Answer: Hello! Try these gentle, effective, and safe home remedies. While none of them will shorten an illness, they may help your child feel a lot better.
1. Lots of rest
Fighting an infection takes energy and can wear a child out.When he's not sleeping, encourage quiet activities. If he's old enough, read to him, let him watch a favorite video, or offer him crayons and paper or a coloring book. Teach him finger rhymes (like "The Itsy Bitsy Spider") or bring him the phone so he can chat with Grandma.
2. Steamy air
A warm bath is very relaxing, too.Have a humidifier or a cool-mist vaporizer going at night and during naps and playtime in the bedroom. Let a hot shower run for several minutes. Then give your child a warm bath or just sit with her in the steamy bathroom.
3. Saline drops and a bulb syringe
Drops clear the nose when kids are too young to blow their nose.Tip your child's head back and squeeze two or three saline drops into each nostril to thin and loosen the mucus. Try to keep his head still afterward for 15 to 30 seconds.
Squeeze the bulb of the syringe, then gently insert the rubber tip into his nostril. Gently close off the other nostril with your finger. Slowly release the bulb to collect mucus and saline solution. Remove the syringe and squeeze the bulb to expel the mucus into a tissue. Wipe the syringe and repeat with the other nostril. Repeat procedure if needed.
4. Vapor rubs
Vapor rubs may help kids sleep better at night. Massage the vapor rub into your child's chest, neck, and back. Don't put vapor rub on broken or sensitive skin. Don't apply it to your child's mouth or nose, around her eyes, or anywhere on her face.
5. Extra fluids
Drinking plenty of fluids helps prevent dehydration and flushes and thins nasal secretions.Choose a drink your child enjoys. Plain water is great, but your child might not find it very appealing. Try fruit smoothies and other favorite healthy beverages or ice pops made from 100 percent juice.
Stick to breast milk or formula for babies younger than 6 months old unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Babies that young don't need water, and too much could even be harmful.
6. Chicken soup or vegetable soups.
Warm liquids can be very soothing and help relieve congestion. Studies have shown that chicken soup actually relieves cold symptoms like aches, fatigue, congestion, and fever.
Serve soup warm (not hot). Another soothing alternative is weak, lukewarm chamomile tea. Stick to breast milk or formula for babies younger than 6 months old unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
7. Elevating the head
Elevating the head helps children breathe more comfortably when they lie down.
If your child sleeps in a crib, place a couple of towels or a slim pillow underneath the head of the mattress on the crib springs. Don't try to raise the legs of the crib. It could make the crib unstable.
For kids who sleep in a big bed, an extra pillow under the head might do the trick. But if your child is at all squirmy while he sleeps, it's safer to raise the head of the bed by sliding towels or a pillow underneath the mattress. This also creates a more gradual, comfortable slope than extra pillows do.
Honey coats and soothes the throat and helps tame a cough.
Give your child 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of honey by spoon. Or mix the honey with hot water and add a squeeze of lemon, which provides a little vitamin C as well.
Because honey is a sticky sweet, it's important for you or your child to brush her teeth after she takes it, especially if you give it to her at bedtime.
Don't give honey to a child before her first birthday. It can cause a rare and sometimes fatal illness called infant botulism.
9. Nose blowing
Clearing the nose of mucus helps kids breathe and sleep more easily and generally feel more comfortable.
Many kids don't master this skill until at least age 4, but some are game by age 2. Here are some tips for teaching nose blowing.
Let your child copy you. For some kids, that's all it takes.
Explain that blowing your nose is "backward smelling."
Have your child hold one nostril shut and practice gently blowing air out one side. A mirror or a little piece of tissue under the nose will help him see his breath, too.
Give your child his own box of tissues. Teach him to throw used tissues in the trash can and to wash his hands after blowing his nose. If your child's nose gets sore, rub a little petroleum jelly or other child-safe ointment around his nostrils.