It’s the middle of the night when suddenly a wail comes from your child’s room. He or she has a) a runny nose b) a cough c) a fever or d) all of the above. Sound familiar? I’m lucky that my kids never get too sick. However, in the winter months, they get plenty of colds. And, sometimes a cough accompanies the cold. As adults know, it can be hard to sleep when your throat hurts and you can’t stop coughing. With two kids in the house, I have learned how to help sick kids sleep better, naturally.
When my kids have a sore throat, I give them some honey. Sometimes, I give them a teaspoon of honey. Other times I put the honey in a little warm water. According to WebMD, a study revealed honey was better than a common cough suppressant (and an antihistamine) “in easing nighttime cough in children and improving their sleep.” Due to the the risk of infant botulism, a serious paralytic illness, it is important to remember that babies under 12 months old should not consume honey.
When my children are congested or have a cough, I use a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil in a vaporizer to help my kids breathe better. In my experience, it works like magic. The last time my son had a cold, he was coughing and tossing in his crib. I had forgotten to turn on his vaporizer. I snuck in, turned it on and within minutes he was sleeping peacefully. I have two vaporizers so I am prepared when both kids become sick at the same time. If you don’t have a vaporizer, a cool mist humidifier is also helpful for congestion. It is important to make sure your filters and machine are clean.
Calming Nightime Routine
A calming bath with lavender can help soothe fussy babies. According to WebMd, a warm bath can help “ease aches and pains, and steam from the warm water will also help clear congestion.” On the other hand, if your child has a mild fever, a lukewarm bath may make them more comfortable. When your child gets out of the bath, make sure to dry them, give them a massage with lotion and dress them in comfortable pajamas. In fact, this is part of a great bedtime routine for any night.
When my kids are very stuffy, I give them saline drops before bed. I also recently bought a giant canister of saline nose wipes. These are soft and a gentle way for kids to wipe their nose. If my daughter wakes up in the middle of the night with a runny nose, she can use the saline wipes on her own.
It’s hard when your little ones are under the weather. Hopefully, these natural remedies will help your sick child sleep better. Be advised that these tips should not replace the advice of a professional….especially if your child has a high fever or is having difficulty breathing. When in doubt about your child’s illness, don’t hesitate to see a doctor.
More from Melissa:
How to Survive when Your Entire Family is Sick
7 Simple Activities for Sick Toddlers
Get Your Herb On! Five Impressive Health Benefits of Basil