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Cold symptoms, coughs, snotty noses, the sneezes, and all those lovely things come with being a parent and when you have little children or even bigger ones, snotty noses and colds can mean unhappiness, sleepless nights, and are generally not much fun.
There are a few things I do, that I used to do when my kids were babies and toddlers, that I still do even now to help them feel better when they have a cold, blocked nose and feel not at their best. Even big kids get cranky when they have colds.
Make sure they are sleeping well propped up.
Lying down when you have a cold is the worst thing because everything gets more blocked up and your sinuses can’t drain and you can’t breathe. That’s no fun at all. So lots of pillows for older children, so they are not lying flat and for babies, you can angle their cot mattress slightly so they are not flat.
Keep the air moist
Dry air doesn’t help stuffy and blocked noses. I use a cool-mist humidifier to make the air in the room cool and slightly moist. This brings relief and helps to ease symptoms.
Lots of fluids.
I know when I have a cough or cold, I don’t always want to eat or feel like eating much. But fluids are important. So encouraging fluid intake is vital. We make hot honey lemon tea that my kids love to drink. I warm apple juice and add lemon juice and honey to it. Honey is good for sore throats and is soothing and lemon helps too. I also offer cold drinks and you can even do ice lollies or fruit lollies if throats are sore and need something gentle and cold. You can’t give babies under one year honey, of course, but if you are breastfeeding you can encourage them to feed as often as they want and need and if they have bottles then cooled boiled water can help to soothe sore throats and keep them hydrated.
Something to help them breathe.
Adult decongestant sprays, rubs, and drops can be very strong for little noses and some of them can’t be used for children at all. When my kids were babies we used Snufflebabe to help ease the snotty nose symptoms and soothe them and they prefer it now, still to stronger adult products. I like it because it’s gentle and contains ingredients that help but that are formulated to be safe for children. Their vapor rub goes a long way to easing snuffly chests and is kind and gentle on the skin too and their decongesting oil is great sprinkled on pillows or you can, as I do, put it on a wet muslin cloth and drape it on a radiator. As the cloth dries it gives off the vapors of the oil and helps to fill the air in a room to ease bunged up noses. They also have nose drops and a spray too, which are very handy. Some of their products can be used from birth which is great news as not all cold relief products are designed to do this, and it’s good to know that you have something very safe and formulated for little noses and chests.
Easier said than done when you have little ones, but rest and sleep are important to help bodies get over a cold. When my kids feel under the weather, screen time limits go out the window, and we watch movies and try and let our bodies rest as much as they can.
Handwashing, to minimise spreading our germs
This one doesn’t need much explanation, but it does help. Washing hands and wiping surfaces helps to stop the spread of germs and to try and prevent other people from catching them.
One day science will find a cure for colds and we won’t have to deal with them anymore, but until then we can’t do much to stop our kids from getting them, but we can help to ease symptoms and make them feel better as they ride their colds out. Most of the time you won’t need to seek medical advice but if you are ever worried about a cold or your little one isn’t recovering as they should then it’s always worth getting them checked out.
What are your tips for easing cold symptoms in little ones when a cold invades?