Helping your little one soothe their winter cough
From making special seasonal memories with your family, to enjoying countless mugs of hot chocolate with your children, winter really is a wonderful time of the year!
But the colder months can also be associated with getting poorly. Getting a cold is more common during this period, with young children more likely to get colds and coughs, as they are still building up immunity to different viruses (hence why as parents you get cold after cold once they join nursery!). Sometimes cold symptoms can even last longer for children, so it may seem like your toddler has one cold after another in winter.
No parent wants to see their little one poorly over the Christmas holidays, so we’ve put together some tips on how to soothe them; this way you can get on with the festive fun as soon as possible!
Top tips to soothe your toddler
If your toddler does get a cough or cold during winter, it’s most likely not because their immune system is weak, it just means that they are exposed to a lot of viruses. Some children get as many as 8-10 colds a year before they turn two years old!
1. Keep your home warm
Staying warm can help your toddler to recover quicker from a cold. Make sure to draw your curtains at dusk and keep internal doors closed, as this will help to retain heat in your house and keep any draughts out.
Sitting still can make you chilly, so encourage your children to move around every now and then so they stay warm on those frosty mornings. Although they may not feel like eating when they are poorly, having a meal as well as regular warm drinks will help to keep them toasty - and if it’s really chilly, invest in a good hot water bottle and a few blankets!
2. Encourage plenty of fluids
It’s easy to get dehydrated when you’re ill, particularly if you have a fever. You may already have a daily struggle with your child encouraging them to drink more, and if your child has a sore throat, it can make it even more difficult to get them to drink.
One way of increasing your child’s fluid intake is to feed them soup - plus the warmth of the soup can help to break up congestion in their airways. You could also try offering them their drink in different ways that make it more ‘fun’ for your child to drink, for example giving them a fun straw to drink out of, or a special cup that they only get when they are poorly!
3. Keep the tissues handy
Keep the tissues handy and teach your toddler to blow their nose properly once they are old enough!
- Lead by example. Every time you blow your own nose, make a show of it by making a loud noise (at least, when you are at home!)
- Teach them how to sniff in, which can be easier to do at first
- Hold up a tissue to their nose and tell them to blow out of their nose, rather than their mouth - remind them to keep their mouth closed.
- Keep it fun, but keep reminding them to blow their nose when it’s runny - a personal tissue box may encourage some toddlers!
- Teach them to toss the tissue away in a bin when they are done and wash their hands.
And if they have a sore skin from their runny nose, you can soothe the skin by dabbing petroleum jelly under their nose.
4. Soothe the symptoms of a dry of tickly cough with Tixylix
If your toddler has a dry, tickly cough, Tixylix Syrups will provide a sugar-free coating for their throat, helping to relieve the symptoms. Our range of syrups are specially formulated for children aged 3 months to 5 years old and they can be used both day and night, making them suitable to use before bed to soothe your little one’s dry or tickly cough.
If your child is suffering from other cold symptoms, Tixylix syrup can also be used alongside any paracetamol products. Remember, products that only contain paracetamol aren’t actually designed to help relieve coughs.
Most coughs clear up within three weeks, if your child’s cough lasts longer than three weeks, then get in touch with your GP.
5. Stop the spread of germs
Teach your child to wash their hands properly with warm water and soap and encourage them to do so more often when they are poorly, especially when playing with shared toys or after touching their mouth or nose area. This will make it less likely that your toddler will spread their cold to the rest of the household.
Try to make hand washing time fun by telling your toddler to sing their favourite song at the same time. They can choose any song that is 20 seconds long, such as Row, Row, Row Your Boat or the theme tune from their favourite film or TV show.
It’s also a good idea not to share towels or other household items, as this is a common way bugs and illnesses spread amongst families.
6. Trust your instinct
Here is the most important tip in our opinion - ALWAYS trust your instinct. Parents definitely know best, so listen to your gut and do what you think is best for your child!
Soothing tips from our community
Recently we asked you for your tips on soothing your little ones. It’s no surprise that cuddling with mummy or daddy was by far the most popular response! And with Christmas approaching, is there a better excuse to snuggle up on the sofa and watch Christmas films?
Here is a selection of our favourite ideas to soothe your little one when they’re poorly:
“I tend to cuddle him and sing him 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' - I think he remembers it when I used to sing it to him every night when he was a bump. It worked when he had to go to hospital after he was born with sepsis - calms him right down.” - Rachael, mum of 1.
“I've always found tixylix soothes my little ones' coughs and helps calm the symptoms.” Rhiannon, mum of 1
“Cuddled into her “warmie” (the name she calls her cosy blanket) with me beside her, some warm milk watching Peppa pig” - Vicki, mum of 1
“Top tip for me is to hold your Baba, put on some soothing music and sing quietly to him/her.” - Mary, mum of 1
“He likes getting loads of cuddles and "magic" kisses to make him feel better. A "magic" piece of fruit, also helps the pain go away faster.” - Gaelle, mum of 1