The cold and wet season brings not only cozy evenings, but unfortunately also occasional indispositions: colds, coughs and associated general listlessness – the cold season has begun. Especially babies have a hard time with a cold nose, because they still have very narrow nasal passages, in which the secretion accumulates more quickly. But they are more susceptible to viruses and pathogens because their immune system is not yet fully developed. A cold hinders the infant’s ability to drink, which is why we try to give the little mice relief as quickly as possible. There are well-proven methods for this, completely without chemicals! We have always relied on home remedies and/or homeopathic remedies for our children. Today we share with you our Tips against rhinitis in babies and toddlers!
Tip: The following tips are not intended to replace a visit to the doctor. It is only our experiences and beliefs. If the baby develops a fever, a noticeable cough, difficulty breathing, or if the cold does not improve, urgent consultation with a doctor should be made. It is also important to be able to rule out that there is no foreign body in the nose that is causing the discomfort. It is especially important to consult with a doctor for babies with sniffles in the first months of life.
Rhinitis in babies – where does it come from and what is it good for??
A cold is demonized rather quickly, and in doing so, it is actually done wrong. This is actually a cleansing and defense mechanism of the body and therefore has a very important task. The nasal mucous membranes are the first to come into contact with pathogens and viruses of all kinds through inhalation. Thereupon they swell, in order to prevent that the pathogens penetrate further into the body. At the same time, mucus production increases in order to carry the pathogens out of the body again. Voilà, the hated cold develops. But now it is important to support the body in this self-cleansing process in a sensible way. And this in the best case in a natural, gentle way and without swinging the "chemical club". Because the body already knows what it is doing and needs its time for it, even if we are all unpleasantly huffed and pained.
What to look for in a baby cold?
If you notice an initial cold in your baby, there are a few things you should pay attention to in order to support the organism. It is important to keep the respiratory tract moist and the cold thus fluid. This is exactly what the body needs to remove the pathogens as quickly as possible. On the one hand, the baby’s airways should be kept moist (various ways to do this follow below). On the other hand, the room, especially at night – the humidity should be high. We provide z.B. Keep a container of water in the room where the child sleeps (preferably near the bed). The room temperature should not be above 20 degrees.
Liquid supply from the inside should also be absolutely paid attention to. It is very important to drink a lot during this time – breast milk for breastfed babies, water, unsweetened tea, etc. Everything that does good and is healthy :).
So our goal is to keep the nose "running" so that all the pathogens are flushed out.
Breastfeeding mothers can easily add breast milk to keep the nasal mucous membranes moist during a baby cold . It also contains salts, which have a decongestant effect. And that can be enough to make breathing easier again. You can use a pipette to carefully drip 1-2 drops of fresh breast milk into each nostril. This is repeated over and over again throughout the day.
Saline/sea salt solution
A saline solution is also recommended for baby colds, if you can not take breast milk. You can also make these yourself and find enough instructions on the Internet. I have never tried this myself and prefer to use the Rhinomer Babysanft seawater pipettes * for emergencies, which I find particularly well tolerated and pleasant. These are practical single pipettes of seawater that are easy to dispense and also handy to take on the go. They keep the nasal mucous membranes moist and can also be used for cleaning the eyelids. We always take these pipettes with us on our travels.
First official act with us as soon as we discover a "running nose": Prepare onion bags. Onion is a well-known home remedy for colds and earaches. The essential oils of the onion act antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, decongestant and loosen stubborn mucus in the nose. The effect is that the nose becomes free and the secretion can flow off.
Onion bag preparation:
Cut an onion very finely so that the essential oils can develop. Put the whole thing in a kitchen towel or fine gauze cloth and tie into a small bag.
We hang the onion bags overnight at the head of the crib. The smell spreads in no time in the whole room – it is fair to say that. It smells fiercely of onion and is not very pleasant. But the result speaks for itself, which is why I always use the onion bag. Already after the first night the cold is either better or at least not worse. The nose remains free. That’s exactly why we use the onion bag directly for the beginning runny nose – so the mucus doesn’t become solid at all. For each night a new onion is cut and at the latest after the third night we could omit the onion bag, because the nose became completely free.
You can also put a cut onion near the bed (head end), if mine does not want to take an onion bag. Personally, I find the bags more effective, because the onion is chopped really small and thus has a more intensive effect. You can also attach the onion bags directly to the bed and thus closer to the child.
Tip: Onion bags are also available at Earache a proven home remedy. The bag with a freshly chopped onion (slightly warmed to body temperature) is fixed to the ear with a cap, scarf or headband. This is done 2-3 times a day, each time for one hour and always with a fresh onion. The antibacterial effect of the onion is said to help enormously and by covering it, it creates soothing warmth. We personally have no experience with earache, but there are many great reports about this method.
The smell of onion has never bothered our children. Also, you do not need to worry that the eyes from the onion bag can burn. This is not the case. However, the whole room is "allowed" really intensively after onion. The only thing to do is "close your nose and get through it" and air it well in the morning!
