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Natural Flu Remedies for Babies and Tots

3 Feb 2015 – 03:11 PM EST

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No one likes being sick but we all know that when a little kid is under the weather, the whole household feels lousy too. It can be a frustrating time for caregivers because there aren’t many over the counter meds that work to combat cold symptoms for such little people other than pain and fever reducers. Stuffy noses, coughs, and weariness feel just as bad as the fever your little person is battling. Most natural flu remedies are safe for all ages and can really help your kid cope.

Saline Drops

Use saline drops for crusty, stuffed up noses when kids can’t blow into a tissue yet. I say forget the bulb syringe – it’s torture for both you and the little person involved. To use saline drops, tilt back the head with said crusted nose and squeeze three drops of saline into the crust. This will loosen it up and let you get the boogers out with a tissue (or your bulb-shaped torture device). You can make your own saline drops with a quarter of a teaspoon of salt and half a cup of warm water. Make a fresh batch for each crust removing session.

Compress Sinuses

When your child is cozy and calm, a warm compress placed on congested sinuses can be very soothing A bag of rice heated in the microwave for 30 seconds or a damp, warm wash cloth will help ease sinus pressure a bit. Place the compress across the kid’s nose and cheeks. Be sure supervise the little person while using it.

Warm Liquids

Older babes and toddlers will benefit from a warm drink or soup when they have the flu. That being said, children so young probably shouldn’t be drinking much black tea and few of them are into soup yet. So get creative and heat apple juice or fruity herbal tea. Warm liquids act as a tiny, personal humidifier and relieve swollen, sore throats. Babies under six months of age are not encouraged to drink anything other than breast milk or formula – which are already warm!

Allow a Low Fever

It’s not easy, but in many instances, it’s advisable to let the fever do its job. Fevers are our bodies’ way of killing bacteria and viruses. According to the Mayo Clinic, administer a fever reducer and call your doctor if babies under three months have a fever of 100.4oF while 102oF is the magic number for anyone older.

Moist Air

Sore throats and stuffed up noses feel a lot better in the presence of moist air. More than likely, you’ve got a familiar, friendly humidifier in your home. Add some tea tree oil to its boost decongesting powers – ten drops is all you need. Bring it into the living room during the day for max moisture. Be sure to clean our your humidifier so it doesn’t grow mold in the water reservoir. You’ve no doubt felt better after a warm, steamy shower when you have a cold. Little kids’ baths rarely get warm enough to steam so treat them to a private little sauna at home. Simply run a super hot shower with the door closed and read your kid some stories in the bathroom for five to ten minutes. Viruses that cause colds prefer dry air while moist air keeps mucous membranes wet, helping them their jobs better.

Of course, drinking plenty of liquids and rest (or at least low activity for active toddlers) are the oldest and most well known natural flu remedies out there.

How else does your family combat the flu without using medicine?