Check out this compilation of Safe and Effective Home remedies for cold and cough for your kid. This is a must read during the changing season and most of the ingredients are easily available in your kitchen
No parent would not like to see the active baby/toddler down with cold and cough, but kids catch cold often at least six to 10 colds a year on average according to national institutes of health. Most of the colds are due to viruses hence they can’t be treated with antibiotics. No over counter medicines for cold are not safe for children less than 4 years of age due to the risk of life threatening side effects , according to AAP and FDA
Hence it’s better to choose safe and effective home remedies instead
Though home remedies will not cure it immediately, it definitely helps to relieve the symptoms faster and make the child comfortable. This post helps you to choose some safe, tried and tested home remedies used from ages for cold and cough.
What is cold and what are the symptoms of common cold?
Colds are the infection of mouth, nose and throat which is caused by many viruses. Baby may have cough, red eyes, stuffy nose, sore throat, mild fever and loss of appetite when he/she has cold..
When to make an appointment to doctor:
Make an appointment immediately if
- your baby is younger than 6 months and has cold or fever symptoms
- check with your doctor immediately if the cold persists for more than 3 days
- baby is rubbing his ears
- if you noticed green, yellow or brown mucus
- if baby cannot keep any food down, has diarrhea every two hours, vomiting
- has rectal temperature more than 101 degrees
- blood in stool
- if there is a sign of dehydration
Home remedies for cold and cough
Here are some effective home remedies which are safe for babies, toddlers and kids. Do check with your baby’s doctor before trying the below home remedies and don’t try all remedies at one go. Kindly read the pointers given at the end of the post before applying these home remedies to your child. Choose remedies according to your baby’s age which is mentioned in the brackets along with remedy heading.
Steaming (3 months +)
Steaming is a safe and best home remedy which helps to loosen the mucus in the nasal passages.
How to do it: Create a steam in your baby’s room when she is sleeping or playing using a facial steamer/humidifier/vaporiser. As air gets humid, baby can sleep or breathe easily.
For babies younger than 6 months, go to bathroom and let the hot water run. Sit with your baby in bathroom for at least 10 to 15 minutes. For kids older than one year, you could add a drop of eucalyptus oil in the hot water. Giving a warm sponge bath also helps to get relief from congestion.
If using any steamer, make sure the baby doesn’t get close to the steamer.
Keep in mind that the steamer should be out of reach for your baby, but make sure steam is gently flowing inside the room.
Make sure to change baby’s clothes after steaming.
Nasal Saline Drops & bulb syringe (6 Months +)
Saline drops helps to clear the stuffy nose, to thin and loosen the mucus. so that baby can breath, eat and sleep easily. Bulb syringe helps to clears the nose of babies who doesn’t know to blow thier own nose.
How to do it: Get a bulb syringe and nasal saline drops from chemist store. Tip your baby’s head back, squeeze some drops of saline drops into each nostril. Hold baby’s head up for 10 seconds. Once the saline drops loosen the mucus, squeeze the bulb and gently insert the rubber tip into your baby’s nostril. Then slowly release the bulb to collect the mucus. Repeat the same for other nostril after discarding the mucus collected.
If your baby is not comfortable with bulb syringe, just collect the mucus using cotton cloth after using saline drops.
Don’t use this method more than one time per day and not more than four days in a row as it might irritate baby’s nose and become dry.
Have a word with your doctor before you try this method.
It’s best to use saline drops before 30 minutes of feeding.
Gargling with salt water (4 years +)
Gargling with salt water is a world known ,effective and simple home remedy to soothe a sore throat. But your child must be old enough to do the same.
How to do it: Put 1/2 tsp of salt in 1 cup of warm water and ask your child to tilt the head up and try to hold the water in the back of throat without swallowing it and ask the baby to make sound with it. Then ask them to split it out.
Try this remedy once your child is well practiced with plain water.
Teach the baby to how to do gargling by showing what that looks and sounds like.
Elevating head (1 year +)
Elevating head while your child sleeps, helps to breathe easily.
How to do it: Put extra pillow or place cotton towels under mattress. But don’t overdo it.
Lots of rest (0 Months +)
Make your child to get rest to which gives energy to fight infection and the healing process may be quick if the child gets enough rest.
Warm Water (6 Months+)
Offering few sips of boiled warm water often when the baby is sick, helps the baby/toddler to stay hydrated, helps to remove toxins from the body and hence quickening the process of recovery from cold.
Mustard oil (1 year +)
Mustard oil is very effective and natural way to treat cold.
How to use it: Take 1 tbsp of mustard oil, 1 fat garlic clove and pinch of ajwain powder.
Heat everything together for a minute. Take care to not to burn garlic.
Filter out using a strainer. When its warm, massage on chest and back of your child.
The antioxidants in honey helps in treating night cough, throat infection and promotes undisturbed sleep and it’s sure a best alternative to cough syrups. Please note that honey is not recommended for babies less than one year.
How to use it: Plain honey (1 year +):Offer a 1/2 teaspoon of honey before your kid go to sleep.
Ginger is very effective in treating cold, cough and congestion, it also helps in warm up the body so that phlegm is melted.
How to use it: Ginger Tea (2 years +):
Take a ginger which is of size half inch. Wash , scrap the skin and grate it.
Take a cup of water and boil it for 5 minutes along with grated ginger. Then strain it using a strainer. Now add 1/2 tsp of lemon juice and 1 tsp of honey. Serve it warm.
