There is nothing worse than having a sick baby! When your baby’s nose become stuffy, his or her eyes puffy and red, plus a little cough seem to be on its way, it’s time to do something to make your little one feel better. One way to do that is by giving your little darling a baby steam bath. I swear it’s one of the best and the quickest way to help your little one feel so much better. I may sound overacting but, I must say it is like a miracle!
For sure, in one way or another, every parent have gone through this phase or maybe has always been going through this phase. Well, sickness is inevitable. All the more cough and cold, which are very common among children.
I remember the first time my baby had cough and cold, I felt really bad! I felt like I was very irresponsible! It was as if I did something to hurt my baby so bad. Yeah, I blamed myself because our little one got sick! It was as if I could have done better to spare him from getting sick.
I know, that sound too much. But, you know, I guess every first-time-mom can relate to how I felt. Whenever our babies get sick and we do not know what to do, and we see them crying and irritated or the look like having a hard time breathing because of clogged nose, it is just super heartbreaking. If only we can take over their place. We feel helpless.
But you know, thank goodness there are moms ahead of us – it could be friends, relatives, or our own moms. Well, in my case, thank God for my mom! When my baby got cough and cold the first time, and I could no longer figure out what to do (for some weird reason, although I think it was fate, I did not think of calling the doctor), I called my mom. I was crying and pleading for help.
Good thing they only live nearby. She immediately ran into our home, and that was the birth of baby steam bath – at least for me and my son. I tell you, it was really like a miracle happened! Right after a few minutes, my mom did the baby steam bath, my son starts calming down, and eventually fall asleep! I tell you, it was really heaven-sent!
Anyway, so with all that I have experienced in doing baby steam bath, I thought it is just right that I also share this to fellow moms like me. This way, it will not only get to benefit my baby, but other babies as well. Oh, and that feeling having a sick baby but still happy. It is just wonderful – but of course, the best is still having a happy and healthy baby, right?
So, let us begin?
First and foremost, we have to understand what baby steam bath is all about. It is important – well, at least for me – that before we do anything or try out anything on our little kid, we do understand the process and its pros and cons (especially if there are any cons).
What is baby steam bath?
A baby steam bath is said to be one of the best ways to help babies feel better especially when having cough and cold. A baby steam bath helps loosen up all the “stuffed” mucus inside the nose. It also helps provide relief from clogged passages, which allows babies to breathe easier, and eventually, shortens the length of their cough and cold. Yeah, that means getting read of the sickness!
Basically, the process of a baby steam bath is when you and your baby sit in your steamy bathroom to let the steam help in losing the clogged passageways.
How to make a baby steam bath?
The process of doing a baby steam bath is very. Here’s how you do it:
What You Need:
You basically need a shower with hot water, and in some cases, moms use a few drops of essential oils. The latter is optional. If you are not a fan of essential oils, then no need to put a few drops. But if you are, make sure you only use the ones that are good for babies. Please know that there are certain types of essential oils that are not applicable for babies.
Anyway, in my case, I did try using lavender and lemon essential oils. I swear they smell really good. If you also opt to use essential oils, you may add a couple of drops to a small bowl of hot water inside the bathroom.
Just a little note, since you are bringing your child in, and you will stay there for a few minutes, make sure that your bathroom is clean and nice.
- Turn on your shower and makes sure that the water goes full hot. Please, when turning the shower on, make sure your baby is not with you yet – just a precaution. It’s better to be safe than hurt your baby due to splashes of hot water, right?
- Make sure that the door of the bathroom is closed. Closing it helps keep the temperature as it is, and the steam locked inside the room.
- Get your baby, and sit in the steamed bathroom for about 10 to 20 minutes. Ten minutes works for my baby and me.
- Make sure that during the whole time you are inside that the door is kept closed.
- While seated in the bathroom and breathing the steam, clap on your baby’s chest, as well as his or her back. Do it in a firm manner, and make sure that your hands are open. By doing so, it helps shake and loosen the mucus, and make your baby able to cough it up better.
Although we stated in here that it is a baby steam bath, it is actually applicable to any children of any age, and even, us, adults. In fact, I have already tried it myself. And yes, it did also worked for me. What is nice about is the fact that you need not give your baby medications that may be too much yet for his or her body.
Just a little reminder, mommies, please don’t you ever touch the shower or the hot water. You do not want any accidents while doing this. Also, do not use it to put your baby in scolding. You are just using the hot water to help make your little one feel better because of cough and cold, okay? I hope that is clear.
What are the benefits of a baby steam bath?
Although we have already mentioned along the way a few benefits of baby steam bath, I thought it is best to list them down below for your better understanding, and also so you could appreciate more about what baby steam bath can do for your child, and even for you!
So, here are some of the benefits your baby or you can get out of baby steam bath:
- It helps loosen up the phlegm.
When a child has cough and cold, one of its major contributors is phlegm. Since babies do not know how to blow their noses and get rid of phlegm, or intentionally cough up excess phlegm like the way we adults do it, it often get clogged, which eventually makes it harder for them to breathe and makes them feel all the more sick and irritable and fussy.
The best way to get rid of the clogged mucus or phlegm is by doing steam bath for baby. The steam helps loosen the mucus and then it slowly helps drain from your baby’s nose – riding it from their throat and chest.
- It helps relieve the sinus pressure.
