When young children get sick and congestion settles into their chests it can be worrying. Here are seven gentle and effective natural remedies to help relieve this condition. These tips should help keep your child comfortable until the cold runs its course, but if not, do not hesitate to call your doctor.

1. Steamy air

Mucus in the lungs causes congestion, so having your toddler breathe moist air can help to loosen this mucus. Try using a humidifier or a vaporizer. Alternatively, simply have your child sit in a steamy bathroom. Humidifiers are commonly available at health and wellness shops.

2. Diffusing essential oils

Eucalyptus essential oil is a wonderful decongestant and perfect to diffuse in your child’s bedroom. Not only is it effective in loosening up mucus in the airways, it smells great too! Lavender essential oil has also proven to be very calming for children.

3. Nasal aspirator and saline drops

It can be tricky to clear the nasal passages of a small child. You can try use a bulb syringe or ‘snot sucker’ to remove any excess mucus. For younger children who may struggle, saline drops, sprays or mists are extremely effective at clearing a baby’s congested nose gently and effectively.

4. Lots of fluids

Keeping a sick child hydrated is one of the easiest and quickest ways you can help them recover. If your child is reluctant to drink water, you can offer healthy and nutrient-rich alternatives by making smoothies or raw juices with their favourite fruits and vegetables. If your child prefers warm beverages, chicken broth, rooibos tea or even warmed apple juice are good options too.

5. A natural chest rub

A chest rub is often the first port of call for parents when they notice a stuffy nose or chesty cough. However, many well-meaning moms and dads are in the dark when it comes to the ingredients that make up the rubs they so readily smear onto their baby’s chest, feet and nose.

Pure Beginnings’ Natural Chest Rub with eucalyptus & lavender, is the perfect addition to your winter medicine cabinet. Free from petroleum and menthol, and with 100% of the ingredients from natural origin, the chest rub is safe to use on babies as young as 3 months old. Incorporating the powerful healing properties of eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender and frankincense, our chest rub provides a gentle, safe and effective way to ease congestion.

6. Plenty of rest

Children need plenty of sleep – even more so when they are ill. Sleep presses the reset button and allows the body some down-time to fight the bugs it is up against.

While sleep is ideal, it is not always easy to enforce. If this is the case, you can encourage quiet play. Create a comfortable space for your child to cuddle up in where they can page through books, play quietly with toys, draw or colour. This way they can keep busy without exerting themselves.

7. Sleeping well

Elevating your toddler’s upper body so gravity can help reduce congestion can contribute to a more peaceful night’s sleep. When children lie flat on their backs their congestion can sometimes worsen. You can elevate the one side of your child’s bed by placing a rolled-up towel or a pillow beneath the mattress. If they are in a ‘big bed’ you can prop the legs up on hard books or blocks of wood.

We hope these tips give you some new ideas about how to comfort your children when they are not well. Remember, cuddles go a long way in helping kids feel better. 

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