For the past three nights of nonstop baby congestion, Micah has concluded the best place to sleep is on my chest. While I’m sitting up. It’s pretty inconvenient, but I know it’s for a good cause. Micah’s practicing his housekeeping skills . . . at least his immune system is. What mama wouldn’t want THAT?
My sweet boy is currently a miserable little ball of pukey mucous. So why not give him some Tylenol or (if he were older) at least something to dry up all that phlegm? Because the symptoms of illness: fever and mucus, are the body’s way of pushing junk out of our bodies.
“The function of the immune system is to create inflammation. Inflammation, as the word implies, is like a fire in the body (fever) which burns up waste and debris, along with the germs that feed on waste and debris, and cleanses the body.” (source)
Mucus is very useful stuff. When bacteria and viruses overpopulate in the body it reacts by suspending/neutralizing them in slimy goo. They are then pushed out of the body via a runny nose or by coughing up phlegm. Using decongestants cripples our first line of defense by allowing bacteria/viruses to penetrate our bloodstream and go to our organs, thus worsening and prolonging illness.
Last night Micah couldn’t sleep at all, so I called my friend Dr. Cindy to get some advice on helping his immune system kick this. Here’s are some of her suggestions:
The Thymus Tap
This quick, simple technique is great for releasing emotional tension and/or boosting the immune system.
“This exercise helps to stimulate the production of T-cells, which are primary immune factors, and nourishes the thymus.
If you practice this exercise daily, it will increase the size of thymus and improve its immune system. As you tap on your chest, you also massage and energies the other organs such as the lungs, heart, bronchial tubes and throat.”
The thymus tap is really easy and I have actually seen it practiced in a clinical setting. Unfortunately the only demonstration videos I found on YouTube are a bit on the “woo” side. Trust me, though, it works!
At the bottom of this vapor rub recipe you’ll find a respiratory support diffuser blend recipe that is appropriate for children over six months.
Fenugreek tea helps to expel phlegm. So if your “baby” can walk you might consider brewing him/her a cup . . . and if you’re nursing a younger babe you can drink some and deliver it via breastmilk.
To make the tea, boil a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds in 2½ cups of water for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and let the seeds steep for 10-15 minutes.
Other Immune Boosters You Can Take
If you’re still breastfeeding, load up on immune boosting foods/supplements like probiotics, garlic and fermented foods so that your milk will be rich in these immune building nutrients.
Nosefrieda ~ The Snot Sucker
Seriously, when I first heard about the Snot Sucker I thought I actually had to suck the snot out. Ewwww. Now that I have confirmed that is NOT the case, I think I’ll be ordering one soon. (UPDATE: I did order one – very helpful!)
If You Thought That Was Weird, You’re Gonna Love This
Squirt breastmilk in baby’s nose. Oh yes! It really works. First of all, breastmilk has all kinds of antibacterial benefits tailored to the needs of your child. Second, the milk thins out the mucus so it is easier to suction.
Let Baby Sleep on Your Chest
Because it’s comforting for both of you . . . and because keeping baby elevated will help him/her breathe better so you can both get some sleep.
What did I miss? Please share your natural remedies below!
DISCLAIMER: These ideas are not medical advice. If your baby is ill please seek proper medical attention.
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PLUS a quick and free stress relief remedy for you, mamas! Check out the thymus tap!
Hi, love these tips but just wanted to add you might want to edit spelling. Especially for the bit on Thymus Tap. I posted this even though I feel my spelling nazi friends wil cringe at misuse of words or not fully spelled words. But again! Love the techniques you posted!
Will* lol I would do that to myself.
Ha ha glad you caught the lack of “L” Jenny! Seems to be like she’s just like her friends to go out of her way to comment really, only about your grammar mistakes! Hatin’ Hypocrite
Sorry, … anyways!
Thank you for this article as I sit here at 3 am being kept awake by my congested baby!!
I also thank you for guiding me to that informative Nose Frida video. I just purchased a knock off one that’s supposed to be better bc it’s silicone and doesn’t have any filters. Boy was I badly mislead to purchase that!
But I’m rambling now so…
Again, Thank you
– from a sleep deprived mispelling mum. 😉
Hello what stores can I find the
tea in ?
These tips a great, I will have to try the tea. I have a suggestion. I tried this with my 8 month old (if baby is eating mashed up food this should be okay for them). She was congested for over a week. No mater how much snot I pulled out with the blue bulbs or how much I clean off during bath time she just couldn’t get rid of the mucus stuck in her chest because she would cough it up and then just swallow it right back. When my aunt told me about this little trick I couldn’t wait to try it. Olive oil! Give baby just a little bit, I used a syringe the kind they give you for medication. Fill it up to the first line, probably wasn’t more than 1 ml. The olive oil will help them to poop out the mucus. Trust me it works. I gave her olive oil on a Friday. On Saturday I heard her breathing improve. On Sunday I saw the mucus in her poop!