Here’s the thing, a cold can bring about sinus pressure. It even becomes worse when your baby has a sinus cold. It really makes your baby feel bad. In fact, it’s like you heavyweight glued to your forehead, and then all the pressure builds up within your nose area. So, expect that when your baby is going through this, he or she will get agitated and frustrated.
Thus, a steam bath becomes really helpful to give relief by releasing the sinus pressure. How? By simply loosening up the mucus.
- It helps open clogged passages.
As I have mentioned a couple of times already, a baby steam bath helps loosen the mucus and phlegm that I stuck in your little one’ nose, throat, and chest. Now, because of this process, the mucus is relieved, which causes it to drain, and open the clogged passages that makes your baby stuffy. With that, your baby are now able to breathe easier. Thanks to baby steam bath, indeed! No more clogged and stuffy nose! Thus, making life go back to how it is.
- It helps prevent further build up.
One of the reasons why your baby get sick for long is because of their inability to voluntarily get rid of mucus and phlegm. Well, that is not surprising though because first and foremost – they are babies! So, yeah, we cannot blame them for that. They rely on us. They rely so much that how they will feel better also depends on us.
So, instead of waiting for days to see your kid feel better, as early as possible or when you see your kid irritated because of clogged passaged, do not dilly-dally. Give your little one a baby steam bath immediately. I swear, in just a snap, you will see your baby smiling again.
- It helps shorten the length of cough and cold.
One thing I super love about baby steam bath is the fact that it works immediately. The moment you sit in the steamed bathroom, it automatically does its work. But apart from that, another thing to love about it is that it helps shorten the span of time of your baby’s cough and cold. With my son’s case, because of baby steam bath, a supposedly 7 to 10 days sickness goes down to just about 3 to 4 days. Imagine the difference!?
Is baby steam bath okay for babies with eczema?
Let me just say this, I am just a mom like you, and I claim NOT to be an expert. While I am a fan of doing baby steam bath, I know for a fact that there are babies with cases that may hinder them from doing home remedies for clogged passages like a baby steam bath.
One of the best examples are babies with eczema. As far as I know, they are not supposed to be exposed with hot temperatures as it may lead to either flare-ups or may cause current flares to worsen.
With that said, before doing the baby steam bath, make sure to ask your healthcare provider first. Our babies are unique from one another. What may work for my baby, may not or may do work as well for your baby. But to be safe and to be sure, better ask an expert’s advice first.
Moving on, now that you already know what baby steam bath is all about, I think it is also best that you understand what congestion or clogging means. The more that you are aware and you do understand the condition, the better. This will also help you in gauging what is best for your baby in such situations.
What causes congestion?
There are different issues that lead to a congested baby. But experts say that primarily, babies get congested because they have tiny nasal passages that a little mucus or irritation from certain things in the air, or even just a little breast milk that they spit up may go into their nose and cause congestion.
Unlike what other people believe in, allergies are not usually a culprit of baby congestion. The main culprits are in fact cold and/or cough or flu. Many experts believe, backed by several studies, that most of the baby congestions are caused by viruses.
What to do for a congested baby?
Now, while I suggested a baby steam bath, there are also other ways to help your baby get rid of congestion or clogged passages.
This is especially applicable to anyone who feel like baby steam bath is not working for them. Yes, I thought of listing them down here, just so you know you have other options apart from baby steam bath.
Here are some other ways to help your baby get rid of congestion:
– Breast milk. Yes, mommies! You read it right! It does not get more natural and easier than this. For sure, you know for a fact that mommy’s milk can do a lot! Including making your sick child feel better. Now, all you have to do is put a drop or two in your baby’s nose, and let him or her sniff it up. Immediately, give your baby tummy time. Once your baby lifts his head, it will loosen and drain out the congestion. You may also opt to drain it by holding your baby upright. I know what you are thinking! This is really amazing!
– Cool Mist Humidifier. I tell you, when you have a baby, investing in a humidifier is a must! See, it can also help make your congested baby feel better! All you have to do is fill up your humidifier with plain water (yes, just plain water), and then run it in your little one’s room as he or she sleeps. Ideally, you put the humidifier close to your baby’s crib. Doing so makes a lot of difference. It will surely help your baby sleep soundly.
– Nasal Saline. Like breast milk, all you have to do is add a drop or two in each of your baby’s nostrils. You may opt to buy nasal saline, or you may do it yourself. If you opt to do it yourself, you just have to mix a quarter teaspoon f table salt plus 8 ounces of bottled water. Make sure to use distilled water or purified water as tap water could introduce an infection especially among infants.
– Warm Juice. This one is only applicable for babies 6 months and above. Prepare a little warm, unsweetened apple juice or water. Test the temperature on your inner wrist to ensure that it is not hot. This helps soften any mucus situated in the back of your little one’s throat. I know, as the saying goes, one apple a day helps keep the doctor away!
So, there you have it. There are actually some more home remedies out there that you may try. I just selected the ones I have already tried or my friends have tried to be sure that what I am sharing indeed works!
When to call the doctor?
There are cases when home remedies like baby steam bath may not work, and further medical assistance may be necessary.
Immediately call the doctor when your baby experiences any of these:
- Breathing using stomach muscles
- High-pitched wheezing
- Pale or blue skin
- Flared nostrils
- Quick breaths
Baby steam bath does work! In fact, even experts believe so. Well, at least my baby’s doctor is also a believer of what baby steam bath can do.
While it works for me and my son, as I said earlier, it still is a case to case basis. So, to be sure, better ask your doctor first.