The common cold is actually one of the ways our body is able to discharge excess that has accumulated in our systems. When caring for a child with a cold, I focus on ways to help their body feel comfortable that still allow this discharge and healing process to occur. Many over-the-counter medications can hinder this process, so use your best judgement as a parent when deciding how to help your child. And, of course, if you are concerned about your child’s health, don’t hesitate to call a nurse or take them in to be seen by their doctor.

I spent a lot of my early years sick with ear infections, sore throats and toothaches. These are some of the things I learned from my mom while she was caring for me and I use them when I have a sick child (or myself!) to care for.

1.  Make a nest in the living room. Some children just want to hide out all snuggled in bed, but others would rather be closer to the rest of the family. As a child, I loved having my own nest on the sofa in the living room. I had my favorite cozy blankets, pillow and stuffed animals. There were drinks on the coffee table. I had books for reading, sticker books and other quiet toys within reach. Having my nest in the living room meant I wasn’t isolated from the rest of the family, I could ask for what I needed easily and it always felt special.

2.  Hot water bottle. These are inexpensive to purchase. I have a few. Put them on a belly, back or at the feet. You can also buy soft fabric covers for them. I often heat one and then place inside a pillow case.

3.  Cold wash cloth on forehead. This can feel amazing to a child who isn’t feeling well. Have a bowl of cool water nearby for cooling the cloth when it warms up.

4.  Cuddles. Never underestimate the power of connection. Being held by someone we love is the very best medicine.

5.  Elevate the head of the bed. This can help a lot when there is coughing and/or congestion. We place books or concrete bricks under the legs of the bed to help elevate. Note:  This doesn’t work if you have a baby or toddler who moves around so their head ends up downhill!

6.  Brothy miso soup. Go light on the miso for young children. You can add some cooked noodles, too.

In my next post, I will give you recipes for two of my favorite home remedies.

What helps your child feel better when they aren’t feeling well?