My friend taught me that remedy as well. I still hear him congested so I will keep doing it until it is better.
Thank you for this! My little guy has been battling this congestion for almost a week now. His little cough makes me want to cry! I’ve been taking the Fenugreek and sucking his snot, but I’ll be trying the other things too!
You’re so welcome! I feel incredibly blessed to have access to someone with so much training and I’m glad to share the wealth! Hope your little man feels better soon.
Words cannot express how uncomfortable I feel I should be with hearing of women sucking snot out of children’s noses. Sounds horrible. And yet, strangely normal. For this house, at least.
way to go. God bless mothers!
Gotta love those Haggertons!!!! Thanks for the info. I love learning about natural remedies! And Micah is such a cutie!!
I agree! They are incredible people that truly care for their patients. I am so grateful to call them friends. And thanks, I think he looks like me. 🙂
Love the photo of Micah and Daddy! 🙂
Me, too! I have another one that you’re gonna LOVE.
You just compared mucus to ectoplasm. I love it.
You just read a post on baby mucus even though you’re only babies have doggie breath. I love it more!
Love having all this info in one place…..thanks Heather!! 🙂
You’re so welcome, Emily! added a few solutions that I just remembered so that next time all I’ll have to do is check my list. Much easier!
unfortunately croup has happened in our house a few times. We always use a cool mist humidifier to help with sleep.
We’re doing that will a little tea tree in the water. Thanks for the idea, Kathryn!
is this a bonsai tea tree or did you mean oil? 😉
Thanks for such a great post! I’m just starting to learn about essential oils, and I need to learn more! I’m glad to hear about your garlic experiment too. I wasn’t sure how quickly the oils actually worked. 🙂 Oh yes, and I think Micah is darling, and I agree that he looks like you. 🙂
Thanks, Kirsten! I love essential oils and would like to learn more about them as well.
We used to battle croup all the time with my (now 8 yr. old) son. He used to do the asthma breathing treatments (didn’t help) cool mist and/or warm mist humidifier with tea tree oil drops in it (might have helped?) and holding him in a hot steamy bathroom. I learned that the steamy bathroom can open their airways and help loosen that mucous but won’t stop the cough (don’t know for sure if that’s true). Anyway, now we take a lot of Vitamin D everyday, and when sick, start upping the Standard Process supplements, Tummy tea, Throat coat tea, etc….just try to help them get through it! Feel so bad for your baby! Hang in there…it’s a good time to pray at least! Gonna try the thymus tap…why not?
Jodi – I’m so glad you brought up Vitamin D. Everyone in our family gets a dose with dinner and I think it helps a lot. In fact, all of your suggestions are great, including the prayer! Thanks so much!
Vit d is best taken in the morning so it doesnt mess with your circadian rythms. It’s a hormone naturally derived from the sun and most easily obtained from early morning sunlight. Just thought I’d mention it.?
Additional thanks for the thymus tap. I am going to practice it.
the rest of the advice all in place is very helpful – goes to my bookmarks – thanks a lot!
Stuffy nose babies are so sad. Hope Micah’s clears up soon. I have humidifiers running year round in this house.
I rub lavender oil on the bottom of Gibson’s feet for his stuffy nose. That’s what my sister’s natural doctor told her to do. Works and I KNOW it smells better than garlic.;)
our kids have never been specifically diagnosed with croup, but they have definitely sounded “croupy” several times. we have only tried using a cool mist humidifier but thanks for sharing these additional tips!
Thanks for the great post! Came at a perfect time. My little guy is not feeling so well either. He is very phlegmy. I have been giving him Vit D and infant probiotics. I am all about letting him heal naturally by boosting his immune system. My husband is worried that his cough may lead to pneumonia. Is this possible? I don’t feel like I need to take him to the doctor’s at this point. It’s only been two days, however I don’t want to be naive to the signs if this current cold becomes more serious.
On anouther note I love lavendar EO, but have read recently that it has been shown to have estrogenic effects on young boys. Does anyone know anything about this?
Hi Alina! So sorry to hear your little man is feeling bad. I can’t really speak to whether pneumonia can become an issue since I am not a doctor, but it’s not something I was personally concerned about with my little guy. His illness lasted four LONG days but he is much better today. We bought one of those snot suckers and it worked like magic. About lavender, I hadn’t heard that but a quick google search did bring up some interesting results so I’ll be looking into it. Thanks for stopping by!
