Seeing your baby sick can be heartbreaking for any parent. No one wants to see their child uncomfortable or in any pain. With the FDA’s warning to avoid using cough and cold medication on younger children, many parents are wondering what to do the next time their baby gets sick. For parents who enjoy the natural route, there are some helpful homemade recipes that you can use to relieve your baby’s ailments without worry.

The following natural remedies are ideal for babies over one-year-old who suffers from a chest cold, flu, pneumonia, bronchitis and other symptoms that are associated with these conditions such as constricted breathing. Before using these remedies, however, be sure to talk to your doctor first and get their approval.

Thyme-Eucalyptus Bath: The presence of thyme in your baby’s bath allows it to act as a bronchodilator, as well as provide anti-microbial (kills disease-causing agents) properties to relieve constricted breathing. This remedy is best for babies who do not already suffer from allergies or are asthmatic. Put two tablespoons of dried thyme leaves in one quart of boiling water and leave for 30 minutes. Strain and add the remaining leaves to the bath water. Next, add four to six drops of essential oil of eucalyptus and stir it into the bath water and thyme. As your child sits in the bath, show them how to breathe deeply so they can inhale the steam.

Onion and Honey Cough Syrup: Using onions and honey have been shown to provide natural health properties to alleviate certain ailments and their symptoms. Onions cause the stomach lining to be irritated, which allows the lungs to release a secretion flow that thins the sticky and thick mucus that tends to cause lung congestion. Honey contains anti-inflammatory properties that soothe coughing spasms and soothes the irritated tissue caused by the presence of the onion. Mix one cup of honey, one medium chopped, yellow onion and one tablespoon of thyme leaves into a small saucepan. Cook everything until the onion is softened. Serve the syrup to your child while warm or with your child’s meal. Only a small amount is needed.

Ginger Rub: Because having a cold or cough can cause tightening of the chest, using the following ginger rub is a great herbal way to heat the chest and increase circulation. Medical studies have also shown that this recipe also helps lower the chance for nausea and diarrhea that typically occurs with the 24-hour flu. Mix together one tablespoon of powdered ginger (preferably the kind you find in a health foods store) and one tablespoon of petroleum jelly. The mixture will resemble brown frosting. Once the mixture is ready, simply apply it to your child’s chest and be sure to spread it around the area, then cover with a cotton shirt and leave overnight. The next morning, you’ll see that the petroleum jelly has been absorbed into the skin – reddening of the skin is common and is a sign that the ginger has effectively increased the circulation of the capillaries near the surface of the skin.