When your baby is sick—truly sick—you will want to go straight to the pediatrician. But medical intervention isn’t always required every time your baby seems a little bit “off” of her game, whether it’s a case of the sniffles, unexplained night waking or an upset tummy. As tempting as it might be to involve the doctor whenever your little one isn’t her usually sunny self, you don’t want to drag an already under-the-weather baby into a germ-filled waiting room where she possibly could catch an illness worse than what she had in the first place.
Fortunately, there a number of natural solutions falling under the category of “homeopathy,” which is a centuries-old alternative approach to health that involves only natural ingredients.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular homeopathic approaches to common baby ailments:
The common cold
California Baby Cold and Flu Spritzer helps relieve congestion and stuffiness using the natural powers of eucalyptus and fir needles. (It smells great, too!) Or go for a vapor rub like Earth’s Best, which uses natural camphor to soothe discomfort and help relieve congestion. For sore throats, check out Hyland’s Baby Cough Syrup which contains no artificial flavors, dyes or parabens and less than 0.1% alcohol.
Many moms assume that ear pain=antibiotics, but many earacahes are so minor that they’ll go away on their own with just some rest and TLC. Before you call the pediatrician, give Hyland’s Baby Infant Earache Drops a try. This product is 100% natural, relying on time-tested homeopathic ingredients including belladonna, calcerea carbonica, chamomilla, pulsatilla and sulpher. Of course if symptoms worsen or persist, let the doctor know.
If your baby is drooling and fussy, teething might be to blame—but before you run for the infant ibuprofen, you might want to check out Boiron Camilla Teething Relief, which addresses both pain and irritability. Another popular option is NatraBio Children’s Teething Relief Drops, which is alcohol-free, too.
Could it be colic?
If you’ve got a newborn who is especially fussy at night, it could be colic. Many moms have found that gripe water is a lifesaver during that “witching hour” of early evening. Made from sodium, ginger, fennel and chamomile, gripe water is a European remedy that dates back more than a century. It can’t hurt to give it a try.
Of course, if the homeopathic remedies aren’t helping and your “mommy instincts” are telling you that your baby is ill, do not pass go, do not collect $200—go straight to the doctor. But for many babies, these time-tested solutions will relieve discomforts, and you’ll have the peace of mind of not worrying about those icky waiting rooms!
Jorie Mark is the Creative Director of Vitacost.com and mother to three children, ages 2 to 10.