Natural Remedies for a Sick Baby or Toddler
Updated: Feb 1, 2018
When your child is sick it is one of the worst feelings in the world as a parent. Especially when it is a baby or toddler and they can't communicate very well yet. As parents we want to do everything we can to make them feel better and heal faster. But some things we have been told to do in these situations can actually cause more harm in our precious children's bodies than good.
I'm very passionate about advocating the truth and learning what is truly the safest method for healing and treating sickness. I've learned a lot from other parents, and have researched holistic and natural remedies that are proven to be safe and effective. So my approach to sickness in my home will always be a holistic approach first.
I am the type of person that questions everything and I have a real urge to know the truth and know the facts. This is what has lead me to question mainstream medicine practices. My duty as a parent is to do what is best for my child and for me that meant not just trusting blindly what I've been told to do.
Don't get my wrong, I think modern medicine is amazing and extremely useful in emergency situations, or if you are in need of a surgical procedure. But the preventive or treatment side of our medical industry is flawed in many ways. Greed and corruption have taken over the medical industry. Prescribing drugs that mask a health issue will never bring healing, or truly get rid of the health problem. Almost all pharmaceutical drugs come with high risks and are formulated with toxic ingredients.
Now, if you are about to die from some crazy infection and you need a dose of some serious antibiotics then by all means do what you need to do to save your life. But most of us don't come across life threatening infections. And if we catch things early enough and live a preventative lifestyle, we most likely will never have to experience anything like that. Even most of the diseases we are fear mongered into believing are life threatening, like tetanus, are actually easily treated even without pharmaceutical antibiotics.
"But what if you get cancer?" Cancer treatments are known to kill more people than cancer itself. I encourage everyone seeking health, to watch The Truth About Cancer docu series, just in case cancer ever affects someone close to you.
Epipens are a life saving injection for people with severe allergies. This is a perfect example of using something that will save your life, only when it is needed. What I'm getting at here is that I know there is a purpose for these modern drugs in certain situations. I am not trying to talk you out of doing what will save your life or your child's life, but do your research and if there is a safer method of treatment with less risks, why not go that route?
A lot of people aren't familiar with natural remedies, or know why you would want to turn to them first instead of what your Doctor might give you. My Doctor would treat my family holistically because I go to a ND. So I encourage you to get established with a integrative medicine Doctor or ND so that when sickness comes up in your family, you can seek them for help and receive logical treatment.
I am pretty independent so I usually try and treat things myself at home first and if that fails then I seek professional help. Our ancestors didn't get to run to a Doctor every time someone got sick, and many cultures today still don't get to. I like being able to protect and treat my family naturally because this is the way God designed it to be. Herbs, food, essential oils, flowers, vitamins... everything we have on earth is what we need to prevent and treat illnesses. Again, I understand the importance of having medical professionals and I respect that fully. But you don't have to be a doctor or scientist to know how to take care of your own health, or your children's health.
The good part about holistic healing is that you can use it in conjunction with pharmaceuticals if you are still going that route but want to try this way of life out too. So don't feel like it's a pick and choose thing. Although, I think once you see how holistic remedies work better than drugs do, you may jump into this lifestyle faster than you planned.
Tylenol, ibuprofen, antibiotics, and other pharmaceutical drugs prescribed to treat typical colds, bacterial and viral infections, actually carry higher risks than we are led to believe, and often aren't effective.
For example, most ear infections in children are viral, and aren't responsive to antibiotics, yet most Doctors always prescribe antibiotics immediately at the signs of a ear infection. Some doctors are learning this isn't the best option and won't prescribe them every time, but this is a small number of people doing this in their practice.
I've had a lot of friends and family even mention how they have given antibiotics more than once for a ear infection and it end up not working, or the child gets another ear infection a few weeks or months later.
A better alternative to treating ear infections is garlic mullein oil drops. I've seen so many moms share how fast this natural treatment works, and how it helps relieve pain faster than antibiotics may have. I haven't had to treat ear infections in my home yet, but if my daughter, Arrow ever gets one, I will turn to this and the homeopathic remedy that fits her symptoms.
"Tylenol is actually somewhat famous for depleting glutathione. Tylenol overdoses (which occur at remarkably low doses compared to other pharmaceuticals, by the way) cause massive liver damage."
Tylenol is linked to developmental and neurological disorders including autism diagnoses. You can read more about this and why you should never turn to Tylenol here.
