Going the more natural route for the care of your baby at those times when he or she is unwell makes good sense. Babies have sensitive skins and delicate systems so that synthetic chemicals and over-the-counter-medications should be avoided. Their immune systems are immature so they are more likely to get sniffles and snuffles, tummy upsets, skin conditions and other common ailments when in contact with other young children or with a change in diet or the weather. It is always worrying for parents at such times so if you have various natural products and home remedies to call upon, it is comforting.
Colds and Flu
When your baby's nose is blocked, a suction device can be used to clear it. Prop your baby upright, squeeze the bulb of an aspirator and place the tip carefully in one of the nostrils. Slowly release the bulb so that you draw mucus into it. Then do the same procedure in the second nostril. If the mucus is too dry and caked, use a homemade or a commercial saline solution. Put 2 drops of this into each nostril using a small dropper. Wait for a few minutes and then use the nasal aspirator as before. A homemade salt solution is 1/8 teaspoon of salt to 120ml (or 4 fl.oz) cooled boiled water. For a home remedy, mix together a little camphor with some warm olive olive and gently rub on your baby's chest twice a day and again last thing at night to help clear up chesty colds. A home remedy for blocked noses in young children is to add a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil to hot water in a bowel and place in a safe place near by so that they can breathe in the aroma while they sleep.
Fever or a mild Burn
A cold compress is useful at such times. Fill a large container with cold water and add some trays of ice cubes. Dip a clean wash cloth into the cool water, wring it out and then over the affected area. Keep repeating the process as the wash cloth warms up. If you need an ice pack for any reason such as to put on a bruise or swelling, a packet of frozen peas wrapped in a soft cloth works very well.
A warm-mist humidifier or a steam vaporizer is useful for babies who suffer from croup to moisten the air. But you can plug in a kettle filled with water to boil away for a good 10 minutes in the same room as a croupy baby or take the baby into the bathroom and turn on a hot shower so that the room fills with steam.
This is often necessary in time of illness and can be accomplished by frequent breast feeding or bottle feeding. Give plenty of water between feeds for babies over 6 months. If your baby has fruit juice, dilute by half with water. Hydration fluids are useful where older babies are vomiting or suffering from diarrhea. Tiny frequent sips of liquid are best when a baby is vomiting. With flu or a cold, a little freshly squeezed orange juice or some blackcurrant juice added to their boiled water will help because of the vitamin C.
This is such a common complaint in babies. A home remedy you can use is Oil of Cloves. Rub a very small amount on the outside area of the face where the tooth or swollen gum is but not inside the mouth. This will help ease the pain and discomfort caused and is completely natural.
If this is a problem, add prune juice or grape juice to bottled water or cereal. Plenty of fiber is a must in your young child's diet to prevent constipation in the first place. Massaging the tummy can help with the pain and discomfort of constipation. For a good home remedy, add 1 drop of Chamomile Oil to a gentle oil blend and massage on to the tummy gently. Put a few drops of oil on your hand and starting at the tummy button, massage outwards in circles in a clockwise direction. A warm bath will also soothe and relax your child when he is constipated.
This is the complete opposite of constipation but can also be treated if it is just mild with simple home remedies or natural treatments. A drop of Mandarin Essential Oil added to a massage blend can be gently massaged on baby’s tummy to help. Massage in a clockwise direction onto the abdomen. Please see your doctor if diarrhea gets worse as this can be a serious condition and young children can quickly become dehydrated.
Finally, that old perennial...
The most important thing you can do is to keep the bottom dry. Always change the diaper when it is wet or soiled. Avoid scented baby wipes or better still clean with warm water and cotton wool (if you use soap it should be a mild natural one). Your baby's bottom should be 100% dry before putting on a fresh diaper. A natural version of petroleum jelly is the best barrier cream to use while letting your baby lie in a warm environment with no diaper is good for the healing process.