You know your baby better than anyone. You know what she’s like when she’s happy, you know what she’s like when she’s sad, and you’ll be the first to know if she’s feeling under the weather.
Here are 10 ways you can help a sick baby feel better a little faster.
Make applesauce “lollipops” to soothe sore gums.
By the time we celebrated my daughter’s first birthday it honestly felt like she had been teething for 90% of her life. Cutting teeth can be an extremely miserable experience (for everyone involved!) but there are a few things you can do to help your baby feel more comfortable. One of my favorite teething-survival methods is to spread a spoonful of applesauce in the center of a clean washcloth, then fold and twist it up so that it resembles a lollipop. Stick it in the freezer for 20 minutes or so and then let your little chew on it. It will soothe their aching gums, and the yummy applesauce will keep them interested.
Serve frozen treats to sooth sore gums.
Once my babies are old enough, I let them chomp down on frozen peas or frozen blueberries when they’re teething. This works like a charm and my kids totally love it. But I will warn you- blueberries stain. Bad. One time I even tried to outsmart the blueberries by stripping my baby down to his diaper before letting him loose, and he was purple for 2 days. You have been warned.
Use a pillow to help relieve congestion.
If your baby is congested you can help her get some sleep by placing a pillow under the crib mattress so that it’s slightly inclined. (Just slightly. You don’t want her rolling down it.) This will help the mucus drain better, and she’ll have an easier time breathing.
Use saline solution for stuffy nose relief.
Saline solution can work wonders on a stuffy nose. Just put a few drops in each nostril before using an aspirator to remove the mucus.
Avoid bulb syringes.
Speaking of aspirators, those blue bulb syringes are a mom’s worst enemy. My 11 month old has developed a burning hatred of them. It takes 3 fully grown adults to tackle him, pin his arms to his side, hold his head still, and try to stick the thing up his nose without accidently taking his eye out. And even after all that work, the results leave something to be desired… if one can in fact desire mucus. In search of a better alternative I stumbled across this device. It has rave reviews but I haven’t been able to bring myself to try it yet. What are your thoughts? Have you ever used one? I’d love to hear about it!
Use essential oils.
We love oils at our house. The ones we use the most on the kids are peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, melaluca, and wild orange. We use them for everything from ear infections and bronchitis to a sore throat. Coconut and olive oil can both be used to treat cradle cap. Just be sure to do your research on how to use essential oils properly. Some of them will need to be diluted before you can safely use them on your baby.
Practice infant massage.
This kind of goes hand in hand with essential oils. When my babies have an ear infection I like to use a drop of diluted lavender and eucalyptus oil and massage in a downward direction behind their ear, on their neck. Then I apply gentle inward pressure in front of the ear toward their cheek (where their sideburns would be). It’s relaxing, and seems to help their infections clear up quickly.
Use rice packs.
I know I’ve mentioned our obsession with rice packs before, but seriously… they are fantastic! We use them on sore muscles, upset tummies, and earaches. It’s always the first thing our kids ask for if they are sick.
Talk to your pediatrician about baby Tylenol.
If your baby has a fever Tylenol can help make him a little more comfortable. Depending on your child’s age you may need to check with your pediatrician first. He may even tell you to alternate between Ibuprofen and Tylenol.
Last but not least, forget your daily list of things to do and spend some quality down time with your baby. It will help him feel more comfortable, and guaranteed you’ll enjoy the cuddling too.