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 (American Academy of Pediatrics) and FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Hence it’s better to choose safe and effective home remedies instead.
Though home remedies will not cure the cold 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.
- 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
Steaming is a safe and best home remedy which helps to loosen the mucus in the nasal passages.
- 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.
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 their own nose.
- 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 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.
- 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 while your child sleeps, helps to breathe easily.
- 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.
Ginger is very effective in treating cold, cough and congestion, it also helps in warm up the body so that phlegm is melted.
- 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.
The anti inflammatory property of turmeric helps to unblock the chest congestion and soothes cough.
Tulsi or basil leaves is a old home remedy used to treat cold and sore throat. This herb helps clearing congestion too.
- Wash some 10 petals of basil leaves in lots of water to get rid of mud 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- Take a cup of water and boil it with a pinch of ajwain powder.
- Strain it and serve your baby warm.
- 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.
- You 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- This drink with honey should not be given for babies below one year.
Here is the video of home remedies for cold and cough in babies, toddlers and kids
- 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.