time and then use the aspirator right afterwards, you will be creating the best possible experience for your child. My final point – the aspirator takes some practice. You may think you aren’t getting anything – keep trying and you will get the mommy prize (snot) soon enough.
3. Humidifiers, while I don’t truly understand the medical benefit for the child, seem to work wonders. I have one where you can put the Vicks packet into the top and it will have the same benefit as using Vicks (number 4 below) before your child turns two.
The following two options can only be used with children 2 and older:
4. I personally underestimated how great Vicks Vapor Rub really is. My child hates having a cold – is very cranky and cries a lot. As soon as the Vicks Vapor Rub hits his chest, he is smiling. It must have a warming sensation and it truly helps the cold symptoms, especially during the night. I rub a small amount on under the pajamas and let it work its magic throughout the night.
5. My last suggestion is my best (hopefully you’ve gotten this far!) – as you all know, children cannot take cold medicine until they are over 4 years old mostly due to the harsh ingredients. The hardest symptom to deal with – both for your child and for you, is truly the coughing. So I went on a search for a homeopathic solution and found Boirin Children’s Chestal Honey Cough Syrup. It is safe for children 2 years and older and it WORKS like a charm. I read up on it quite a bit – there is nothing negative out there, and it won an award from a panel of experts at Better Nutrition Magazine a few years ago. Obviously, do your own research, ask your physician and utilize the product properly, but we LOVE IT.