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11 Natural Home Remedies To Treat Cold & Cough In Babies - Effective Treatments

Updated: Sep 21, 2020

Baby Care | Baby Healthy | Newborn | Toddlers | Natural Home Remedies | Treatments | Cure Cough and Cold | Helpful Tips

It’s really disheartening to see your baby suffer from a cough and cold. You just want to make them feel better but do not know how to achieve it and hence end up running towards your pediatrician to get some medicines. Even I have been through this phase and I know how much you require someone to guide you for such situations. So here I am to help you out with the same.

Though it’s totally fine to be panicked, there are few natural home remedies that you can try out when you start seeing certain symptoms of cold or cough. This will help your baby from quickly recovering and also to avoid the prescribed drug store medications.

Before we start with the list of home remedies, you are advised not to try all of these remedies at once or simultaneously. And also remember to keep the baby’s age in mind before using any of them. You can definitely take a second opinion prior to using it.

Symptoms of Cold & Cough in Babies -

Kids are always prone to common cold, cough, and fever. Knowing the signs that your baby will possibly show when he/she has a cold or cough will help you soothe the condition better.

Here’s what you should look for –

  • Runny Nose

  • Mild cough

  • Mild Fever / Temperature ( sometimes)

  • Showing restlessness

  • Being less active or totally inactive

  • Loss or decrease in appetite

  • Blocked Nose

  • Some breathing issues while sleeping

1) Provide Plenty of Liquids -

Hydration is really important to make your baby feel better. While having a cold or cough kids usually become sluggish and hence might not show much interest in eating and drinking. Hence offer small amounts of food and especially liquids often. This thins the mucus that helps in clearing out the stuffy nose.

Breast milk is the best form of liquid that you can provide especially if they are below 6 months old. For kids above 7 months, you can even provide some warm rice soup/stock which we get after boiling the rice. This is really very beneficial for kids and at the same time makes them more energetic and hydrated. Even fresh fruit juices can work. Carrots can be the best fresh juice that you can provide to him/her.

Note - If your baby has not started having solids then boil or steam the fruit, smash or blend it with some water and finally strain it before giving it to your baby. Do not add any extra sugar to it.

2) Use Saline Drops -

Saline drops contain salt that loosens the mucus thus unclogging your baby's nose. They are totally safe for babies. However, make sure you get the right dosage for over-the-counter drops according to your kid’s age especially if he/she is below one year old.

How to use -

Take a small amount of saline in a dropper and then put 1-2 drops of it into each nostril. Wait for a minute or two and then suction out the mucus with a bulb syringe. If your kid is able to sit properly then simply lower their head and gently press down their nose to wipe and clear out the loosened mucus.

3) Suction Out the Snot -

Babies are small and they are not capable enough to blow out their blocked nose. Hence it’s best to use a suction syringe or bulb syringe to clear out the mucus. It’s easily available at any chemist store and even online. This is a must-have product in our baby’s first aid kit.

How to use it -

  • Clean the nose or tip of the syringe thoroughly in warm water. Dry it and then squeeze the bulb at the end and gently insert a quarter to half-inch of the tip of the syringe into one nostril.

  • While pressing to block the other nostril, let go of the bulb to create a suction. Once done, take out the syringe, and squeeze the bulb to put the mucus into a tissue.

  • Wash the syringe with soap and water after using it. You can also use a nasal aspirator.

Buy Online -> Nasal Vacuum Sucker Mucus Snot Aspirator

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4) Bath in Lukewarm Water -

Giving a gentle lukewarm bath can actually soothe your baby to a very great extent. They feel more relaxed and refreshed. You can even provide him a sponge bath by making him sit in a tub filled with some lukewarm water.

If they start feeling chilly or show any discomfort then immediately take them out of the bath and pat them dry completely with a towel. Try to avoid head baths if your baby is having a high fever or is too weak to take it.

5) Serve some warm chicken stock/soup -

Chicken soup can be a great dish for kids while having a cold and cough. A bowl of warm soup can help in clearing out any chest congestion and also thins up the mucus. The nutrients in the ingredients, like chicken and veggies, ease the inflammation making them feel a lot better.

Now if your baby is new to solids give him/her the chicken and veggies stock or broth. You can even add a pinch of pepper and turmeric while cooking the soup to enhance its flavor as well as goodness.

6) Add an extra pillow -

Elevate your baby’s head with an extra pillow at night. You can also raise the head of the crib mattress by placing a pillow under it. This helps in clearing out any congestion and helps them to get better sleep.

7) Run a Humidifier -

Keeping the room environment humid can help to loosen chest and nasal congestion. Place a cool-mist humidifier clean and change the water daily so as to keep mold and bacteria from growing inside.

If you do not have a humidifier you can try out the next remedy mentioned below.

8) Create a Steam Room -

If your baby is above 1 n half year old then you can try using a steamer to clear out the stuffy nose and chest congestion.

Make sure you hold your baby at a safe distance from it in order to avoid any burns.

  • Now for babies 1 and a half years, run a hot shower with the bathroom door closed for 5 - 10 minutes. After 10 minutes the room will be filled with steam.