I second the steam showers & if you’r little one is over a year old, a spoon full of honey might also help. I don’t know for sure if it helps, but I figure it can’t hurt!
P.S. Micah is not sick today – I wrote this when he was 6 months old. Just lettin’ you know because I recently congratulated a mama on the birth of her precious baby after she posted a newborn pic. Of course I fell in love with those squishy cheeks and just had to say so, which prompted her to gently break the news that it was an old pic and her “baby” is four. Ha!
Ugh – First it wouldn’t let me comment and then it showed all my attempts. Embarrassed and deleting now . . .
Dianthe White Hall
So glad you posted this today – Sydney just got over the flu and Myles woke up with it today – they’re both coughy and congested and overwhelmed mama forgot all about the peppermint oil – thanks!!!
Awww, so sweet of the kids to practice the art of sharing! (NOT!) Hope he feels better soon, Dianthe White Hall! Yay for peppermint oil!
Elizabeth Neblett Schneiderman
GREAT post…and I am glad Micah is not sick 🙂 As I get more into natural ways and methods, where do you buy your essential oils? I haven’t gone down that road yet and would appreciate any helpful advice. Thanks Heather!
Elizabeth Neblett Schneiderman
Thanks so much…this is helpful for sure 🙂
All these work great! I have also added Olbas oil to the water in a vaporizer, used hot, steamy showers, and put Olbas oil in a carrier oil & rub on the chest. Mostly started this at a year, so might be too strong for tiny babies, great for toddlers!
Just noticed that you also use YL. 🙂
У многих появляется аллергия на эти резкие запахи. Будь осторожна, особенно береги детей. Это ведь химия. Мы и так дышим , используем всё это. Это- моё мнение.
I have an almost 11 months old and we kicked our second flu in two days, YAY! Here is what I do:
1-Make sure she gets plenty of breast milk, even in her nose:)
2-Make sure to keep nose clean in order to prevent any sinus issues,
3-Give cod liver+ghee combo a day
4-Freshly pressed carrot juice with a little cabbage and lettuce (about couple tbs)
5-Lots of chicken broth soup
7-Hyland’s C Plus Cold Tablets
8-Bioplazma Cell salts combination (recommendation of a homeopath friend)
9-If there is a cough I usually mix couple drops of Oil of Oregano with olive oil, rub it on her feet and chest. She should be wearing thick, wool sock after that.
10-1 tsp virgin coconut oil
Yesterday I also tried grinding nutmeg seeds and mixed it with a little water. I rubbed it to her chest and back. It definetely worked! But I love my oil of oregano better than that. It is as powerful as antibiotics. Let me know if you need anything else. Wishing healthy, happy tomorrow to little guy:)
I realize this post is from years ago; however, I’m hoping my question finds you. I have an almost 11 month old that is suffering from a lingering cold, mainly mucus. Im hoping you can provide me with the cod liver oil/butter oil you use as well as oil of oregano and baby probiotic brand.
Химия??? С чего вы взяли? Галина я никогда не пользуюсь лекарствами, антибиотиками, прививками. Мои дети выросли на свежевыжатых соках. Эти масла натуральные из трав, цветов и растений. Многие именно из этих масел упоминаются в Библии.
Ugh mine got sick the day u posted this….lots of codliver oil, I am an EP’er b/c of lip tie issues but he is ebf, I can’t see the Thymus tap from my phone but can’t wait to find it….his cough is BAD…gggrrr I will try a bunch of the stuff recommended and see what happens….thanks again! Zzzzzzzzzzzz
Good thinking with the cod liver oil/butter oil, Joy! Hope he feels better soon!
What brand of cod liver oil/butter oil and how much to give?
I only use Green Pastures, 1/2 teaspoon a day.
I had been through with that sleepless nights, good thing for you that you have your husband beside you but as to my case I was all alone to take care of my baby and either I can’t asked help from my parents since I was living alone here on my pad. I can totally relate to your point and like it for sharing your thoughts on the basic of how we must take care of our child.
We had a bout of croup this winter too, no fun! We did the humidifier and standing in a steamy shower and then going out into the cool night air helped a lot. I also made home made vapo rub with coconut oil as a base and added tea tree oil, peppermint, eucalyptus and rosemary and rubbed it on her chest, back/neck and soles of feet. Oh and home made cough syrup made with onion and sugar. All of it together seemed to help and break up phlegmy cough!
