DIY health tips for your kids

+ Home remedies from a Registered Nurse (RN)

A point of worry for us Mamas, is how we can keep our babies safe and healthy at home. While we understand the need to get medical practitioners involved when we see things that are beyond normal with our kids' health, we might not want to always go to the hospital for every runny nose or flu like symptoms.

One of the things that was important to me when I had my baby was to have friends who are medical professionals so that they can advise me regularly on how to keep my baby healthy at all times.

We already made a post on healthy foods that can help boost their immune system. Now, we want to suggest some DIY tips to avoid unnecessary health challenges for our kids.

  • Ensure your environment is clean at all times. That includes cleaning all surfaces every day to prevent dust or germs from settling on them. You might want to get white vinegar to help you do a better job. It is safe for kids and also eco-friendly.

  • Baby utensils should be cleaned everyday, thoroughly. You cannot afford to rush that one. If your kids go to creche/school, chances are they mix their utensils with that of other children. So, you want to make sure you clean off whatever germ they brought home so that it does not cause any health challenge. Again, white vinegar can be helpful for this.

  • Make sure that your children are up to date on all the immunisation they should have gotten. Even if you have no access to free immunisation like it is the case in some places, try as much as possible to ensure that your kids get them. If you think it is expensive to have your kids immunised, imagine how expensive it will be if they break down sick for every ailment. Do yourself a favour and arrange a visit today.

  • You could also do periodical medical check ups with your hospital. The kids do not have to be sick for you to do this. Let the doctors take a look at them and confirm that things are good with them. Or even detect early, whatever may be wrong so that you get ahead of it. After all, prevention is always better.

  • Ensure to dress your kids in appropriate clothing to match the weather condition of where you are, per time. If the weather is hot, reduce the number of clothes you put them in. If the weather is cold, please dress them appropriately for that as well.

  • Watch out for people having unnecessary contact with your kids. Be very cautious in public spaces. If you are a mother of a newborn, please pay more attention to this. Don’t allow just anyone to carry your baby, or kiss them anywhere. People are very passionate in the way they show love to kids. Therefore, you’ve got to caution them. Remember, babies are very vulnerable.

  • Please wash your hands at all times. Make it a habit so that you will not make the mistake of handling your kids’ food or utensils without washing your hands.

  • Keep the kids hydrated at all times. For babies, make sure they are getting enough breastmilk/formula while you should ensure the grown kids are drinking enough water.

We had a chat with Fauzia, one of the mothers in the Umi community who is also a Registered Nurse in South Africa. She gave us some home remedies for flu and cough for our babies.

For flu (cough & congestion) in babies over six months;

  • 5 tablespoons hot water

  • 1 teaspoon lemon

  • 5 teaspoons brown sugar/1 teaspoon honey

Please note: No honey for children under 1 year. Substitute honey for brown sugar as stated above. Baby can be given to drink all at once.

For Coughs and congestion (suitable for babies 6 months+ and toddlers)


  • 1 large brown onion peeled

  • 3 heaped tablespoons of white granulated sugar

  • A plate


Cut the onion into large slices, sprinkle the sugar over the onions. Let this sit on a small plate or a small bowl for a few hours until you see the juice from the onion start to collect at the bottom of the plate. Give a spoonful to the child every hour, it has a nice sweet taste which babies love. It is best to make this syrup fresh every day and store in the fridge.

Another remedy would be cutting up some onions on a plate and placing them close to the baby's crib or bed. This helps to relieve phlegmy cough and congestion).

PLEASE NOTE: If the baby is not feeding well, lethargic, vomiting and temperature is not decreasing with tepid sponging and Paracetamol use, please go to the nearest clinic. The above are for cough and congestion. Fever is dealt with separately.

Well done, Mama 😘.

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