If you are giving Tylenol to reduce a fever, I encourage you to let the fever run it's course. Our bodies are designed to fight infections on their own and having a fever is what actually kills bacteria in the body. If we lower that fever then the infection will last longer, and the healing process will be much slower. If the fever is getting above 103 in a baby or young child, I like to use peppermint essential oil on the bottom of feet every 20 minutes to reduce the fever. I got that idea from the book Essential oils for pregnancy, birth, and babies. The author is a certified Midwife.
I know other parents are comfortable with fevers reaching 104 Fahrenheit. Evidence has shown in most cases brain damage won't occur until temperatures of a 107 . Understand that we are taught to believe fevers are dangerous and can kill. This is not true in most cases. "Brain damage from a fever generally will not occur unless the fever is over 107.6°F (42°C). Untreated fevers caused by infection will seldom go over 105°F (40.6°C) unless the child is overdressed or in a hot place"
That sounds crazy right? We are conditioned to be afraid of a fever at 101 or 102 Fahrenheit. This is just our bodies way of fighting infections. It is nothing to be afraid of.
Some aromatherapists don't suggest peppermint EO for children under 2, so you can use Patchouli in this instance if you are concerned there. I'm not concerned with small amounts of peppermint oil used on rare occasions. I don't diffuse this in the air. The book I referenced earlier has this as a remedy for fevers on babies and I trust her judgment as a Midwife and EO educator.
If a child has been recently vaccinated, and then gets a fever, do not give Tylenol. If the fever gets high, or as a parent you are really concerned, call your doctor and discuss the symptoms and what you should do besides giving Tylenol.
Antibiotics are extremely hard on the body and deplete the gut of all good bacteria. I cannot stress how important good gut health is for total body health. The gut is referred to as the second brain for good reason. If our gut microbiome is not functioning properly, or well balanced, our immune system will be weakened. Antibiotics should only be used in emergency situations for this reason. There is also an overwhelming amount of evidence showing how over prescribed antibiotics has created super bugs that do not respond to any conventional antibiotics.
There are so many natural antiviral and antibacterial remedies you can use in place of antibiotics. I will list some here, but depending on your unique situation, a ND will best prescribe what will work for your or your child's certain needs.
What I Use During Sickness
Read about the preventative lifestyle here, that way you already have a handle on what supports your health and how to prevent sickness. I also talked about flu season here, and how you can help prevent the flu without having to get the flu shot.
Herbs, Essential oils, and medicinal food have been around for centuries and used to treat health conditions and sickness since the beginning of time. These are not new or fad ways of healing. The number one reason I turn to these remedies is because they are not only safe, but they are proven to be just as if not more effective in treating infections and disease, than regular pharmaceutical meds. There are thousands of studies on herbs you can search for on PubMed. Herb Wisdom is a great site to start learning more about the powerful benefits of herbs as well.
Thankfully Arrow has never had any serious illness or health problems and she is 19 months old now. She did develop eczema when she started crawling right after 6 months. Eczema is an immune system disorder. She was allergic to pet dander on the floors and we had to keep our pets away from the main living areas that she would be in for the next 4 months. Along with cleaning my floors every day with a HEPA vacuum and HEPA air purifier in the house.
I treated her with homeopathy, strengthened her immune system with vitamins and breast milk. Her eczema was completely healed about 4 months later and now she rolls all over our dogs ever day. Her eczema covered all major parts of her body besides her face and bottom pretty much. She didn't seem to be in any pain by it but I was so mortified my little baby had this skin disease, and I wanted to do whatever I could to help her.
Homeopathy can be very confusing when you first learn about it. I know it was for me. Homeopathy is based on the theory that like cures like. It never masks or covers up symptoms, it encourages the body to self heal. I never really believed it worked until I started using it for Arrow and saw the amazing results with my own eyes.
There were two remedies I used for Arrow's eczema that healed her completely. I know the vitamins helped support her immune system but I give credit to the homeopathic remedies I used. You can email me if you want to know exactly what I used.
There are some great sites you can learn more about homeopathy on. Finding your local licensed Homeopath will make things much easier though. So a good ol' google search or asking around your natural health community will help you find a homeopath in your area.
This site lists a lot of remedies for babies such as homeopathic Nat Phos which is used for acid reflux in infants. It works so well! This is actually where I got the idea of treating Arrow's eczema with homeopathy because she healed her own son's eczema as well with it. Homeopathy is safe for people of all ages.
Removing gluten from Arrow's diet also helped her skin a lot. I notice whenever I start giving her foods with gluten in them, she starts to get dry, cracked skin. It makes sense because gluten is a high inflammatory food. Diet plays a huge role in the health of your child.
Acid reflux can be reactions to baby formula, dairy, or other food intolerance's. If breast milk isn't an option, than finding the best organic and clean formula available will help avoid weekended immune systems, and irritable bowl or stomach syndromes. Most formulas at stores even the ones that claim to be "sensitive" contain many filler ingredients and chemicals that aren't safe for babies.
