My kids had a cold last week
Fortunately, my kids have never been terribly sick. The worst of what we’ve dealt with so far has been runny noses, coughs, sore throat etc. But congestion in babies and toddlers can be a hard time!
Last week we dealt with congestion that I’m blaming on weather changes. Its warming up, but still chilly here and my kids and I always seem to battle runny noses what that happens! Runny noses = fussy kids, no sleep, exhausted mama. Here are some tools to help.
How to Handle Congestion in babies and toddlers
Congested babies can be stressful; they depend on breathing through their noses, especially to eat, so keeping their nose clear is important.
** *Disclaimer* We are not affiliated with any of the companies/products mentioned below, I’m simply a mama sharing what works, to try to help other mamas. I’m also NOT a healthcare professional, I’m not giving medical advice, just trying to share practical tips. **
Some helpful things to keep on hand for when your kids are sick are:
A good nasal aspirator. I’ve used traditional nose bulbs to suction out my baby’s nose, but I was never super impressed with how they worked. My favorite nasal aspirator that is super effective is the NoseFrida.
Saline Spray. This helps loosen things up before suctioning out their nose.
Vicks BabyRub. I rub this on my kid’s feet and chest when they’re congested. I’ve used an all-natural/essential oil version of a baby chest rub, but it didn’t seem to make a noticeable difference like I see when I use Vicks. And I’m all about what works… sleep is important!
Cool Mist Humidifier. Keeping a humidifier going in the kid’s rooms when they’re sick helps a ton with their congestion, whether it’s a stuffy nose or if they have a cough.
Extra Pillows. Using an extra pillow or two underneath your child’s mattress is a safe and easy way to keep their head elevated at night to help them sleep better. Keeping their head elevated helps their sinuses drain so they can breathe easier.
Lympha Rub, and/or Hear No Evil.I use either one of these oils on my toddler (I use it on myself too), rubbing around her ears and neck and massaging to help with lymph/ear drainage. She seems to enjoy it and asks for it at bedtime when we have a cold.
Essential oils. For toddler/baby congestion I diffuse this blend:
2 drops Frankincense
1-2 drops Lemon
2 drops Lavender
When baby/toddler is really stuffed up
Bring them into a nice warm steamy shower. This really helps loosen things up and gets their sinuses draining.
I usually multitask by just bringing my toddler girl into the shower with me when I shower, and letting the baby hang out in the steamy bathroom with us in his bouncer or sit-me-up. Doing this right before bedtime can help soothe their sinuses so they fall asleep easier too.
Sick kids can be hard to manage
My kiddos are always super whiny and clingy when they don’t feel good, plus then they don’t sleep well. Which is normal! But it drives me crazy.
Add in sleep deprivation and not feeling well myself, and all of a sudden I’m out of patience, touched out, overwhelmed, and ready to crawl out of my skin.
You can do it
Take a deep breath mama. Everything is gonna be alright! Things will go back to normal; you just have to survive few rough days and nights.
Last week, my toddler went 3 nights waking up almost every half hour, with a few 1.5hr stretches thrown in there. I was about to lose my mind! On night 4 I was desperate and used every tactic I knew to help (listed above), so she only woke up twice that night, and slept through the night last night. The bad nights don’t last forever!
Take care of yourself:
Nap when the babies nap, eat good food, ditch the to-do list and focus on those babies!
Whiny sick babies will be fussier when you’re trying to get things done instead of giving them your attention, I know from experience. It’s frustrating! But they really do just need their mama when they feel bad.
You’ve been up with them all night, it’s okay to just sit on the couch and snuggle those babies. Lay down with them for their nap if they need you to. Wear your infant in the carrier. It’ll only last a few days, and you can catch up on other things later.
You’ve got this mama!
Nobody knows your babies like you do or could take better care of them than their mama. You’re built for this.