Home Remedies For Colds And Coughs In Babies
Every year hundreds of infants and small children suffer from colds and coughs, mainly due to their weak immune systems. In fact, within the first year of life, most babies will have up to seven colds.
Children tend to be more prone to viruses as they get through an infected person of contamination in the air.
A few symptoms that come with colds and coughs in babies are congestion or a runny nose, a low grade fever that rise to 100.4°F, sneezing, coughing, loss in appetite, irritability and having a hard time sleeping.
Trying to take care of a sick child can be difficult and frustrating as you do everything possible to make them feel better.
As the American Academy of Pediatrics advises against giving cough and cold medications to children under 6 years old because of potentially fatal side effects, it is best to stick to natural methods. Home treatments will ease their symptoms and strengthen their immune systems.
Make sure to contact your doctor when your child’s fever is higher than 100.4°F and the symptoms still haven’t gone away after a week. If you have a baby younger than 3 months that has a fever make sure to consult your doctor even if it’s not as high as 100.4°.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for colds and coughs in babies.
- Sponge Bath
To reduce a fever in small babies, give them a cool water bath or sponge bath to regulate body temperature.
A bath has the added benefit of relaxing your child and it will help them sleep better, which is essential for faster recovery.
- Sponge baths 2 to 3 times a day are great for small babies, soak a wash cloth with lukewarm water, squeeze out any extra water and pat the cloth on the armpits, feet, hands and groin to reduce the fever.
- Another alternative you can use is by placing a damp washcloth on their forehead and replace it ever 30 minutes.
- Children that are older can take a cool bath or shower to reduce their temperature.
Lemon is another good home remedy. Being rich in vitamin C, lemon helps boost the immune system and assists the body in fighting colds and flu.
Its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties also help reduce symptoms, such as sore throat, runny nose and coughing.
- Put the juice and peels from 4 lemons and 1 tablespoon of ginger slices in a pan.
- Add enough boiling water to cover the ingredients.
- Cover and let it steep for 10 minutes
- Strain the liquid
- Dilute this liquid by adding equal parts of lukewarm water, you can add honey for taste.
- Give this to your child for a couple days
Note: Babies, who are younger than 1 year, add sugar instead of honey for taste.
Honey is a great way to relieve your child from a cold or cough; it’s only safe for children over a year to consume. It is filled with antibacterial, antioxidants and immune boosting properties that will ease any symptoms that come with colds. It’s able to soothe sore throats and eliminate any bacteria’s that are causing the infection.
- Mix 2 teaspoons of raw honey and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Give it to your child every few hours for symptom relief.
- You can also have your child swallow a spoonful of buckwheat honey several times a day.
- A glass of warm milk with honey can relieve a dry cough and reduce chest pain.
Note: Never give honey to babies younger than 1 year, as it contains bacteria that can cause infantile botulism.
- Warm Chicken Soup
Children that are older than a year can eat chicken soup, which is n amazing way to eliminate colds and a cough. It’s not so heavy on their stomach and can relieve congestion. The antioxidants will boost the healing process.
Chicken soup will improve the function of protective cilia that is in the nasal cavity and can stop any contagion trying to enter the body.
A study that was published in 2000 in the Chest journal implies that chicken soup contains many beneficial medicinal activities for upper respiratory tract infection.
Homemade chicken soup will give your child the best results, use organic chicken and vegetables like spinach, beet root carrot.
The vitamin C in oranges helps increase the production of white blood cells that fight off the cold-causing germs. It also boosts the immune system to alleviate symptoms, such as coughing, sore throat and runny nose.
- For children age 2 years or older, give them 1 to 2 glasses of orange juice daily. For younger babies, dilute orange juice with an equal amount of warm water and give it to them to drink at regular intervals.
- Older children can be given oranges to eat to increase their vitamin C intake.
Ginger is another very popular natural cure for colds and coughs due to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral and antitussive (cough suppressant) properties.
It is also effective at inducing sweating and expelling heat, which in turn relieves mild fever. In addition, it boosts the immune system to help speed up recovery.
- Put 6 cups of water, ½ cup thinly sliced ginger and 2 cinnamon sticks in a pan.
- Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, and then strain it.
- Add raw honey or sugar and give it to your child to drink several times a day. For babies younger than 1 year, you can dilute the liquid in warm water before giving it to them.
Older children can also be given ginger slices or ginger candies to chew.
- Bishop’s Weed
Bishop’s weed or as some know it as carom seed is another great and effective way to get rid of a babies cold or cough.
It is filled with amazing properties like antibacterial, anti inflammatory and can also boost the immune system, which will effectively eliminates symptoms like, nasal congestion, fever and sore throat. It has also been well known for it ability to loosen mucus, so the body and get rid of it faster.
- Boil ½ teaspoon of carom seeds in a cup of water for 5 minutes, then strain it. Give it to your child to drink several times a day.
- Alternatively, mix together 1 teaspoon each of dry roasted carom seeds and jaggery. Give this mixture to your child twice daily.
- Another option is to dry roast 2 garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon of carom seeds in a pan. Put the ingredients in a clean muslin cloth and tie it with a rubber band. Place it in your baby’s cot or cradle to aid easy breathing while sleeping.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Reducing a child’s fever with apple cider vinegar has lately been extremely popular as it has amazing quick results. It will reduce the body temperature because of its acidic nature.
- Soak 2 washcloths in a mixture of 1 part raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and 2 parts cool water. Wring out the excess solution and place one washcloth on the forehead and one on the tummy. Replace them with freshly soaked cloths after 10 minutes. Repeat until the fever has dropped.
- For children older than 2 years, add ½ cup of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to lukewarm bathwater. Have your child sit in the bath for 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat if the body’s temperature rises again.
- Breast Milk
Breast milk is probably the best way to treat a sick baby, even though they usually refuse to eat when they aren’t feeling good. It will provide a really unique balance of nutrients’ to help their body recover quickly from an infection.
Babies who are younger than 6 months should be given breast milk to eliminate viruses like colds and cough. If your baby refuses to eat try nursing them in a different position, keeping the baby upright might get them to nurse.
Be sure to give your child plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration, which can worsen the condition. Staying well hydrated also helps thin the body’s secretions, making it easier for your child to expel the germs and reduce congestion.
- Give oral rehydration solutions (readily available in the market) to small babies to help replenish fluids and electrolytes.
- Offer lukewarm water to older children at regular intervals.
- You can even give decaffeinated tea mixed with raw honey to children age 1 year or older.
- Fruit juice, vegetable soup and clear broths should also be given to sick children.
- Place a cool-mist humidifier in your child’s bedroom to reduce labored breathing.
- To keep your baby’s nasal passages clear, use a rubber-bulb syringe.
- Have your child sit in a steamy bathroom or give him or her a warm shower to keep the airways lubricated.
- Give children age 4 and older cough lozenges or sugar-free hard candies to suck on.
- Plan a diet for your child that provides nutrition from food, not vitamin supplements.
- Be sure your child gets adequate sleep and rest for faster recovery.
- Elevate your child’s head with an extra pillow at night so that mucus can drain.
- Ban your pet from your child’s room while he or she is sick.
- Remove stuffed animals and other irritants from your child’s room.
- Use a saline nose spray or drops to loosen up dried mucus.
- Take care of your child’s clothing to protect against cold. Long-sleeved shirts and pants are good options.
- Make your sick child wash his or her hands more frequently to prevent spreading infectious germs.
- Keep your home clean to help your child recover quickly and to prevent yourself from getting sick.
- Keep school-age children at home until symptoms substantially improve.