My boys have a cold right now. We’ll sort of. My 6 month old is already better after 48 hours-behold! the magic of a breastmilk diet and sleep. My two & a half year old is still a little stuffy. If I can maintain regular naps and good sleep and limit stressors for him, I bet he’ll be back to normal by tomorrow. Sleep and love and sunshine are the best medicines.
But still, there are things I do to try and minimize cold durations once we get them. There are also plenty of things we do to stay well and prevent catching them, but that’s another post. What I do for me and my husband is also another post. For today, here are a few practical things you can do to support your child’s body when s/he gets a cold.
1. Avoid sugar and dairy like the plague. Bugs feed on sugar and it weakens the immune system. Dairy is mucous forming. Do your best to not offer either when your little ones are sick.
2. If they don’t have a fever, spend time outside–just not around other people. Go to the park where no one else is or go to your backyard. Try to do more calming activities. Less running, more digging in dirt. A vitamin D bath from the sun can be a nice boost.
3. Try to enforce regular naps and earlier bedtimes. Their little bodies are working hard to be healthy. Sleep allows the body to put its energy toward healing.
4. I nursed my 6 month old more often to ensure hydration. I also pumped and added extra probiotics to the milk. I gave hylands tiny cold tablets as directed. And I gave him echinacea tincture (glycerine based, not alcohol based). I followed this dosing protocol. I also personally took extra zinc, vitamin C, and drank ginger tea throughout the day.
5. For my two year old, I did the following:
-made a big pot of vitamin C rich rose hip tea and mixed it with a little apple cider vinegar and raw honey for him to sip on throughout the day. Honey is my one exception to the no sugar rule.
-gave him extra vitamin c–I like the Garden of Life brand vitamin C sprays because they are easy to administer and food based.
-cooked with extra garlic. You can also make garlic lemonade. We use Aviva Romm’s recipe:
Garlic Lemonade: Finely mince 2 cloves of fresh garlic and place them in a 1-quart mason jar. Fill the jar with boiling water and cover for 30 minutes. Strain out the garlic, and to the liquid add the juice of 1 whole lemon. Sweeten to taste with honey. Give warm, and offer as much as the child can drink. For babies under 1, use maple syrup instead of honey. Do not give to babies under 6 months old.
-gave rescue remedy in water to keep my two year old calm as runny noses make him upset
-gave echinacea tincture
-gave elderberry syrup
-gave him some of my pumped milk with extra probiotics. You could also add extra probiotics to a dairy free milk.
-gave Epsom salt baths before bed to help the body detox. I would have done this for my 6 month old, but baths are more stimulating than relaxing for him, so we avoided bath time.
-cooked beets and sweet potatoes with fresh grated ginger and honey. Ginger drying and warming. It helps support the immune system and also helps support digestion.
-Put a drop of garlic mullein oil in his ears to avoid any possible ear infections
-made garlicky home-made chicken noodle soup with bone broth
And that’s it! I hope that some of these remedies help you and your little ones the next time a cold hits your house.
*i am not a trained medical doctor. These remedies are not meant to cure any illness, but can be used to supplement any medical advice and medicine your doctor recommends