This is the best formula I've found in my research, you can find it on Amazon and organic baby stores online. You can also make your own formula. There are some great recipes out there for homemade baby formula that are clean and full of nutrients.
Supplements For Babies
Even while breast feeding and starting solid food I gave Arrow supplements once she hit 6 months of age.
Hyland's baby Vitamin C tablets dissolve instantly on the tongue and can be given even under 6 months of age.
Garden of Life Kids Probiotics Powder form. I would put this on her tongue or in a bottle.
Probiotics were very important for her gut health since she had eczema I knew she needed more than what she was just getting through breast milk.
Those were the only oral supplements I gave her until she started eating more solid food and had some teeth, besides the other homeopathic tablets I gave for eczema treatment.
Since I was breast feeding I made sure I was taking all my vitamins and supplements every day, because she would be getting nutrients passed through milk.
Once she had teeth and could chew well, around 12 months, I started giving her chewable vitamins.
This is what I give her now at 19 months old
High Quality Fish Oil. I will only buy from a few brands because most fish oils or omega supplements are contaminated with heavy metals and toxins found in the fish. This brand is my favorite for children, and she actually loves their chews.
They have drops and chews. Lot's of different options for different ages of little ones.
Vitamin C Chews. These are so tasty, I pop one in her mouth and usually pop one in mine too because they are that good lol. Her multi vitamin also has vitamin C but just not enough so I give her these daily as well.
I like these because they contain the right form of folic acid (methylfolate) I have MTHFR which means Arrow most likely has DNA mutations as well. So getting the right kind of folate is crucial for developing children. The only downside to these is the amount of sugar. It's not that much, but I can't give these close to bed time or Arrow will get wired from the sugar.
The reason I give more Vit C, omegas, and probiotics is because these don't contain enough amounts that I feel is needed. And a lot of the time we she won't eat each vitamin every single day.
Those are my daily supplements for a toddler or baby that is on solid food. Check the age ranges on your vitamins of choice to make sure your baby is old enough. Or ask your Doctor.
When Sickness Hits
I couldn't just jump right into the remedies I use for WHEN my child has gotten sick because I really give a lot of credit to the daily food I feed her, and the vitamins she gets on a regular basis. It strengthens her immune system, and allows her body to protect itself and be stronger. So when a bug comes around, she's already well equipped to fight it off.
Arrow had a fever around 12 months for a day and a half but other than that she has only had a runny nose a few times, could be from teething or a little cold she caught, not really sure. Last month though she had her first real sickness. She got a 24 hour stomach virus. Not fun. She couldn't hold any liquids down for the entire night and the next morning.
I gave her this baby gripe water one teaspoon or half teaspoon at a time, every 30 mins to help prevent dehydration, and settle the stomach. It has ginger and fennel in it which is great for nausea relief.
I would suggest this if you are ever dealing with vomiting in a young child, the gripe water will help them not get too dehydrated, and settle the stomach. Another thing I gave her was homeopathic Nux Vomica, A remedy used for nausea, headache or flu. The next day I gave her herbal tinctures, vitamin C, probiotics, and lots of breast milk to help replenish the good bacteria in her gut and boost her immune system.
This homeopathic remedy should be in everyone's home to have when the flu hits.
It rapidly reduces the symptoms of the flu. You can find it in Walgreens, walmart, and safeway. So it's probably carried in most pharmacy/grocery stores.
Safe for children 2 and above
Herbal tinctures for kids that are great for colds or flu, or just giving to boost the immune system during winter months or when traveling:
I absolutely love the Oregon's Wild Harvest, Herb Pharm, and Gaia Herb products. Just browse through their websites you will find herbs for your whole family that help promote health and healing.
Once your child reaches their first birthday you can give them Elderberry syrup. Unless you make it yourself and don't add honey to it, then it's safe for under 1 one year. I never made my own, although I think it's a great idea. I love this one from Oregon's Wild Harvest because its alcohol free which means easy to give to Arrow.
Elderberry syrup is a powerful antiviral and antibacterial agent. Making it a great choice when fighting a cold or flu, or to help prevent them. A friend just reminded me today actually that she gives her and her child elderberry syrup every day during the colder months just to help boost the immune system and ward off sickness. I haven't been doing that! I normally just use it when I feel something coming on, because it helps SO MUCH to stop colds. But I was reminded today how good it is to use this as well on a daily basis, in small doses during the cold season!
