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If you’ve hung around me recently, you know that we’ve had a never-ending plague of every illness floating around this winter. Oh yeah, we’ve had the day-care-germie blues. And as a result, this Mama got a whole lot of unwanted experience in the “staying up late, googling your baby’s cough” arena. I mean, up to this point I’ve just been figuring out how to keep my child alive on a normal day but now he’s also a sick, miserable child that I’m trying to keep alive. Oh, it sucks watching your sweet baby suffer and feeling so limited in how you can make it better. It really doesn’t help that he can’t just tell me what’s wrong. They seriously need to get more detailed with the baby sign language because this guessing game is half the stress.
But I’ll worry about that another day.
Today I’ve rounded up the most helpful products that have helped us during our time in the trenches. This list is a product of many late night google searches and personal experiments. All products are tried + true that we only wish we would’ve known about sooner. These are also all items that you can snag on Amazon Prime so if you’re in a pinch, it only takes a couple days to arrive (each product is linked below). Though, personal experience speaking, it’s handy to stock up before baby catches the bug so you can get right to making them feel better when it happens. Because believe me, it’s not a matter of “if,” it’s “when.”
Side note: I focused on creating a list that is safe for the youngest infant because most of Jack’s sickness happened from 3-6 months, before he could use more than Tylenol for medication. I’ve also run everything through the “thinkdirty” app to ensure that it is the safest for our little guy (and yours).
Babies are full of drool and snot on a regular day. But add in the common cold, and OHMYGOODNESS—it’s a constant little snot trickle right into the mouth (that inevitably gets swiped all over the face and into the eyes CAUSING PINK EYE—can you tell this is a sore spot for me? LOL). Now chances are, you already have “Boogie Wipes” in your stockpile. But just in case you don’t or you’re running low, make sure to add a pack or two into your “baby cold kit.” These little saline wipes are definitely a must have. It’s amazing how much better these wipes work with dried-on, baby boogers. And let me tell you, dried-on, baby boogers are like quick drying cement. It’s really something. So do yourself and your baby a solid and grab a pack.
LITTLE REMEDIES STERILE SALINE MIST
You should have seen my trembling hand the first time I sprayed this mist up my little baby’s nose. But I was pleasantly surprised to find, it didn’t startle him or cause a temper tantrum to ensue. It really is gentle. And it helps to soften the crusty snot on the inside, making it much easier to suck out. The result is a much cleaner nasal passage, which means easier breathing and happier babes.
NOSEFRIDA NASAL ASPIRATOR/BULB SYRINGE
Everybody and their sister’s Aunt recommended this to me when I revealed via a IG picture that I still used the archaic bulb syringe. I’m here to say, I’m purchased NoseFrida, used it, and lived to tell about it. The NoseFrida comes with a dishwasher-safe nasal tip & extra filters. Yes, that’s right. You don’t actually suck the snot into your own mouth because it hits the filter first. It doesn’t take long for a parent to figure out that babies HATE having their little noses wiped, sucked out, or touched in general. And somewhere in there the communication about “needing to suck things out so they can breathe” breaks right down. While I do like the NoseFrida, it’s definitely a two person job & it’s really (REALLY) hard not to gag when you’re watching the snot come out. I typically still use the good ol’ bulb syringe for runny noses & earwax (I got one that pulls apart so you can wash it), as its easier to handle by myself. But the NoseFrida is certainly nifty to have on hand for those really stuffy nights.
BABYGANICS VAPOR BUBBLE BATH
We have taken soooooo many baths in the last few months (and believe it or not, not all were the result of blow-outs). A simple bath helps baby to relax, breathe & focus on something other than their problems. I was so happy when I found this stuff because I was hesitant to use “vapor” type stuff on my 3-month old. I wasn’t sure how his skin would react, if it would bother his eyes (when he would inevitably splash), or if the smell would be too strong. Cue BabyGanics. This stuff provides baby sensitive, respiratory relief and lasts a while (unless of course, you’re plowing right through three months of cold season). A little capful is sufficient for a baby tub (you can always dilute more if your baby is extra sensitive and slowly add more), you can use up to three for a regular bath.
BABYGANICS COLD RELIEF CHEST RUB STICK
Along the same lines as the Vapor Bubble Bath, this little stick of vapor goodness provides long-lasting, respiratory relief outside of the tub. Basically, it’s the baby safe, toxin free version of Vicks. The hardest thing for me to watch Jack struggle with was stuffy breathing—babies primarily breathe through their nose and he was so confused why he couldn’t do that. On the worst nights, I snuggled him sitting upright with vapor on his chest—sometimes on a steamy, bathroom floor to help loosen everything up.
