Last night as I lay awake with a feverish baby on my chest, I began to think of all the ways I would support his natural immune function come morning. And as I prayed over his body that lay skin to skin with my own, I thanked God for this sacred responsibility… for this opportunity to care for my family. It is one that I do not take lightly, or one I am burdened by. Although I admit that having sick children is so hard on both the little ones and the mamas, I’m so thankful that I am able to be there to nourish and snuggle them, to offer them healing foods and both physical and emotional support. What a gift and vastly important responsibility! So learning all I can about our bodies, our health, and the natural ways to support our body’s functions and heal ailments, has been at the forefront of my mind for a while now. I will be sharing some excellent books below that I highly recommend you add to your library, as well as a few tried and true ways I support my little ones’ immune responses when they are sick.
*Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and cannot give medical advice. I am very grateful for modern medicine and the way it helps so many… this post isn’t suggesting at all that we don’t need that, it is instead an account of how I support my family’s immune systems with natural remedies whenever possible.
The first thing I do is something I never would have been comfortable with when my first two were really young… letting a fever run its course. I know how difficult it is to watch our children not feel well with a fever, it’s heart breaking in fact, but I also know that if I let it run it’s course (while safely monitoring and keeping them very hydrated – and of course there are times I would not do this) then for us, it’s a safe and effective way to kill off the virus, returning them to healthy, happy, energetic children faster than if I would have stopped it.
One way I have found to naturally alleviate some of the discomfort and even heat of a fever, is skin to skin. With a baby, I will take the little one’s shirt off, and lay with them skin to skin with me while we nurse. This has been so effective for me in bringing down a fever naturally to a more tolerated temperature, while also hydrating the baby. We did this last night and Tait’s fever dropped quickly to a more comfortable place and he fell right to sleep.
I also make this little wellness drink for my 16 month old to sip on in between nursing (I use THIS bottle):
Flourish live fermented probiotic
lukewarm chamomile tea
1 tsp of manuka honey (NEVER give babies under 1 year old honey)
THIS immune shield drop
*I use amounts as noted for the size of my children
My older kids get this wellness shot:
Flourish live fermented probiotic
1 tsp raw garlic chopped
1 tsp manuka honey
*I measure dosing appropriate for the size of each child
I also keep homemade bone broth on hand in the freezer for when anyone is under the weather. I make a little noodle soup by sautéing garlic, onions, turmeric, ginger, and thyme, add some rice noodles and the bone broth and have ready for sipping on all day long. We also do lots of chamomile tea with manuka honey, and I diffuse germ fighter, respir aid, and chamomile. You can find more immune boosting recipes HERE.
I also make a salve to apply to the bottoms of feet for little ones experiencing respiratory issues:
5 drops chamomile essential oil
5 drops lavender essential oil
5 drops respir aid essential oil
And I make this garlic salve to rub on the chest and back of little ones experiencing cold symptoms:
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs fresh shopped garlic
8 drops lavender essential oil
Blend together (it will whip up like lotion), and I rub this on their chest and back every few hours and they will feel considerably better within 24 hrs.
Here are some books I have on hand and reference often:
Be Your Own Doctor by Rachel Weaver
Be Your Child’s Pediatrician by Rachel Weaver
Naturally Healthy Babies and Children by Aviva Jill Romm
We also eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole organic foods. Raw dairy, sourdough and fermented foods are also a staple in our diet. I’m so thankful for the healthy foods we are able to feed our family, and the natural supplements we are able to keep on hand. I know what a gift that is! And you can check out my immune boosting hot coco recipe with homemade marshmallows HERE! Blessings for healthy little ones!