Common baby ailments and how to fight them naturally
You have ridden the roller coaster that is pregnancy and come out the other side with a healthy happy baby, so now you stand strong and ready for what mothering a newborn can mean.
Surely your baby can’t get that sick, right? If you keep him away from germs and sick people as much as you can and only use the highest quality formula and baby lotion then it should be all smooth sailing from here, right?
Having a newborn baby can throw tricky new challenges at you every day. No matter how hard you try to keep your baby free from irritation or infection, things just don’t ever seem to go according to plan with a baby.
You would be better prepared to admit to yourself that your uncommon baby will unfortunately suffer from common baby ailments from time to time, and have a few natural products on hand just in case.
Here are a list of common problems that your baby may suffer from, and awesome natural ways to combat them. Ensuring that you have these natural options handy means you are always exposing your precious little one to the gentlest, most organic choice for his tiny sensitive little body.
Research shows that over 40% of babies have trouble sleeping and don’t really settle well until they are six months old. Even if you keep your baby away from every possible illness he can get, he still may have a lot of trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, basically because babies don’t automatically know how to do this and have to learn. Some natural ways you can help your baby to sleep include:
· Have some aromatherapy essence sprinkled around bubs’ room like on the curtains or on stuffed toys not on the bed; lavender is particularly good for helping with sleep
· Get your baby outside in the fresh air and sunshine as much as you can during the day to give him a clear understanding of day and night
· Gentle massage with olive oil or coconut oil and a couple of drops of lavender can help him settle for sleep
Colds and flu
Especially if your baby has older siblings who go to school or kinder, he will be exposed to colds and other very annoying viruses. There are lots of gentle, natural things you can use to help relieve your baby’s distress from the cold and make everybody’s life just a little bit easier, such as:
· Placed a sliced onion on a plate nearish to your baby’s head. You might not love the smell, but the onion can draw the mucus out and help to break up congestion
· Place an humidifier in the room to help clear the nose and throat, but steer clear of using eucalyptus in the steam as you would for older children. Ingesting eucalyptus oil is not really good for little babies.
· You could also fill your bathroom with steam, or take your baby in the shower with you for a while
· Use a natural salt spray to clear his tiny blocked nostrils; Fess is a good one
· If you are breastfeeding make sure you gets lots of Vitamin C so that you can pass the benefits onto bubs
· Very slightly elevate one end of his mattress to encourage the mucus to move down out of his head. The easiest way to do this is put a pillow or cushion underneath the top end of his mattress.
Eczema, Cradle cap and other skin irritations
In photos babies seem to have the most divine, blemish free skin, but it’s actually far more common for little ones to be covered in spots and scabs. Things like eczema require very gentle treatment on your baby’s sensitive skin, so fortunately there are some great natural remedies for itchiness, such as:
· Instead of soap or any kind of bathing lotion, it is best if you just give your baby a soak in a bath mixed with a cup of salt or ground up oatmeal. Another good bath you can try is just sprinkle in some olive oil like a little baby salad dressing.
· Rub olive oil gently into cradle cap spots and eczema crusts to remove them
· Rub coconut oil onto cradle cap and leave it to soak in for twenty minutes, then rinse and remove yukky crusts and flakes
· Soak a washcloth in chamomile tea and hold this on the most itchy parts to remove inflammation
· You can sooth dry or itchy patches with aloe vera
· You can also squirt a little breastmilk straight onto irritated areas, it has soothing and healing abilities. Read more on the alternative uses of breastmilk here.
Ugh. There is literally nothing you can do to avoid this common baby ailment. It’s got nothing to do with the quality of nappies you use, or if you are a cloth or disposable mum. The properties of wee just make it irritating on that gorgeous little tushie, but one incredible treatment option is the amazing coconut oil.
Coconut oil is a wonderful natural barrier cream and treatment for nappy rash. It has magical antibacterial and antifungal properties and has a lovely moisturizing effect on young skin. Read more on ways to deal with baby nappy rashes here.
You will find you will do almost anything to ease the pain of teething, because it goes on for months and seems especially bad in the tiny hours of the morning. This is where chamomile tea can come in handy once again, both for your baby, and makes a soothing hot cup for you too.
Again soak a washcloth in cold chamomile tea and then give it to your baby to suck on to relieve pain from teething.
A high fever in your infant can strike fear into the heart of any new parent, but a fever is actually very common, and most of the time does not need medical treatment. To cool your little one down you just need a lovely lemon on hand:
Slice a lemon into hot water and then let it cool. Give your baby a sponge bath in the cool lemon water; the combination of the cool water and the extra special cooling properties of lemon work wonders.
Colic and reflux and other sorts of gassiness
Much the same as they aren’t born knowing how to sleep, babies aren’t born knowing how to poop. They have to figure out which muscles to squeeze and how exactly to work food and gas through their new digestive systems which can cause them a lot of baby sized discomfort. In the meantime, you can help with their distress with the following home remedies:
· Again, propping up one end of your baby’s mattress can help with gas and digestion problems
· Massage on your baby’s back can help, or cycling his legs up to his chest and then out to the side like butterfly wings
· Feed your baby diluted prune or pear juice
· Make a warm compress by soaking a washcloth in chamomile tea. Then hold it against your baby’s tummy and abdomen to give some relief.
· If you are breastfeeding, there may be foods you eat that don’t really agree with your baby. You could try restricting certain things from your diet and see if anything gives a good result. Possible culprits could be:
o Fruit that’s high in fibre
o Green leafy vegetables
o Chocolate (sorry)
o Coffee (I’m really very sorry)
Gentle on your baby; but not a substitute for proper medical care and advice
Natural remedies are amazing and handy, and generally can be fantastic for your little one. If they are not helping however, or if your baby is in real distress, don’t rely on the alternative therapies; see your family doctor straight away.