NEWBORN BOPPY LOUNGER
I didn’t buy this originally but my friend gave us her old one to use during a visit and left us keep it to use on the regular. I have loved it for more reasons than one but it has been a LIFESAVER during these miserable, sickly months (I still use it for him and he’s six months old so “newborn” can be redefined). Imagine trying to lay flat when your head is stuffy—I’m literally feeling suffocated just thinking about it. This boppy helps prop baby’s head up so they can breathe a bit better—therefore, sleep a bit better. Which they not only need to heal but you need in order to keep your sanity (or you know, for time to google more Mommy forums + sip lukewarm coffee—solidarity).
KINSA QUICKCARE DIGITAL THERMOMETER
Ok, for the record, I was all about those nifty forehead & ear thermometers and I thought I was being so advanced by purchasing one for Jack. But when the first couple colds hit, I wasn’t impressed with the inconsistency in temperature. I didn’t feel like I could truly rely on it. Now, I only tried one brand so I’m certainly not shunning all forehead & ear thermometers. BUT why bother with those when you can get a Kinsa Digital Termometer for the same price, if not cheaper? This thing is AWESOME. And it’s the savviest thing in our kit. The thermometer itself is very reliable, BENDY, and it syncs with the Kinsa app on your phone so you can easily record temps & symptoms. If things are iffy, the app will actually advise you on next steps based on temperature and symptoms—like if it’s time to call the Dr. It makes this task quick & efficient. And it makes me feel more informed & organized. It’s thumbs up over here.
HYLAND’S BABY MUCUS & COLD RELIEF SYRUP
Tylenol has been my go-to for “under 6 months” Jack. I’ve used Hyland’s teething tablets for Jack’s more rugged nights of teething for pain relief, so I was excited to find Hyland’s cold specific, homeopathic treatment We’ve used it a couple times past the six-month mark and it seemed to provide lots of relief for the bud. Though I can’t personally attest to using it on a baby younger than six months, a call to your doctor might provide you with an appropriate dosage for your little little.
Essential Oils have truly helped provide relief for our little family—I love having these plant juices on hand as a toxin-free supplement for day to day life. I first used oils on Jack within an hour of delivery so he’s been an oily babe from the get-go. I started by applying Gentle Baby to my chest so he could inhale it and applied Lavender, the gentlest oil, on his sweet baby feet. Once he didn’t show any adverse effects to those, I started applying other diluted oils (with certain exceptions, like Thieves & Cinnamon—always do your research before applying new oils to your little). When colds are laying siege, I break out:
Gentle Baby || calm
Lavender || soothe
Sleepyize || help sleep
Sniffleease || help breathing
Thieves (oil + hand soap) || give household germs the boot & support parents immune system (not recommended for children under 10 years)
Dilution for 0-1: 7-8 drops carrier oil to 1 drop essential oil
Diffuse less than normal so as not to overwhelm little one’s nose—they’re much more sensitive than we are.
Our family uses Young Living for our oily supply and I highly recommend them for quality sake. If you’re curious about oils, you can read my more detailed post here.
This winter was especially brutal for dryness. We’ve had humidifiers & diffusers running non-stop to up the moisture & infuse the air with helpful oils. I love this one that I snagged for $20 on Amazon. It changes colors, has four timer settings, and has a decently sized water reservoir so that you’re not always running out. I’ve been keeping this one in Jack’s room to diffuse sleepy oils & for cold relief.
BATH TIME LOTIONS + OILS
With all the extra baths we’ve been taking, I’ve had to up my game for Jack’s skin care. For bathing, I like to use unscented, sensitive soap like Dr. Bronner’s pure castile soap, though now that he’s a little older I have also used the Honest Company’s & Young Living’s wash & shampoo. On the daily I use Young Living’s Lavender infused lotion for his body & oil for his scalp (no cradle cap here). In extreme cases, I have come to swear by Aveeno Baby Excema Therapy. I apply this thick cream at bedtime and it works wonderfully! Within a day or two of use, all of Jack’s rash had cleared up.
From one Mama to another, I completely understand how awful it is to watch your sweet little suffer through their first sickness. I also know how awful it is to frantically google & look for something…anything…that will help relieve your babe’s symptoms. So here’s hoping that a peek into our little toolkit, unfortunately produced from much experience, proves to be helpful to you when you’re tackling baby’s first cold. ❤️