23 answers


Hi Moms,
I have an almost three year old and a ten month old who have a really bad cough and stuffy nose (courtsey of another child at a party!!) They have had it about a week and it does not seem to be getting better. My pediatrician has seen them both and said that it will heal itself in time and they are too young for OTC meds. Any idea of things I can do to make them more comfortable and speed up recovery that does not involve medicine? Thanks so much and Happy New Year!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Please read my article on preventing/treating flu and colds on my blog http://ecobabyz.blogspot.com/2008/12/vitamin-d-key-to-avo... . I hope that helps!

I know there have been a lot of great responses..but I just want to stress how great the baby vicks rub works (for my two boys anyway). I put it on their feet and chest at night and it helps with the cough (and sometimes congestion).
Good luck!

More Answers

I have had a lot of success preventing and treating colds homeopathically. Hylands has a homeopathic remedy called Sniffles and Sneezes. I also use Boiron's Coldcalm for kids. A lot of CVS stores are starting to carry homeopathic remedies. You can also try Whole Foods or any natural foods if you are lucky enough to have one near you. Those stores usually have someone on hand who can give you some advice. Homeopathic remedies are 100% safe, my pediatrician is fine with me treating my daughter(now 3) homeopathically - I've done it for colds, teeething, gas pains, cuts and bruises, etc. since she was an infant. The worse thing that can happens is you pick the wrong remedy and it doesn't work. I used to dissolve the pellets in a few drops of warm water and squirt them in her mouth when she was a baby.

I start to treat my daughter at the first sign of a cough or a sniffle. We haven't had any colds yet this year.

Another tip I received from a friend last year was to put Vicks Vapo Rub on the soles of the feet to stop a cough. I know it sounds crazy but it worked for us last year when nothing else did.

One last point I would make is that I would definitely bring them to the Dr. again if that cough persists. We live in West Hartford and several kids in our circle have had to be treated with antibiotics for walking pneumonia this year. I don't want to suggest you panic but that you keep an eye on it and trust your instincts if it doesn't go away.

Good luck to you and your little ones!

2 moms found this helpful

They will get better! Unfortunately, clods take a lot of time. My only advice is to give them fairly warm/hot long baths , or just steam up the bathroom and sit there with them! With your baby, I have found that raising the crib (with those slanted nats they sell... or anything safe stuffed under one side of the mattress!), so the baby sleeps on a slant is always helpful-especially with the coughing. It relieves the post nasal drip. Good luck!

Keep them well hydrated and use a humidifier in their room when they are asleep. I have also heard you can use your bathroom as a steam room...this never worked for me.

Good luck...the winter can be long when you have sick kids!!

H. Z. (SAHM 5, 4 and 18 month old boys)

chicken broth and miso soup; honey with lemon for your older one; freshly squeezed citrus juices, fresh red peppers, cantaloups (high vitamin c foods); if they will tolerate garlic, this is an immune booster that you could add to foods you cook. FYI, you could start a probiotic with both of them, which helps boost immunity and may help prevent them from getting sick for the rest of the year, or at least help them get less severely sick. Whole Foods has probiotics for children/infants. Also, homeopathics are available and safe and best taken at the initial onset of symptoms (also available at Whole Foods). If their throats are sore, maybe making smoothies with frozen fruit would be soothing too. Avoid dairy as this can increase mucus production.
I hope they feel better soon!

Hi Mom,
I have children the same ages and I know the hopeless feeling you get when they have colds. The only thing that I do is prop their mattresses with pillows and run a humidifier at night. Other than that there is not much you can do and for my kids it does seem to last a good 10 days before I see real progress of them getting better. Good luck and hope the rest of the season is healthy for you.

vicks on the bottom of the feet (with socks) will help a night time cough...I don't know why but it just does. also the nasal strips that go on the outside of the noses help them breath at night so they can sleep. They come in children sizes and work wonders! I hope that helps! I make sure my kids get fresh cold air especially when sick it helps to get the nose running instead of stuffy so they can blow all the extra moucus out.

Hi M.

