So, I thought I would share some of our tricks and tips for kicking a cold. I realize most of this is not news, but as we're still in the middle of cold and flu season, I thought it was worth posting about.
**I am not a doctor or health care professional. These are just things that have worked for me and my family. Please consult your doctor on anything you are unsure of. I always encourage people to do their own research as well!**
+ Cool mist humidifier
They say the cool mist ones are better than the warm because they tend to grow less bacteria and mold. We got one without a filter so it is easier to clean. We change out the water daily, swoosh it with vinegar water every 2-3 days, and do a deep clean by running vinegar water through it (outside!) once a week. We usually let this run all night while Grayson is sleeping to help break up mucus and congestion. It's especially nice during the colder nights when the air tends to be drier.
I admit I was grossed out by the concept of this thing when I was pregnant. But now I must say it's a lifesaver and everyone with kids should get it! Yes, you physically suck the snot from your baby's nose, but it's pretty much impossible for it to get to your mouth. You'll notice it's a very long tube connecting the mouth piece and the part that goes in the nose. And there is a filter between the two, so even if you were to fill that thing up (I shudder to think how much snot that would be!), it's still not getting to your mouth. Why is this better than your typical bulb syringe? For one, it just works better. You can control the suction and really work to get that junk out. And you can SEE the results! I know, it's a little gross, but I like to see that what I'm doing is effective. If I'm going to pin my kid down and make him scream bloody murder, I want to at least know it's worth it. And you can easily take it apart and clean it between uses, so it's much more sanitary than the bulbs. Again, you can SEE when it's clean. I also like that the part going into the nostril is wide enough that you aren't going to jab up the nose if your baby wiggles a lot (which he will!).
+ Saline Spray
This is pretty self-explanatory. Use it in your baby's nose (and yours as well) to help relieve swollen sinuses and break up mucus. I always do a squirt in each nostril before sucking it out. It really does make a difference. Side note-- I have my own bottle and a separate one for Grayson. It's easier than having to sanitize the tip after each use and that way we don't share germs. Although...we pretty much share germs all the time. But still.
+ Boogie Wipes
These aren't really necessary. They are saline wipes. You could easily just use a baby wipe or a plain tissue for wiping your babe's nose. But these smell really good and feel refreshing. They also prevent and soothe chaffed nostrils. I even used a couple when my nose was getting chaffed and it was really pleasant. I figure anything I can do to make the whole thing less horrific for Grayson is worth it. He's so dramatic!
+ Breast Milk
Sorry, no picture folks! ;)
But breast milk is basically the cure for any and everything in the whole wide world. For realz. I try to nurse Grayson as often as possible when he's sick because my body is producing antibodies for all the germs I'm exposed to (which are basically the same ones he is). I am passing those on to him with my milk, helping him build his immune system. Nice work on that one, God! Nursing frequently will also help prevent dehydration (for your baby, not you! If you're nursing, you should be drinking more fluids, especially if you are also sick!). And here's where I start to sound super granola and crazy... I put breast milk up Grayson's nose. And that's not all. Wait for it.... I put it up my nose too! The milk has antimicrobial properties that can actually help kill the germies in the nose and speed recovery. Plus it also does the same things saline drops do (loosen mucus and relieve swollen sinuses). I don't do it every time I suck his nose, but I try to give him some once a day (or maybe twice) to speed recovery. And since I used it on myself, I can tell you it really does work!
+ Coconut Oil
If you don't have any breastmilk handy, coconut oil is nature's other miracle drug. You can use it for just about anything!!! I put a teaspoon of it in my coffee every day to help with digestion, brain activity, etc. It's also said to help soothe sore throats and speed up recovery from illnesses. So I took a little extra each day when I had a cold. It's also great to use topically for pretty much anything! I put it on my chaffed nose during my cold. I wouldn't recommend giving a lot of it to an infant, but I do put it on my nipples to moisturize and protect them, and so Grayson will get a little bit from that. It's perfectly safe for him to ingest it that way, but I wouldn't go putting a scoop in his bottle or anything like that.
I don't take them personally, but I wish I did. I mostly just haven't come around to the idea of spending money on probiotics. But I know they are super important and beneficial not only to digestion but to your immune system and overall health. I started giving this to Grayson in his bottles when he was suffering from gas and reflux. Now I continue to give him a scoop a day just for preventative health.
These are the things we are doing to help kick our cold and prevent future ones, as much as possible. And of course there are the other obvious things like plenty of rest, getting some fresh air outside, washing hands often, etc. I've also heard people recommend nursing babies in the bathroom with a hot shower running so the room gets steamy. This is supposed to help them breathe better, especially if they are having trouble eating due to congestion. And I've heard of using Baby Vicks to help with coughing. Some people even suggest putting it on the soles of baby's feet and covering with socks or footie pajamas overnight. They say this works for adults, too. I haven't tried any of that yet. But if this cough continues, I might be willing to give it a shot!
What about you? Any immune boosting or cold fighting tricks, tips, and insights? I would love to hear!