Surviving Baby's First Cold

Oh the dreaded first cold.
You hear all of the horror stories, and you've mentally prepared yourself for a miserable 7+ days.
Well, at least I did.
Was it really as bad as I told myself it was going to be?? No.
Did it kind of suck though? Yes. Yes, it did.

Surprisingly, we made it a little over 9 months before Gavin got his first cold. Luckily, from what I've read, and from other Mom's I've talked to (the best kind of advice)- I was able to go into this first baby cold with all kinds of knowledge, and things to try.

Here Are The 7 Things We Did, 
That Seemed To Help Our Little Sicky

Since Gavin is a little over 9 months, there was no need to call the Dr. right away (which is recommended for younger babies). We were ready to play the "wait and see" game, and as long as things didn't get worse, we decided to stay out of the Dr.'s office.

1. Hydration. 
Everyone knows how important it is to stay hydrated while sick. This is no different for babies. For Gavin, his poor little nose was SO stuffy, he had a hard time nursing. He would eat a decent amount, but towards the end he would get frustrated and then just want to be done. I knew he wasn't getting a typical "full" feeding, so I offered him more frequent nursing sessions. I did this to make sure A: he was staying hydrated, and B: he was still getting a full tummy. 

2. Humidifier
Even for myself, I swear a humidifier makes such a big difference when you're sick! It's a natural decongestant, and in the overnight hours the humidifier does all the work. It keeps that nasty mucous loose, and helps to clear out their poor little stuffy noses, making it easier for them to breathe.
(lesson learned- do NOT set up the humidifier right by the wall. . . in the morning you will have to wipe down the entire wall with a towel. . . because it will be dripping. . . Duh, how did I not think of that before hand??? Palm to forehead.)

3. Nasal Saline Drops & Bulb Syringe. 
These two go hand in hand. I made my own saline solution for Gavin instead of buying it from the store. I put 2-3 drops in each nostril while he's lying down (surprisingly he doesn't mind), try to keep him still for a few minutes, and then it's bulb time. I take the bulb syringe (a tool that I think most parents love to hate) and get to work sucking out all the gross mucous. The saline drops really seem to help loosen up all that nastiness, and Gavin can finally breath clearly through his nose!! YAY! That means easier eating(nursing), and a happy baby that can suck his thumb and get to sleep!

4. Elevated Crib. 
I did this as soon as we realized Gavin was coming down with a cold. I rolled up a towel, and stuck it under his crib mattress, so he could lay with his head slightly elevated. Even when I'm sick myself, I find it helps to sleep propped up! Having your baby sleep with their head slightly elevated helps relieve the post nasal drip, allowing for better sleep! 

5. Lavender Bath Time.
Gavin get's a bath every night before bed. I've never added the lavender essential oil to his baths before, but knowing that he would need all the extra help he could get in order to get better rest, I decided to try it. (I'm a sucker for lavender, it helps me sleep...and I LOVE the smell). I added only few drops to his bath water. 
(before using essential oils, DO YOUR RESEARCH! They are extremely concentrated, so be sure to follow usage instructions- you never need much! Some are not safe for children until certain ages. And of course be sure to keep them far out of the reach of children!)

6. HOMEMADE Breathe Easy Rub.
So in this category, I'm kind of a slacker because I waited until his cold was already on the mend before I started using this. Growing up, I used Vicks vapor rub whenever I had a cold. After meeting my husband Aaron(who's a Chiropractor, and highly educated on harmful chemicals/toxins) I've learned there are a lot of harmful things CRAP in store bought vapor rubs (and pretty much all the other things I used before meeting him). Not to mention a lot of those crappy rubs can't even be used on children under 2 years old. 
Honest Company has an organic breathe easy rub, for babies 3 months or older, that I would have loved to use- except for I didn't have it on hand when Gavin was sick. 
In the meantime I opted for a homemade rub. A similar recipe to the one I used (I made far less, and didn't use all of the ingredients listed), and a GREAT summary on why NOT to use store bought vapor rubs, can be found here. Do yourself and your family a favor, and CHECK IT OUT!
I opted for rubbing it on Gavin's feet right before putting him in his footy, zip-up jammies (so there was no way he could nibble on his oily, little feet), you can always just cover up their feet with some socks too. Why on their feet? Because your feet have larger pores, allowing for faster absorption! 

7. Snuggles. 
A Mama's hugs, snuggles, and kisses might not be a "cure-all" for the common baby cold- but it sure doesn't hurt to offer as many as possible. ;)

Remember that being sick is miserable for almost everyone,(especially my husband who seems to fall victim to the awful "Man Cold" about once a year). 
It has to be even harder as a baby since they're still helpless at that age. 
They can't tell you what hurts, or what makes them feel better. 
That also makes it harder for mom and dad because as much as we'd like to snap our fingers and make them better, we can't! We're not even exactly sure what it is that's bothering them.
So be patient with your sweet, little sicky, and remember that it won't last forever!

Hopefully some of these things that helped my sick little guy, will help your little one too!
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