Onion socks have a similar effect as the onion bags. Here you use the special connection between the sole of the foot and the rest of the body (keyword foot reflex zones) . Onion socks are recommended for babies 6 months and older.
Preparation of onion socks:
You will need: 1 onion, gauze bandage, healing wool *, wool socks and a hot water bottle
Peel the onion, cut into approx. Cut 0.5 – 1cm thick slices and warm them slightly to body temperature. Then put the onion slices on the sole of the child so that it is covered. Then comes the healing wool (or alternatively absorbent cotton) over it, wrap with a gauze bandage and put the wool socks over it. After that, it is best to leave for a while with a hot water bottle, only as long as the child wants it of course.
Note: This application should only be used if the child has warm feet!
I tried the onion socks once, when Demian was 11 months old and had a slight cold. Was not quite our case, I must confess, he just pulled off the socks because they probably bothered him. But of course you have to try it out. However, this procedure is certainly much more suitable for somewhat older children, who already consciously leave the onion socks on and to whom you can explain the beneficial effect a little :).
A very popular remedy for colds is the angelica balsam from the station pharmacy. This is rubbed thinly on the outside of the nostrils and quickly provides better breathing. According to the manufacturer, the balm can also be used for infants under 6 months, but very sparingly or diluted accordingly, because the balm contains essential oils. Instead of rubbing the balm on the nostrils, it should rather be rubbed very thinly on the back at this age. For infants under 3 months is not recommended angelica balm. If you are unsure, it is best to consult your pharmacist and/or pediatrician.
Thyme Myrtle Balm
Hand in hand with the angelica balm we use the thyme myrtle balm for children and infants, also from the station pharmacy. This is a great remedy for a cold and helps super well especially when coughing up the mucus. One rubs with it the chest and/or back of the child. This balm also contains essential oils and should be used sparingly on children under 6 months of age. It would also be conceivable not to massage the balm directly onto the skin, but to rub it very thinly into the body (back/chest). Also here one should speak with the physician of its confidence with uncertainty.
Both the angelica balsam and the thyme myrrh balsam are our absolute "main weapons" for a cold and are indispensable in the home and travel first aid kit.
Globules for baby colds and flus
In homeopathy there are tried and tested remedies for colds and flus in babies. Here, first of all, the symptoms are important – runs the nose? Clear secretion? Yellow secretion? Uvm. It is therefore important to define the clinical picture exactly and to adapt the globules to it as precisely as possible. It is also important to note that not every remedy works for every child. With some you make particularly good experiences, the others do not work at all – it’s just very individual. For this very reason, it is always advisable to consult with a good homeopath and get individualized advice. After Nika’s birth we had placenta globules made, which are also very good for cold symptoms.
Some proven examples:
Sambuccus nigra for typical baby colds – the nose is blocked, breathing and drinking is difficult. Allium cepa for runny nose, potassium bichromcium for thick mucus. At home I have the book Quickfinder Homeopathy for Children *, which I can recommend as a rough introduction to homeopathy for children. Here’s how to get a good idea of what it’s all about. Nevertheless, it is of course more sensible to get advice from a specialist.
If the baby’s nose is blocked at the entrance, you can reach for a nasal aspirator * and use it to remove the stuck mucus. However, special caution is required – the teat should not be inserted deep into the nose, as it is unpleasant to painful for the children on the one hand, and on the other hand the nasal mucosa can swell even more due to the irritation.
Basically, opinions differ about the nasal aspirator – is it helpful or should it be avoided?? Even if used carefully, for me it is rather something for emergencies and therefore for rare use. I would also never use it if the child is extremely resistant to it. So it is the responsibility of the parents to decide whether a nasal aspirator is an option. It is best to talk to the pediatrician about it in advance and get advice on what to look for. We have our Nosefrida * in the medicine cabinet for emergencies.
Warm, moist air keeps the respiratory tract moist, makes the nose run and makes it easier to cough up. Even babies are allowed to inhale – of course only WITHOUT the addition of essential oils. A saline or seawater solution is suitable. On the market there are various inhalers for the baby, some of them in a child-friendly design. I find this especially useful, because the loud noise can certainly scare off many children. The appearance, such as the Only For Baby Blue Puppy inhaler * in the form of a cute dog, is particularly important and helps the little ones to build up trust in the device.
Tip: Often it helps to stay with the baby in the bathroom, if z.B. a parent is taking a shower / has just taken a shower and the room is appropriately warm and humid. The baby automatically inhales the water vapor.
A very simple tip, but definitely one of the most important when baby has the sniffles: get out in the fresh air! Especially in the cool season, a walk is particularly beneficial for a cold nose. The cold air makes the nasal mucous membranes decongest and makes breathing easier. And of course, fresh air in general has a very good effect on the attacked organism and supports healing.
A cold is usually very mild in the baby and can be a common occurrence, especially in the early years. It usually subsides after a maximum of 10 days. If the condition does not improve after 2 weeks, or if other symptoms such as fever occur, the baby should be seen by a pediatrician. And as a mother, listen to your own gut feeling and if you are unsure, it is better to seek medical advice once too often than too little.
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