I'll tell you what my Pedi told me when my kids were young. He had me give both my kids Children's Tylenol, 1/2 dose for both kids(my kids are 4 yrs apart, so similar to yours) with the med. dropper. If your baby was under 6 months I wouldn't give any. My son was actually 8 months during his first winter and my daughter 6 months. The Dr. just told me to do half the smallest dose listed on the bottle.

I only did it at night so they could sleep and their bodies could fight it off the rest of the day. You can also try a vaporizer with Kaz. It's a liquid similar to Vicks that goes right in the water of the vaporizer (Walmart I believe sells it)

Good luck!

Hi M.,
I know what it's like when both kids catch a cold. I always make sure the head of his bed his raised, I use a humidifier to keep the air moist and not dry, I use the vapor rub on their chest, I give them vapor baths (I think Cotton Tails puts it out) with some steam. Make sure they are getting lots of fluids, saline drops for the nose. That's really the best you can do even though you feel like it's not enough sometimes. You just feel badly for them. Colds generally do take a week or longer to go away. I would say that if they still have it with fevers and bad coughs, you may want to have them checked out again.

Good luck!

My son started to come down with the same thing Wednesday of last week. My Chiropractor is very holistic and recommended coliodial silver. They sell it but you can also get it at Earthward, if your in the Amherst, NH area. It's an immune support and I started putting 3 droppers (which really are half dropper fulls) in his juice with a liquid vitamin once a day. About 1/2 a teaspoon. Also have humidified his room for naps and all night. For the congestion, we used Olbas Oil, which is a eucalyptus oil, not a menthol (menthol will actually dry out the nasal membranes), also at Earthward. He seems to be getting better already and it didn't get real bad till Friday, when I took him to the Dr. for a check up before the weekend. His energy was back Sunday and was back to a normal sleep/nap schedule, where before he was sleeping a lot more. Do your own research on Silver so you understand it's properties, but in small quantities, I have no concerns at all!

I have a food supplement that can help them fight these colds before they start.
It is safe, effective affordable and tastes great.
Would love to share this info with you.
J. H

Sorry about the colds. A humidifier helps mine to breathe better. There are nose drops with saline that make it easier to use the "blue booger sucker of death" (aka by normal families as a nasal aspirator). The three year old is old enough for a little benedryl, it helps to dry out the boogers too. Rubbing a little vicks on the bottoms of the feet, then putting cotton socks on seems to help with coughing, I have NO idea why.
Good luck,

arbonne has a herbal vapor rub that is fabulous... saline irrigation in both nostrils works fabulous an adjustment from a chiropractor is very helpful to make sure their lymph system is draining properly. and unforunately your kids can't live and a bubble colds get passed via close contact good hand washing is the best way of preventing. my oldest was in daycare for 4 yrs she is 14 now and i have to say she has a very strong immune syatem compared to my other 3 who spent very little time in daycare. seh has been sick twice in the past 5 yrs. good luck hope you find this helpful. K. d mother of 13 11 8 and 21mths

I really feel for you. These colds are miserable. My granddaughter has had several in her first year, so much that we asked her pediatrician about it. Answer was that she is going to get a lot of colds, not much to do about it - only meds should be baby motrin or tylenol. My daughter uses a humidifier which helps some. I have found that a hot bath helps a lot. It seems to loosen up the mucus and also helps her to go to sleep. So when she has a cold, I try to give her a lot of hot baths.

Our almost 4 year old we use to use Pediacare when he was young but now that it is a no no our pediatrician suggested Saline or also called Ocean Water, you find it at drug store or grocery store in the same spot at cold medication, you just squirt it up their noses and after a minute have them blow nose or infants us a bulb suction and that helps clear it out, raise mattress at their heads by rolling towels under the mattress, cold mist humidifier. This seems to help. good luck.

OK, in thier rooms make sure you have a vaporizer running, this helps them clear up at night, and before they go to bed put childrens vicks and rub it on thier chest..I have done this for my baby girl, and it has helped. And make sure they drink plenty of liquids, if a fever comes arising, take off thier socks. Bathe them in lukewarm water! hope this helps...

