I’d like to try and share as many natural cold and flu remedies for babies and young children that I can this season. With parents becoming more reluctant to use over-the-counter medications, the search is on for natural alternatives, and I’ve got a slew of them up my all-natural sleeves!
If you have a baby, owning a humidifier is essential when living in the cooler climates. I’d suggest a humidifier with a small reservoir for inhalants. If you already own one and there isn’t an inhalant reservoir, that’s alright. I’ll show you how to use essential oils in either case.
Probably the most common essential oil that comes to most minds for coughs and stuffy noses is eucalyptus, but that’s pretty potent stuff for babies, in particular babies under a year old. If it’s all you have, you can use a few drops in the humidifier, but stay in the room with your baby while the humidifier is running, and keep the door open a crack. An oil I prefer is rosemary. A good quality rosemary oil requires only a couple of drops in the inhalant reservoir, and the fragrance is calming and pleasant. If you plan on putting your baby to bed while using rosemary in the humidifier, try running the humidifier for a good 30 minutes before bedtime. That way you can check the room for vapor intensity. Keep in mind your baby’s sense of smell is much more acute than yours; less is more. After you put your baby to bed, keep the door open a crack just for a little extra ventilation.
If your humidifier doesn’t have the inhalant reservoir, put a few drops of the oil on a cotton ball and place the cotton ball near the steam vent. But make sure you don’t block it, or no humidity will get through.
Always get the highest quality oils you can afford, because there is a difference between them. If you can, give a whiff of the oil before you buy it. It should definitely smell like what’s written on the label! One last piece of advice: I’ve seen humidifier cleaning solutions out there, as well as additives to put in the water tank to avoid mineral buildups. I’d definitely steer clear of these. We’ve used humidifiers in our home for years, and if you clean them regularly with water and vinegar, and if they’re rinsed out very well, you’ll have no problem with buildups. It’s important to take apart the entire unit on a regular basis as well, scrubbing out any mineral buildup with an old toothbrush.
If you haven’t visited my online store, The Giving Essence, you may want to swing by there. I have two products that would definitely be helpful for young children. Breathe Deep comes in a roll-on or a spray. It’s a blend of oils including eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint, and lavender. It’s pleasant-smelling and a couple of light sprays in a room of the Breathe Deep Home Fragrance can help open up breathing passages without being overpowering. The Breathe Deep in an Essential Stick works more like a chest rub. I’d recommend that for older children, unless you’re careful to rub on only a very small amount because this is stronger and quite effective.
Check back for more cold and flu natural remedies for your babies and young children. The wonderful thing about natural remedies is you can use several at once without worries. And that’s important because when your little one is sick, nothing is better for mom and dad than peace of mind about cold and flu care.
(Note: Two other possible oils to use would be thyme or lavender. Follow same precautions.)
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