Home Remedies for Your Baby
General tips for Immunity
- Breastfeeding: breast milk contains lots of immune boosting ingredients
- Wholesome foods: fruits, vegetables, multi-grains, protein
- Avoid/Minimize, especially when sick: cold/cooling foods (dairy), sugar and processed or ‘junk’ foods
- Getting enough rest, exercise and fresh air
- Good hygiene (hand washing is most effective way to stop/reduce the spread of germs)
- Reduce stress/ being in a stressful environment
- Avoid eating members of the cabbage family (broccoli, cabbage, kale, collards) turnips, garlic, onions, spicy foods, fried foods, peanuts, caffeine, dairy foods, eggs, beans, and wheat.
- Exercise baby’s legs by ‘bicycling’ their legs up to baby’s abdomen. Press the legs up to the belly (both, then individually), then extend them back out and down. Perform each motion 5 times slowly and smoothly.
- Nursing in a quiet environment with minimal distractions to help prevent indigestion
- Various herbs and teas can also be helpful with colic. However, each case is unique and it’s best to do a full assessment to determine yours and your child’s particular needs
- Homeopathic Chamomila (dose 30 C) is a great remedy for general irritability associated with teething. However, it is not the only remedy. Since homeopathy works on the principle of ‘like cures like’ it is usually more effective to do a case by case assessment in order to select the most appropriate remedy.
- Rescue remedy can be helpful either given straight or rubbed onto the gums for temporary pain relief
- Gently rubbing baby’s gums at the site of the emerging tooth can be comforting in itself
- The best treatment is prevention! Changing diapers as soon as they are wet or soiled and letting the baby go diaperless as often as possible prevent and cure diaper rash
- Using cloth instead of disposable diapers is helpful as well because you notice more when baby is wet, therefore decreasing time baby stays wet and chances for diaper rash to form
- Exposing baby’s bottom to the sun for just 10 mins a day is one of the best rash medicines (Note: do not exceed 10 mins)
- If the skin is already dry and chafed, treat by moistening and nourishing the skin. Calendula cream can be used if the skin is not deeply cracked or infected. If you’re uncertain about whether to use calendula cream, it’s best to consult with your Naturopathic Doctor prior to use.
- Eczema and other skin problems have become a very common problem, that typically indicates either an underlying cause or external environment trigger(s)
- The skin is an important organ of elimination, communication and protection. The body is trying to tell us that something is wrong when we see symptoms like eczema.
- Possible causes include: food allergens (eg. peanuts or diary), chemicals, additives, oils, processed foods and overtaxed or under-performing bowels and/or urinary system
- Depending on which factor(s) are contributing to your child’s issues, taking out possible food allergens and/or optimizing routes of elimination could help decrease or even eliminate skin problems like eczema
- Stress can also undermine the whole system, and contribute to the development of skin issues. Keeping a stress free environment as much as possible, can be very helpful.
What is a fever?
- Fever is defined as a temperature above 38 C/100.4 F
- If the fever is over 40C/104 F then you should see a doctor
Guidelines for Dealing with a Fever
- Children under 3 months of age don’t usually get a fever. If they do develop a fever, they should be seen by a doctor.
- If over 3 months of age you can watch and wait. Fevers can be beneficial in destroying the virus/bacteria causing illness. However, if your child’s fever is causing you a lot of distress and worry, then talk to your doctor.
Warning Signs of Very Sick Kids
- Persistent fever (>3-5 days) with no improvement
- Stiff neck
- Forceful vomiting
- Severe/ unremitting headache
- Incoherence or unresponsiveness
- Deterioration of symptoms
- Visual disturbance
- Severe facial pain
- Painful breathing; difficulty breathing
- Persistent sore throat (>3-5 days) with no improvement
- Drainage (fluid) from the ear
- Dehydration; unwillingness to accept fluids
- Any signs of illness/infection in children under 6 months old
- Signs of serious illness: such as measles, whooping cough, pneumonia, and meningitis
What to do when Your Child is Sick
- Generally light foods. Broths and soups are best with some steamed vegetables, fruit or soupy grains based on the child’s hunger level (if they’re on solids).
- Plenty of fluid, especially water and tea, to prevent dehydration
- Avoid sugar and refined or processed foods
- 1 tbsp Honey (avoid if less than 1 year)
- Vitamin D, Zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Essential Fatty Acids, Protein
- Tepid (neither hot nor cold) baths are good for bringing down fever
- Don’t use ice baths or alcohol to bring down fever. This can actually cause temperature to increase instead of decrease.
Signs to Watch For:
- Irritable, pulling on their ear/scratching at their ear
- Ear may appear red and slightly swollen
- Fluid may drain from the ear
- If child is talking, may complain of pain
- Other possible signs include: fever, headache, cough, runny nose, vomiting and diarrhea
What to Do:
- Avoid allergenic/inflammatory foods: peanuts, dairy, soy, wheat, corn, oranges, tomatoes
- Plenty of fluid, especially water and tea, to prevent dehydration (particularly if fever is present)
- Natural eardrops can also be used. These are best implemented with the help of your Naturopathic Doctor because if the eardrum is perforated other methods should be used.
Supplementation: Vitamin C, Probiotics, Zinc, B vitamins and cod liver oil (Vitamin A)
Note: Specific treatment suggestions are best discussed with your Naturopathic Doctor as each child and illness is often unique!
1. "Fever in Infants and Young Children: Problems in Infants and Very Young Children: Merck Manual Home Edition." Fever in Infants and Young Children: Problems in Infants and Very Young Children: Merck Manual Home Edition. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2012. <http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/childrens_health_issues/problems_in_infants_and_very_young_children/fever_in_infants_and_young_children.html>.
2. Romm, A. (Oct 2012). Winterize Your Kids: Optimizing Health with Herbs, Diet and Common Sense. Webinar Notes.
3. Schmidt, Michael A. Healing Childhood Ear Infections: Prevention, Home Care, and Alternative Treatment. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic, 1996. Print.
4. Skowron, JM. 2009. Fundamentals of Naturopathic Pediatrics. CCNM Press. Print.
5. Solomonian. L. (2012) Getting Sick Well. Unpublished lecture notes. CCNM.