With cold and flu season upon us, keeping your baby healthy and feeling well is probably top of mind right now. Seeing your little one sick can be heartbreaking! So, whether you’re already battling a cold around your house, or just want to be prepared for the season, here are 10 great ways to help soothe and comfort your sick baby.

baby-by-fujikama-via-pixabayPhoto: Fujikama via pixabay

1. Get acquainted with a nasal aspirator.
As parents, we have to do gross things. It’s inevitable. And when your baby has a ridiculously runny or stuffy nose, but can’t blow it, we have to step in and clear that stuff out for ourselves. Whether you use a bulb aspirator, or the kind that literally sucks snot right out of their nose, you’ll be glad you did when your baby can breathe easily again.

2. Try saline.
Saline has been known to work wonders against congestion. Lay your little one down on his back and tilt his chin back just slightly. You can then gently spray two or three drops of saline into each nostril. It works best when combined with a nasal aspirator.

humidifier-by-dolapo-falola-via-flickrPhoto: dolapo falola via Flickr

3. Steam it up!
When your baby is congested, getting a good sleep is almost impossible. (For you and your babe). And that naturally seems to make it harder for her to get better quickly. It’s a pretty disastrous cycle. One way of easing the congestion is by making things hot and steamy. We swear by humidifiers in our home when someone is sick. Don’t have a humidifier? Running a hot shower and hanging out in the steamy bathroom for a while will do in a pinch!

4. Oatmeal. It’s not just for breakfast.
With dry winter air, dry skin is not far behind. If your little one has red, dry, itchy skin, try a soothing oatmeal bath. Grind up some oatmeal in a blender or food processor and sprinkle a half-cup of the powder into the bath as the water is running. Be sure to mix it all up and let your baby get a good soak. Around 15 minutes is the most they’ll likely need. Be careful though – because the oatmeal tends to make the bath pretty slippery.

mom-and-baby-by-allan-foster-via-flickrPhoto: Allan Foster via Flickr 

5. Cuddles & more cuddles.
There’s nothing quite like a long snuggle with Mom or Dad when a little one has a cold. Even better when it can be skin-to-skin. In fact, being placed directly on Mom or Dad’s skin is thought to help lower a fever. Get your baby down to his diaper, cover him up with a blanket and settle in for a nice, long cuddle.

6. Run a cool air humidifier.
If steam isn’t your thing, a cool air humidifier can also take some of the dryness out of the air. With the heat running in the house and the dry winter air, stuffiness is almost certain. Run it while your baby sleeps to help offer a little much-needed relief.

7. Fluids. Fluids. Fluids.
Preventing dehydration when your baby has a cold is definitely important. If your baby is under 8 months, breastmilk and formula are the best options for fluids. Offer them often to help with dehydration – plus it gives that extra comfort sick babies need.

SONY DSCPhoto: davidvienna via Flickr

8. Lukewarm baths.
If your baby feels warm or has a slight fever, having a tepid or lukewarm bath can sometimes help. Try having a bath with your baby for extra comfort. Just be mindful of the temperature of the water. Keep it even and avoid too much heat or cold for best results.

9. Try a little sweet & sour.
For babies over a year old, honey & lemon work wonders for a sore throat or cough. Lemon is known to dry up congestion and honey offers a soothing coating for their throats. But this is ONLY safe if your baby is over one year old. If they’ve passed that stage, try mixing up a little bit of each together and warm it up for a few seconds in the microwave. Once it has cooled to lukewarm, give your little one a teaspoon.

10. Get out into the cool air.
There’s nothing like fresh, cool air to cure what ails you. Believe it or not, a walk in cold, fresh air can help relieve the swelling and congestion your little one gets from a cough. So bundle everyone up and get outside!

Looking for other ways to keep your baby healthy this winter? Check out our tips for building a cold and flu health kit for your baby.

What tips or tricks do you have for soothing your wee one when they’re under the weather?

Always seek the advice of your own doctor with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your child’s health.

–Heather Dixon