  • Now sit with your little one for 10 to 15 minutes. Breathing in the warm, moist air will help clear the blockages. Do this right before going to bed, so that she’ll fall asleep easier.

9) Lots of Rest -

Taking proper rest is really important. Sleep is the key to overcome dizziness much faster. It can help your baby fight off that cold virus. Kids below 1 year of age should sleep for at least 18 hrs while older ones should get 8-9 hours of sleep per day.

To help her get good sleep, clear out her stuffy nose using the saline drops and bulb syringe before every nap or bedtime. Make her sleep beside you and cuddle her as your warmth and touch may ease the discomfort and help her feel more relaxed.

10) Chest Rub -

When we talk about chest rub the first thing that comes into our mind is the Vicks Vapour rub. This particular brand is of course very popular and most of us might have been using it for a long time.

But is it safe for babies?? If your child is below 6 months only then it’s strictly not recommended. Baby’s above 7 months to 1 year can rub a small amount below their feet and at the back of the chest. Never use it on their chest or face. Kids above 1 year can use it on their chest, back, and feet. Using it on their nose and forehead is okay but not much encouraged.

You can even try out some natural home remedies ( mentioned below) to prepare a gentle chest rub for your baby.

11) Other Natural Home Treatments -

These are some treatments which I had researched out while my baby had once fallen sick. They are completely safe yet optional and should only be used if you're okay in trying out natural remedies on your baby rather than all-in-one drugstore cough and cold meds.

I personally feel that it’s always good to try out some natural remedies during the start or initial phase of showing symptoms. Always providing over-the-counter medicines aren’t really recommended for kids. But if they have severe flu and cough or any other difficulties always consult and go for the meds that they prescribe.

So now let’s get to know the simple home remedies that you can try out -

a) Lemon Water Mixed With Honey -

Lemon and honey have antibacterial properties that help in fighting away the cold and cough. Take a glass of warm water and squeeze half a teaspoon of lemon juice and honey and mix well. Consume it early in the morning before having food.

Who can use this remedy -

Children above 1-year-old

b) Panikoorka ( Mexican Mint) -

This is a perennial plant that's very common in south India. It has been used by our ancestors and actually works for eliminating cough and cold. All you need to do is heat and dehydrate the leaf on a stovetop. Then place it gently on the baby's forehead.

This helps in absorbing moisture from their body and also helps in clearing out his/her air pipe.

Who can use this remedy -

It can be used by babies above 3 months of age. Some people even use it for kids below 3 months but I would recommend to consult your doctor and confirm before using it.

c) Garlic and Ajwain Pouch -

Garlic and ajwain are powerful cures for a cough and cold. Take 2 garlic cloves and 1 spoon of ajwain and dry roast them. Once cooled, put them in a muslin cloth and tie it tight. Place this pouch at a safe distance from the baby’s cot (not on or under the bedding).

The aroma will provide comfort to the baby and will help to clear any blockage caused due to a cold.

Who can use it -

Right from newborns to toddlers all can use this remedy. Just make sure you keep it at a good distance from your baby.

d) Mustard Oil Infused With Garlic and Carom Seeds -

This remedy is an alternative to your Vicks vapor rub. Mustard Oil has a soothing effect on the baby as they ease congestion. Heat 1/4th cup of mustard oil and add 2 cloves of crushed garlic and carom seeds to it.

Once they turn brown, take it off the stove. Massage this oil when it’s almost cooled on the baby’s chest and under his feet.

Who can use it -

Kids above 6 months old. Anyone below that should use it only if your doctor gives a green flag.

When To See A Doctor

If your baby is showing signs like choking, vomiting, or trouble in breathing, frequent urination due to dehydration, then take him/her immediately to a health care provider.

There are chances that these symptoms might be due to some viral or infectious diseases. Also if your baby is having a high temperature ( above 100.4°F) for the past 72 hrs then please consult your doctor ASAP.

Precautions To Take While Using Home Remedies

  1. Never provide any home remedies that involve consuming it internally for babies below 6-7-month-old unless prescribed by a doctor.

  2. Make sure you wash your baby's hands and face frequently to avoid any spread of infection.

  3. Never use honey for kids below 1 year. This might result in some severe medical conditions.

  4. If your baby is having a fever dress them up in warm clothes so that they feel more comfortable and will also help them sweat it away.

  5. Keep your house clean, so no one else falls ill. It is a good idea to disinfect objects that are used frequently.

  6. Do not try to force-feed them the complete amount of food or soup at a time, especially when they are ill. This might trigger a vomiting tendency and hence make them feel more fatigue.

  7. Use a tissue to squeeze out the mucus from their nose and throw it right away. Try to avoid using the same handkerchief for the same.

  8. Breastfeed as much as you can. Breast milk has a lot of antibodies that build immunity.

  9. Ensure that your child is not allergic to any ingredients that are present in your home remedy.

Cold and cough are really very common for babies and hence don’t worry or get tensed if your baby catches one. Try out these remedies and it will definitely help them feel better and also recover from it pretty quickly. However, never take any risk if the condition is getting worse.

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