The anti bacterial property of garlic helps in relieving coughs and clearing mucus that blocks the lungs.
How to use it:
Garlic Water (1 year +):
Take a cup of water and boil it with one garlic clove. Strain it and serve your baby warm.
Rasam with garlic (8 months +):
Give tomato soup/tomato rasam with 2-3 garlic cloves as a soup or mix with hot piping rice which is highly effective for cold.
The anti inflammatory property of turmeric helps to unblock the chest congestion and soothes cough.
How to use it:
Turmeric Water (8 months +):
Take a cup of water and boil it with a pinch of turmeric powder. Serve your baby warm.
Turmeric Milk (1 years +):
For toddlers, you can make turmeric milk and offer before sleep which is effective in treating cold and cough.
Tulsi or basil leaves
Tulsi or basil leaves is a old home remedy used to treat cold and sore throat. This herb helps clearing congestion too.
How to use it: Tulsi khasayam or basil leaves drink (1 year +):
Wash some 10 petals of basil leaves in lots of water to get rid of muds if any.
Take 2 cups of water in a vessel, add washed basil leaves along with 2-3 pepper corns and 1/4 tsp of cumin seeds. You could also add 2-3 ajwain leaves to this mixture.
Boil it in medium until it reduces to half. It may take 5-7 minutes.
Add palm sugar to it if desired and serve warm.
Black pepper is an effective home remedy for cough and cold. Pepper is rich in vitamin C , antioxidants and antibacterial properties, hence it helps in treating cold.
How to use it:
Pepper with honey (1 year +):
Dry roast 2-3 pepper corns until nice aroma comes. Cool down and make it to a fine powder.
Take a tsp of honey and add a pinch of this powder.
Feed your baby once in the morning. It works effectively for cough and sore throat.
Pepper with rice (10 months +):
Dry roast 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds, 1/4 tsp of pepper in low flame until nice aroma comes. Cool it down and grind it to a fine powder.
Mix this powder with a handful of mashed hot rice along with little ghee. Give this to your kid hot before food. It helps in treating phlegm and cough.
Rasam with pepper (8 months +):
Give tomato soup/tomato rasam with freshly ground pepper corns as a soup or mix with hot piping rice which is highly effective for cold.
Ajwain or carom seeds is highly beneficial for cold as it helps in releasing the phlegm and mucus from nasal tracts. Also gives effective relief from blocked nose.
How to use it:
Ajwain potli (1 year +):
Dry Roast 1 tsp of carom seeds in a pan until nice aroma comes.
Then tie it in a cotton cloth. Let the baby inhale it for 30 seconds. Please don’t overdo it.
Ajwain water(1 year +):
Take a cup of water and boil it with a pinch of ajwain powder.
Strain it and serve your baby warm.
Cinnamon has anti bacterial, anti inflammatory and natural warming property which helps to cure cold, sore throat and cough.
How to use it: Cinnamon with honey (1 year +):
Mix 1/4 tsp of powdered cinnamon and 1 tsp of honey.
Offer your baby plain or mix it with applesauce or oatmeal and serve. You can give this mixture one time a day.
Dry ginger is a best remedy for cold as it helps in clearing the chest congestion.
How to use it :
Dry ginger paste (1 year+):
U can make a paste with a little pinch of dry ginger powder with little water.
Heat it until its hot to touch and cool it down. Apply on forehead.
You could also make dry ginger coffee or chukku kappi for kids older than 2 years.
Ghee (8 Months +)
Ghee soothes sore throat and gives a relief from cold.
How to use it: Melt ghee for a minute and add a pinch of powdered pepper to it. Give this once a day to your baby.
Eucalyptus oil (1 year +)
Eucalyptus oil helps to open up nasal blockages and gives immediate relief.
How to use it: Add a drop of eucalyptus oil in a cotton ball and place it near baby’s bed or pillows.
Also you could add a drop of oil in hot water when you give steaming for your kid, which is recommended only for the children over age of 2.
Coconut oil + Camphor (1 year +)
Coconut oil plus Camphor combo is a natural and effective home remedy for cold, cough and congestion in babies. It gives a quick relief and makes baby to breathe easily.
How to use it: Heat a tsp of coconut oil for a minute and switch off the flame. Now add a pinch of powdered camphor to it.When its warm apply it on baby’s chest. Apply very little in order to avoid irritation of skin.
Lemon (1 year+)
Honey and lemon combination is really makes comfortable during cold as it helps loosen the congestion and prevents dehydration.
How to use it: Lemon with honey(1 year +):Make a Juice of 1/2 of a lemon, mix with a glass of warm water, add 1/2 tsp of honey to it, and offer your baby.
Note : This drink with honey should not be given for babies below one year.
- The information provided here are guidelines and doesn’t replace medical advice.
- Kindly seek doctors help if symptoms persists for more than 3 days.
- Every child is different and what works for one may not work for other.
- I recommend to use only organic ingredients for preparing this home remedies.
- Consult with your doctor as soon as possible if your baby’s cough is wheezy and has ear infection.
- Avoid milk if your baby is on antibiotics and doctor advised the same.
- Check with your doctor immediately if your baby is dehydrated, as dehydration leads to dangerous effects. Doctor may help you to determine the cause of the problem and treat it.
- Make sure you have introduced each ingredient separate and checked for allergies.
- Always check with your pediatrician before including any new food in your baby’s diet.
This blog was first published in authors blog.
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