Not Today, Coughs!
We’re all extra careful these days to take every possible precaution to keep our families healthy. As the season shifts, it’s even more important to strengthen immunity, especially for your littlest one. Start with these everyday tips to keep healthy habits on point, and, if occasional coughs break through, we’ve got some simple ways to keep comfort close.
WASH THOSE HANDS
Keeping hands clean is fundamental to keeping everyone healthy. It’s never too early to teach your baby how to wash their hands, so they develop a lifelong good habit. Everyone should give their hands a good long scrub before eating, after using the bathroom, and first thing when returning home from the outside world. This is especially important when your baby’s teething and constantly sticking her hands in her mouth!
SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP!
Lack of sleep can lower the body’s immune response, so make sure your little one is getting enough sleep. Babies may need up to 18 hours of sleep and toddlers between 12 and 13 hours. Check with your child’s pediatrician to see how much sleep they should be getting. It can be a lot harder for busy parents to get enough sleep themselves, but … do your best. Laundry and dishes will still be there in the morning.
AVOID LARGE CROWDS
You know this one. It’s super important to avoid large gatherings, especially through the winter, when they’re more likely to be indoors without enough ventilation. If you have kids in daycare, they’re regularly in close quarters with others, so it’s even more essential to double up on immunity-perking practices. When handwashing is second nature, hand sanitizer ever-present, and helpful supplements are on hand, you’ve got what you need to stay protected.
If possible, avoid letting your baby play with objects such as cell phones and car keys, as they can harbor quite a bit of yucky bacteria. Make sure you’re routinely cleaning and sanitizing frequently used surfaces and items like counter tops and all the devices we touch without thinking. And, of course, baby toys can get particularly gross when your little one is teething, so wipe those down routinely. We love Seventh Generation’s botanical disinfecting wipes. They’re safe for baby and super easy to use.
GET YOUR ELDERBERRY ON
One of our favorite supplements is black elderberry syrup, which has been used since the time of ancient Greece to support immunity. Our Organic Baby Elderberry Drops include zinc and organic echinacea for added support, and are made with agave syrup, so they’re delicious and appropriate for babies 4 months and older.
GIVE A DAILY PROBIOTIC
Probiotics help support a balance of healthy bacteria in the gut and can support digestion and boost immunity. Try feeding your little one probiotic-rich foods like yogurt or kefir, or give her a daily probiotic supplement to keep her immune system flexing.
When All Else Fails
If an occasional cough comes through, your little one needs plenty of rest in a quiet, comfortable place. Stick to calm, restful activities for a while. Books, puzzles, art projects, or even a favorite show can all be good options. And, of course, extra cuddles!
Saline drops are a fantastically easy, drug-free way to help with drippy noses. We designed our Saline Mist and Saline Drops to soothe dry nostrils and help loosen mucus.
For kids more than 12 months old, honey can be a safe way to soothe an irritated throat and reduce occasional coughing. But what can you turn to when your little one is still under a year old? Try Mommy’s Bliss Organic Baby Cough Syrup. It’s formulated with organic agave, which is soothing and approved for babies 4 months and above, along with slippery elm bark, organic ivy leaf, and herbal extracts.* The daytime version includes elderberry to support immunity and the nighttime version includes our Bedtime Bliss Blend of organic chamomile, organic lemon balm, and organic passion flower to help promote restful sleep.
Moist air is key to clearing mucus and can help to loosen nasal secretions, making it easier for baby to breathe. Try keeping a humidifier running in your child’s room or sitting in a hot, steamy bathroom for 15 minutes a couple of times a day. A warm, steamy bath is also helpful for calming your little one and helping break up mucus
For kids that are older, prop up one end of their crib mattress, or if they are in a bed, prop up a few pillows to reduce the amount of postnasal drip. This will help with any coughing overnight.
Staying hydrated is classic advice for a reason. Young babies may want formula or breastmilk more often when their immune systems need support, and older kids need to drink plenty of water.
And, of course, you’ll want to consult your child’s physician any time they’re feeling less than their best. Here’s to your family’s good health, and your good times together.