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Home Treatments for Babies

Oatmeal Soothes

Oatmeal is good for more than a healthy breakfast.

If your baby has dry, itchy skin, try a soothing oatmeal bath. To make your own oatmeal bath, grind oatmeal in a blender or food processor until it’s finely pulverized. Sprinkle a half-cup of oatmeal into the bath as the water is running, and mix thoroughly. The water will look milky, and the tub will be slick. Allow your baby to soak for up to 15 minutes. You can repeat this up to three times a day, Feder says.

Warm Comfort: The Hot Water Bottle

Swaddle a hot water bottle in a soft towel and you have the perfect cuddle companion for your sick child.

Feder suggests this classic home remedy as a source of comfort and warmth when your baby has an earache, upset stomach, or chills. Follow the manufacturer’s directions on filling the bottle, and be sure to wrap it in a towel before placing it near your child.

Tuck the bottle next to a sore ear, tummy, or chest. Or warm chilled toes by enfolding the bottle and your child’s feet with extra towels until your baby’s feet feel warm.

“This is a lovely thing to do for your child,” she says, “It’s warm and connotes comfort and is something you can cuddle with or warm a bed before sleep. The idea of warmth is important for people who are sick.”

Chamomile Calms

The tea that helps you take the edge off can do the same for your baby, too.

A traditional treatment for digestive flare ups and insomnia, chamomile tea can be used with your baby as a compress to ease stomach trouble.

To make a compress, add two to three organic chamomile tea bags to a bowl of hot water and steep. Soak a cotton cloth in the chamomile infusion, wring it out, and place it on your baby’s abdomen and cover. Make sure the cloth isn’t too hot. To keep the compress warm, you can top it with a hot water bottle. Keep it in place for 10 to 15 minutes.

Some herbal and home remedies are purported to help with colic and sleep problems. Talk to your child’s health care provider before giving your child any home or herbal remedy. Some may contain ingredients that can be inappropriate and/or dangerous to your child. For instance, although honey may be a common remedy for the common cold of cough, it should not be given to a child under the age of 1 year, because honey can contain the bacteria that causes infant botulism.

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Reviewed on October 17, 2013

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