Having a cold sucks. Having a child under two with a cold sucks even more. It is not just awful because you don’t want to ever see your child sick. It sucks because you can’t give a child under 2 years old any cold medicine to alleviate his cold because it can cause serious and possibly life-threatening side effects. Therefore, you must resort to several non-medicine remedies to help your little one get better soon. Below are some common remedies my son’s pediatricians (we saw a pediatricians medical group) told me to use and my experience with them.
- Saline nose drops or spray to keep nasal passages moist.
My experience: It works great to break down the sticky mucus that you can’t see and wipe with a tissue. I used the nose drops when my son was under one year. As he got older he began to refuse the nose drops so I tried using the nasal spray and he flat out refused it every time so we never really used it.
- Nasal suctioning with a bulb syringe to suction mucus from nasal passages.
My experience: This simple little bulb is probably one of the best inventions out there for infants! It was amazing to see so much of the mucus suctioned out with this magical little bulb. My doctor instructed us to use it shortly after the saline nose drops as it made it easier to suction the mucus out. Again, my son let me do it when he was little, but fought me from using it as he got older.
- A cool mist humidifier to shrink nasal passages and help him breathe better.
My experience: It did not seem to make much of a difference. I still used it several times, just in case it helped in some way that I did not see. However, I did not notice my son feeling or breathing better after using it. We tried to get it as close as we could to him without it being too close.
- Infant acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce fever and aches.
My experience: We used this when our son was older (not a newborn) and the doctor gave us the okay to use it. This greatly helped to reduce his fever and discomfort.
- Plenty of liquids to keep him hydrated.
My experience: We not only gave him plenty of milk to drink, he wanted it. Because his little nose was runny, he depleted a lot of his liquids and was parched. When he was 12 – 18 months, we were weaning him from his bottle. However, he also started daycare, which led to a lot of colds and other sicknesses. We let him have his milk in his bottle when he was sick and that provided some comfort to him.
Every child and family will have their own experience with these common remedies for children under two. This is just my experience. Who knows? You may have more success than I did with the humidifier! Always check with your doctor to see what he recommends for your child.
I will do anything to help my little man get better soon. But I am relieved that he will be two years old soon and hope to finally be able to give him some limited children’s cold medicine when he gets a cold.