Interesting! I’ve heard of cough syrup with onion and honey, but I’ve never looked it up. Guess I should!
Homeopathic Aconite and Spongia Toasta help greatly! You can also use the croup oil made for chickens … sounds weird but honestly if it’s the Rx one it’s only essential oils, swab a tiny bit under their nose ….. some kids respond better to going out in the cool than to steam …. my 12 and 19 yo still sound like a seal anytime they get an uri so even though they tell you that older kids don’t get it they do to! 🙂
I have a 2 year old, does the tea tree oil work for him? You said any baby over 6… but I wasn’t sure if that meant 6 months or 6 years.
What is your opinion of colloidal silver. I have seen several sites (granted they are all selling the CS) recommending putting the CS in a nebulizer and inhaling. My toddler has chronic (bronchitis)?, when he gets congested it seems to congregate in his lungs several days later and causes him breathing problems and can trigger asthma attacks. I am tentatively trying the CS in the nebulizer. It would have to be better than the breathing treatments with the albuteral, right?
Just read this with a baby sleeping on my chest. I’ll have to try some of the other suggestions. Thanks!
Putting essential oils on the bottom of the feet is done for a couple of reasons. For one, it is the safest place to put oils on babies because there is less of a chance of a skin reaction. And two studies show the oils enter the blood stream within 21 minutes of being applied topically and this is extremely effective in helping the body fight off infection. So that is why you want to make sure you are putting only the purest oil on the skin because it does enter the bloodstream. But to be safe, always always always dilute EO’s in a carrier oil when applying to babies.
I have used breast milk to heal my daughters pink eye and also my father-in-laws…before you get all crazy, it was expressed and handed to him in a little cup! haha Re-peated every 2-4hrs and was clear the next day! Since then, I have frozen breast milk in tiny amounts to have just in case. I am not sure if it would work since it being frozen, but it is worth a try! Love you blog!
The link for Dr. Cindy leads to a webpage that says drcindyblog.com is available to buy. Do you know if Dr. Cindy has a new blog or website elsewhere?
Thanks very much. Loving your blog.
Thank you for the info. Btw, tapping (like the thymus tap) is a great psychological acupressure technique. I never knew or realized tapping could be used for babies, such as the thymus tap to boost immunity, that’s awesome! Here is more info on tapping if anyone wants to know more http://eft.mercola.com/
Always, always buckle baby onto the carseat even when you are not planning to drive!! If left to sleep in it, babies are in danger of twisting around and suffocating- a tragedy easily avoided.
Where do you find your eucalyptus smithii essential oil?
Radiantly you makes a natural herbal decongestant that I used when I was pregnant and came down with a head cold. Then my baby got pretty stuffy when I started supplementing in formula so I would put some on the tip of his nose and that helped. I will have to try to rub some on his feet. Also I like gripe water, I put two dropper-fulls into a bottle and that helps clear his throat a little and helps his stomach which gets upset if he’s coughing and sneezing a lot.
please drink clove water. just take roughly about 40 pieces of cloves and soak with hot water the whole nite. early morning drink it, after half an hour than only take your breakfast. You can use the same cloves and repeat the same process for few times in a day. cloves has powerful natural antibiotics so no harm to babies. cloves also very good for asthmatic people or people with bronchitis.
Is it garlic gloves ,is not bad if you breastfeed
All these ideas are great, my only concern is that they might be as effective as placebo. Would be great to see some evidence or research.
Binaural beats for sinus congestion also helped my 6 month old. Thanks for sharing all the other great info!
Please remove your suggestion to allow babies to sleep in a car seat! This is very dangerous and babies have died that way. If they don’t yet have the neck muscles then their chin can come to their chest and close thier windpipe. Mothers have come to check on their baby who they left sleeping in their car seat only to find them dead. I thought that your articles were well researched and factual but after reading such incredibly hazardous advice in your post I will think twice before taking you at your word again. I’m terrified to think of how many mothers have read this and followed your advice.
Hi Melanie, thanks so much for bringing that to my attention. This post was written over five years ago, and I have since become aware of the risks of allowing babies to sleep in car seats, swings, etc. I didn’t recall that I’d ever discussed this topic, but I’ve updated the post to reflect current safety standards.
Hi,thanx for sharing this information.My little angel has been having interrupted sleep for a few days now n in minutes sitted having him sit up, hes having a cleared throat.
Thanks for these tips! It’s been about a month since I noticed my baby experiencing constant cold/congestion and breathing heavily. I’m not sure why because I’ve always tried to breast feed her as much as possible. I’ll try some of these tips and see how it goes.