Manuka Honey is another amazing antiviral and antibacterial agent. I've just recently started putting this into my smoothies and putting into warm nut milk for Arrow. To see more powerful benefits of manuka honey you can read this article.
These natural suckers have manuka honey and lemon in them. They are so awesome during colds and viruses. I gave these to Arrow when she had that 24 hour stomach virus and couldn't eat solid food yet. She loved sucking on them and I think they were very soothing.
Taking high doses of Vitamin C has been proven to treat many infections and viruses when antibiotics would fail. There are studies on pubmed about vitamin C treatment. This protocol for Whooping Cough has saved lives. Dr. Suzanne Humphries has designed a very in depth protocol of treating whooping cough even in infants.
My favorite vitamin C supplement is from Perque
Vitamin C is also a great tool for detoxification of heavy metals and other toxins. It does matter what kind you use, and the dosage of it. So that is why I love the powder form from Perque.
Reducing fevers with peppermint or patchouli oil, or using the homeopathic remedy that fits symptoms.
EO's have also been around for centuries and utilized in all aspects of wellness. They can treat physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness. I diffuse EOs in my home every single day. Most days I'm using them topically on myself and Arrow as well. They have mood altering capability and help promote healthy immune function. EOs are great for skincare, hormone treatment, natural antibiotics, and much more.
There are so many oils you can use during sickness. Some good ones I always turn to are these...
Great for congestion, stuffy noses, sinus infections. Eucalyptus oil is somewhat controversial though. A lot of aromatherapists say it is safe for children over two, and some say not safe for children under 7. I have used it highly diluted for Arrow when she has had a really stuffy nose at night because it works soooo well with breaking up that congestion and helping her breath. I've never had any problems with it, I know a lot of other moms that use it on their young children as well. I probably wouldn't use it on or around an infant just because it is a strong oil and can be hard on an infants lungs. It's not toxic, just can cause respiratory issues if not used safely. If you are new to EOs just research this or ask your certified aromatherapist if you can use this oil on your child, and how to safely dilute.
Breath Again Roll On from Young living is one of my favorite pre diluted roll-ons that has eucalyptus in it. I have used this on Arrow for those rare occasions of her not breathing well at night from congestion. I roll it on the bottom of feet and the chest or back. This is amazing for adults that have sinus problems.
Edens Garden Kids Roll On Sniffles and Sneezes is safe for children over 2. I use these on Arrow under the age of 2 because it is highly diluted and from my research the oils in the kids line are really safe. I really didn't use oils on her as an infant but once she passed the age of 1 I've started using them a lot more and feel that they are safe. If you feel differently about this than I do, that is totally fine. This OK for kids line is all for kids over 2 and you can wait until your child reaches that age until you start using oils around them if that is what you are comfortable with. The products from Edens Garden are very high quality and also very affordable.
Another oil blend I would use during the winter months or when sickness is going around would be the kids Healthy Hero blend. Diffusing this and using the roll on topically really helps fight off infection and boost immune function.
Best used before, during, and after sickness as an easy way to boost immune systems naturally and kill infections without side affects.
Using the right remedy that fits symptoms to speed up the recovery process and get rid of discomforts.
Should be taken daily, but high doses during sickness can rapidly boost immune function, detoxify, and kill infections.
Herbal Tonics and Flower Remedies
Taken before, during and after illnesses will help the body naturally heal, and support healthy hormones and moods, boost immune function and certain herbs help kill bacteria and viruses. My favorites for kids were listed above.
I just want to add that eating green leafy vegetables and juicing fresh carrot or celery juice will really help boost the immune system, and allow the body to heal faster. Eating the right foods is honestly number 1 the most important thing you can teach your child to stay healthy. As well as drinking plenty of purified water every day and staying hydrated.
Some other things you can do
If the child is old enough, drink 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 1 mashed garlic clove, fresh squeezed lemon, 1 tablespoon honey, and warm water. This drink is great for coughs, sinus infections, and colds.
Bone broth is extremely healing to the gut, so during and after a flu or stomach virus is a great time to sip on bone broth! You can make your own, get it from your health food store and most grocery stores carry organic chicken bone broth.
My favorite daily intake of bone broth is the flavored bone broth protein from Ancient Nutrition
Epsom salt baths for children old enough to be in a warm bath. Use all natural epsom salt with no artificial fragrance.
Skin to skin. Good ol' fashioned cuddling but with skin to skin contact.
Walking barefoot outside, better known as "grounding". Very beneficial for overall health, especially for children. Let them run barefoot Momma!
I hope you have found some helpful advice here for treating colds and sickness naturally in your home. These methods work well for adults and teens as well!
I would love to hear your feedback, or if you have any questions leave a comment or send me an email.