Cold and cough are two most common illnesses in babies. There is no particular medicine of pill for this to prevent or cure. Some time home remedies works best for cough in infants and they are safe from conventional medications because it is not advisable to give medicines to young babies and toddlers.
Cold and cough are very common and there is no particular reason for this. Cough can be because of any reason like weather change, dust, allergies, sinus infection, common cold, viral, asthma or respiratory tract infection. Many of them are not in our hand that’s why it’s very difficult to prevent them but its easy to manage with some home remedies specially for a long lasting and frequent cough in infants or kids.
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Home remedies for cough and cold for infants
Cough can last from anywhere between few days to 2 to 3 weeks. But most of the medicines are not safe for kids below 6 years and can cause severe side effects. Here are some of the home remedies which can give some comfort to your infant or kid from constant coughing. Most of them you will find in your kitchen and are very easy to give.
Here are some of the home remedies for cough which you can try for your infant or child.
There is no best food for newborn than breast milk. It also works as a natural home remedy for cough in infants. It works as a medicine for babies under 6 month and frequent feeding will give them comfort also.
2. Saline spray
Nasal saline spray is a great remedy for congested or blocked nose. Your doctor can prescribe you the best nasal drop for your baby or in case of emergency you can make your own saline drops. But try to avoid homemade nasal drop because they can prone to bacteria.
To make home-made saline drop, simply mix ½ tsp of salt with 8-9 tsp of warm water and put them in a sterilized bottle.
3. Home-made Vicks
Vicks vapor is not so safe for small babies, but you can make you own home-made Vicks also and rub in on their chest and feet while sleeping. This can work as a great home remedy for cough in infants.
Ingredients for home-made Vicks
- 7-8 tbsp. Ghee(Cow Ghee)
- 6 pieces Kapura (Camphor)
- Now heat the pan and add ghee. Heat Ghee on low flame and then add Camphor. Mix them well on low flame. Let it cool down and cover it till then. Put it in a covered bowl and store it for 3 months.
Suction is one thing that I have been doing with my son since when he was a year old. It’s a great remedy to do when your baby is having cold and runny nose. Suction helps to take out excess mucus which make them uncomfortable and keep them relax. At first it can be difficult to do but slowly you both will get used to it.
For suction there is a very small bulb syringe is available which can squeeze out the excess mucus. You just need to press it and then gently put it into 1 nostril of your baby and slowly release the pressure. This will help to suck the mucus out. Always clean it before using it again.
5. Mustard oil
Mustard oil is very good while having cough and you can use it in several ways. Here are few ways in which you can use it to ease out cough.
- Heat the oil in the pan on low flame. Add some chopped garlic, 1 tbsp of Fenugreek seeds, 1tbsp carom seeds. Wait for the garlic to be golden brown and switch off the flame. Let it cool down and strain it with the help of strainer. You can keep this oil for 1 month in air tight jar. Apply this oil at night on chest, back and foot to keep them warm. This will help to loosen the mucus and it will come out from the poop.
- You can simply add garlic with mustard oil and massage your baby with this also. This will also work as a great home remedy for cough in infants.
- You can use mustard oil with kalonji seeds and garlic clove also. A warm massage with this infused oil will give added benefits in winter.
Honey works better then a cough syrup sometimes but it’s not suitable for babies less than 12 months. It can be given plan or in combination with black peeper powder, turmeric or garlic juice. Honey is an excellent home remedy for cough in infants and toddlers.
7. Herbal tea
You can make your own herbal to sooth sore throat and reduce cough. Simply add Ginger, Jaggery, Tulsi leaves, Cinnamon stick or powder, and Honey. Boil them all together with a glass of water. Let it cool down little bit and give it to your baby. This will be great home remedy to sooth your infant cough and sore throat. This is not suitable for babies under 6 month.
8. Vitamin c rich food
Vitamin c is considered as an immunity booster. Try to give more vitamin c rich foods like orange juice, amla (Indian gooseberry), lemon water, and broccoli. This will help them to build their immunity to fight against viruses and bacteria.
