Mom's remedies to being sick

A recent bout with common childhood illnesses (colds, ear infections, etc.) among my three grandchildren got me to thinking about “mom remedies.”

We all have various cures we have used on our children, just as did our mothers and their mothers, and their mothers, etc., etc. When my children were little, my standard cures were as follows:



  • For the babies I used that awful nose suction thing where you had to hold the baby’s head tightly between your lower arm and chest because there is not a child who has been born who likes that thing.
  • For toddlers I made sure to have a gross tissue in hand at all times for a runny nose which of course is even grosser when their face is dirty and the “congestion” dries, hardens and cracks on their face.
  • For older ages, it was mostly my voice that I used (sometimes above normal range) to blow their nose into a clean handkerchief or tissue instead of onto the sleeves of their shirts or their fingers (which then brought a response above the normal range to wash their hands NOW!).




  • My standard cure for a cough was chicken broth (homemade of course), orange juice and Vicks Vaporub. The trick was to put the Vicks in a humidifier after the water had heated up. It melts, leaving a nice odor of menthol. I swear by it. My boys (who are 20 and 32) still use it!




  • How does one say “vomit” or “throwing up” in a graceful way? I don’t think there is a graceful way to say it. I just know that I don’t know of any mother who has not been baptized as a mom until she has been thrown-up on … usually in the middle of the night.


Warning: The next paragraph contains language that may be upsetting to some people. Discretion advised.


  • OK. So I remember when my oldest son was about 7-years-old and came into my bedroom at about 3 a.m. and touched my shoulder, saying, “Mom, I don’t feel good.” Before I could even move he proceeded to vomit into my hair, down my back and all the way down to my feet. And isn’t it amazing that as a mom your only thought is about them? He now has a child of his own and another on the way. I can only say one word. Karma.


Fever under 104 (over 104 and off to the ER)


  • Baby Tylenol
  • Light loose clothing
  • Tepid bath
  • My own mother’s cure-all was Johnson Baby Aspirin. I asked a few friends around my age if they remembered taking baby aspirin and they all did. The aspirin was small, orange and tasty! Do they still even make that stuff? My mom also included ginger-ale or flat Coca-Cola for an upset tummy.


But, I think the best cure-all for all childhood sicknesses is still and will always be mom-hugs, mom-kisses, and, well, just mom being there.