I pride myself on having a good immune system — I rarely succumb to sickness, and, when I do, my symptoms are generally mild and of short duration.  While there may be factors beyond my control (do genetics play a role in avoiding/contracting acute illnesses like the common cold???), my healthy lifestyle, including a nutritious diet with lots of antioxidants from the vegetables, fruit, and legumes, minimal consumption of added sugars and processed foods, exercise, and getting enough sleep, certainly contributes to my general state of health.  Well, pride sleep deprivation goeth before a fall, as they say.

I blame sleep deprivation, stress, and all those snotty-nosed little ones at The Dude’s daycare for my current state.  Unfortunately, this also marks The Dude’s first cold, and most of my tried-and-true cold-symptom-alleviating/duration-shortening methods don’t work for babies:

  • Pounding liquids — You can’t really force a baby to drink more, and doing so is not advisable anyway.
  • Hot tea with honey — NO HONEY for babies, or tea for that matter, really.
  • Neti pot — not sure how old he’ll have to be before he can use this blue pot.
  • Gargling with salt water (not just an old wives’ tale)
  • Blowing nose, clearing throat and spitting, or other methods of expelling the gunk

That said, we are trying a few things:

  • Administering saline nasal drops, as described here
  • Using a nasal aspirator
  • Running a humidifier
  • Making use of the steamy bathroom

Strangely enough, The Dude seems much more amenable to the last two options.  He believes that the first two surely spring from ancient torture techniques, thus necessitating the involvement of both parental units.

It’s only been a couple of days now, but I’m not sure that anything helps him much.  I also realized that while I can observe some symptoms, like coughing, sneezing, and a runny nose, I would never know if he had a sore throat (which has plagued me) — talk about feeling helpless!


  1. Tracy says:

    We have a similar situation and I felt helpless when my son, Mr. B, acquired croup from a short stint helping a friend in a daycare. One thing I learned is that steaminess followed by exposure to outdoor air helps tremendously, Vicks or other such similar thing on the feet with socks over top while sleeping is great (but I don’t know age restriction for delicate skin since I first tried this at 15 months old), and a sign of sore throat for us was putting his hand in his mouth (which was slightly different than the similar action for teething). Luckily, my son was older than 1, so tea with warm water in a bottle was an amazing help. Be careful with humidifiers. The one we used seemed to emit all steam downwards and thus we had to come up with containment measures and still the carpet seemed moist, which of course was another worry. Thus, as soon as we had decent weather, we thoroughly cleaned and aired it out. Now that it is winter, that would be more difficult.

    1. Melissa @ HerGreenLife says:

      Hmm, I would never have thought of putting Vicks on the feet. I use it under my nose, and sometimes on my chest, but I’m a little hesitant to use it on him at this age. I created a makeshift “steam tent” by sitting next to the humidifier with a sheet draped over it and my head. He sits with me, and it seems to help both of us.

      Our humidifier seems to get all of the steam up into the air, though the problem with yours points to yet another benefit of wood floors over carpeting (something we’ve considered compromising in our apartment search).

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