Ginger in an excellent home remedy in Ayurveda to treat cough and cold in infants. It is a natural antiviral and helps to fight against viruses naturally. Babies older them 12 month can safely have ginger. Ginger can be given in many ways like in food, as a ginger tea, or with honey also.
10. Cow ghee
No one can deny the benefits of cow ghee and according to ayurveda it works great in treating many diseases. Cow ghee is a very simple and effective home remedy for cough and cold in infants. This remedy is suitable for 6 month older baby. You can use cow ghee in 2 ways but make sure ghee is pure.
You can use cow ghee and nasal drops when your baby is having blocked nose. The other way to use cow ghee is, heat the ghee in pan, add some ginger and black pepper. Wait till the ginger is golden brown. Now strain it and give 1 tsp to your baby every few hours throughout the day and see the magic.
Steam is a great way to clear the blocked nose. Give steam to your baby 2 to 3 times a day, especially before bed. Simply add some water in a steamer and let your child inhale the steam. Direct steam is only suitable for 3 year or older kids. For younger kids steam can be given from far or you can use hot shower in the bathroom and steam it up. Then sit with your infant for 10 to 20 minutes in the warm bathroom will be good enough for them.
Humidifier adds the moisture to the air which helps child to keep the nasal airways moisturized and loosen mucus. There are 2 type of humidifier one is cold air and other is warm air. Cold air humidifier is safer for kids and as effective as warm air humidifier.
You can run a humidifier in the room where child spends most of his time during the day and night time. It will definitely help them in some way.
13. Keep head Elevated
This method works for child who is more than a year old. A baby under 12 month should not sleep with a pillow. You can use 1 pillow for your toddler to keep his head little elevated so then he can breathe with congested nose. You can try other ways like you can elevate the crib, mattress or bed from one side to keep his head elevated if it is difficult to put them on pillow for a full night.
14. Breastmilk drops in nose
We all know the benefits of breastmilk for infants but very few people know the benefits of breastmilk in nose. It can work as a great home remedy for cough and cold in infants, especially when they have nose congestion. It work as great as saline drops and helps to soften the mucus. Gently put 1 drop of breastmilk in each nostril of baby for few times in day. Breastmilk has antiviral property which will help them in cold.
Massage is a great way to release chest congestion and give comfort to your baby. You can try warm mustard oil massage or warm coconut oil massage. You can also infuse oil with onion, garlic or ajwain and use them to massage your baby’s chest, back, feet and palm.
Tulsi has many benefits in Indian Ayurveda and Indian culture. It has been used in many diseases since many years. This can work as a great home remedy for cough in infant also. Simply boil some water with Tulsi leaves and give that boiled water few times a day to your baby. You can also add some ginger in it to make it more effective. This remedy work best for infant older than 7 to 8 months.
17. Lots of rest and comfort
When your baby is suffering from cold and cough give them lots of rest and comfort. Allow then to sleep for extra hours and involve them in light activities. Give lots of comfort and stay with them as much as possible, a mother’s touch comfort babies and help them to get better soon.
18. Eucalyptus oil
Eucalyptus oil has great benefits in cold and cough. It is also used in Vicks vapor up to help with chest congestion and stuffy nose. You can simply put few drops of eucalyptus oil on the curtain of the room where child sleeps or on the child’s bedding also. Another way is to put few drops in humidifier or steamer to stem it out.
19. Ajwain and Garlic
You can make a home-made inhaler for your baby to help him to release chest congestion and cold. Dry roast 2-3 cloves of garlic and 1 tbsp. of ajwain and when they are warm enough, put them in a muslin cloth and make a potli. Keep this potli near to your baby while sleeping and let then inhale it. You can put this potli on baby chest also so that he can breathe it throughout the night. This is an amazing home-remedy for cough in infant during this winter and it will give you an added benefits.
20. Keep them hydrated
Keep them hydrated all the time. Give your baby warm water or breastmilk every few hours and help them to keep hydrated. Dehydration will only make the situation worse.
Turmeric has many properties and a great spice in Indian kitchen. It has great healing properties. It can be used in many ways to help with cough and cold. You can give your baby turmeric milk or simply apply turmeric paste (mix little bit turmeric with warm water or milk) on baby’s chest and clean it after some time.