Dear M.,

So sorry to hear your little ones don't feel well. To help with the stuffy nose ... saline drops and if need be a nasal aspirator. Also, run a cool mist humidifier in their room during naptime and at night. Keep a watchful eye or should I say ear on their cough. If you hear any wheezing or their cough becomes a barking cough, trust me you'll know the barking cough when you hear it... call your pediatrician. If they have a bath before bed, try Johnson's Baby Vapor Bath. There is also baby vicks to rub on their chest as well. You also want to keep an eye if they start pulling at their ears at all. If they don't know how to blow their nose yet ( your 10 month old)or refuse to (as the case with my 4 yr old girl) the sniffing could lead to an ear infection. Last, try to elevate their head at night for the 10 month old you can put a book under the mattress to slightly raise it. Don't be surprised if it takes a while for this to resolve itself. The colds lately have been holding on and take a while to get rid of even in adults. Make sure they get plenty of clear fluids. If their throats are sore you can give them Pedialyte freeze pops. This will not only help the throat but will also help replenish their electrolytes. I hope your little ones feel better soon. Hope this helps, keep us up to date. Mom to 9, 7, 4 and 17 mth old.

Good LucK

J. R.

Please read my article on preventing/treating flu and colds on my blog http://ecobabyz.blogspot.com/2008/12/vitamin-d-key-to-avo... . I hope that helps!

Use a humidifier, use little noses saline drops, decaf herbal tea, honey for the 3 yr old if he is having a bad coughing jag from it, extra vitamin C to help their immune system, we were just at the dr. office for my 21 month old and our ped said 1/2 tsp of triaminic at bedtime most of the problems with otc cold meds is people weren't using them correctly giving tylenol w/ a cold med that already had tylenol and not using the correct dosing although cold meds don't really do anything at this age but knock them out for a little while. Elevate their heads much easier said than done I know if they are stil coughing and stuffy in another week bring them back just to make sure it doesn't develope into something more than just a cold. My little guy was sick at the beginning of dec. and is still coughing at night which is why my doc finally told us to use the triaminic so that we could all get a little sleep at night. I don't think that you can give the baby the warm tea but check with your dr. I'm suprised your ped didn't recommend any natural home remedies to help with their symptoms. Good luck and I hope they are feeling better soon.

Two things I have found helpful (which were suggested by our pediatrician) are Vicks Vaporub (on the chest, not any part of the face) and the saline drops for little noses. I just don't remember if you can use them on the 10 month old, so check the package. Sometimes colds really do take several weeks to run their course, and I do agree that even at 3 most OTC meds cause more harm than good.
Good luck!

Hi M.,
I'm so glad you wrote this, b/c just a few days ago I went out and bought some homeopathic "medication" for my daughter's cough/stuffy/runny nose. My husband asked if we could just get something OTC and I told him it wasn't safe. He was a skeptic, but our daughter had results within the hour.

So, she is using Hyland brand "Complete flu care", as well as their "calm forte" remedy. It can be found in any natural food store or most natural food sections at the grocery store, for instance. (We chose this over the "sniffles and sneezes" someone else recommended, b/c the flu care addressed congestion)

Before that she was taking a different remedy "Pulsatilla 30c", although that is more for a green snotty nose and wasn't affective for this illness, however it has worked for every green snotty nose she has ever had in 31/2years!

At bedtime, we also used Vicks vapor rub for infants on her chest, had her elevated, and had a saline nose spray(which she hated). Also, getting her to drink tons of water and OJ.

These remedies have really worked well.
Hope they work for you!

I know there have been a lot of great responses..but I just want to stress how great the baby vicks rub works (for my two boys anyway). I put it on their feet and chest at night and it helps with the cough (and sometimes congestion).
Good luck!

Humidfiers (cool or warm mist) seem to help our girls out a ton when they are sick. If you are not using one already, I would suggest you start, they usually help the kids get a little bit more comfortable for a better nights sleep. Hope your little ones feel better soon.

You might want to try a vaporizer. The hot steam one as opposed to the cold mist one. I have also used the liquid Vicks that can be used with the hot steam vaporizer. This helps with the congestion. Good luck! P.

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