Natural Remedies To Treat Cough And Cold In Babies

With the arrival of monsoon season in India, comes a host of illnesses. Children having a weak immune system are targets of common colds and flu’s. Preventing colds should be the first line of action. Let them get good sleep, wash their hands regularly, feed them nourishing foods and keep house clean.

Most colds can be treated at home with proper care and rest. However, if fever develops and child is visibly tired and fussy it’s time to head to the doctor. Until then here are a few home remedies you can try to treat a cold in baby.

Natural remedies to treat colds in babies

Age 0 – 6 months

A preventative measure is to add either Eucalyptus leaves or Eucalyptus oil in the baby’s bath water. It is believed that Eucalyptus leaves contain substances that have expectorant, antibacterial and antiseptic properties. These are used to loosen cough and fight upper respiratory tract problems.

The following measures can be taken once baby develops a cold:

Hydration is key to treating a cold, breastfeed baby often. Breastmilk provides all antibodies required to fight the cold.

Loosen clogged nose with saline solution and then remove the mucus with a suction bulb.

Run a hot shower and let the bathroom fill with steam. Then turn off the shower and carry baby inside steamy hot bathroom. This helps loosen up clogged nose.

Keep head elevated when baby sleeps to help them breathe properly.

Ajwain Potli: Roast Ajwain (carom seeds) in a pan. Then put it in a soft cloth and make a potli (bag) out of it, tying a knot to the cloth. Check that the ajwain when transferred in potli is not too hot to touch by testing on your elbow. This can be placed on baby’s chest. It can also be given to baby to breathe in by placing near nose at intervals or placed next to sleeping baby.

Age 6 -12 months

All the above measures can be continued along with following home remedies:

Ajwain water: Roast ajwain and add to boiling water. Once water has boiled for 15 minutes filter out the ajwain and keep the ajwain flavored water to cool down. Give your baby sips of this water 2 – 4 times a day.

Age 12 months up

All the above measures can be continued along with following home remedies:

Now that baby is one year old, honey can be introduced. Honey has long been known for its antibacterial properties. Many traditional home remedies therefore include honey in their formulations.

Honey and turmeric: In half a teaspoon of honey add a pinch of turmeric and mix. Give baby this mixture to lick. It soothes sore throat and eases congestion.

Honey and ginger: In half a teaspoon of honey add finely grated ginger and mix. Give baby this mixture to eat. Ginger is anti-inflammatory in nature and this combination gives quick relief from sore throat.

Ginger: Adding ginger to soups and other cooked foods is an added bonus. You may notice an appetite drop in baby when they are suffering from cold. So whatever little they are eating make sure to add a little bit of ginger in there to help hasten the recovery.

Add turmeric to their glass of milk.

Add a lot of water to baby’s diet. You want them to be hydrated. Make soups, juices and breastfeed as frequently as possible.

Remember that these natural remedies are to be used in conjunction with doctor’s advice and not as a replacement to medical advice.

30 Comments

  1. Lori Kay Ziegler

    Please tell me where to find ajwain in the United States. I love having alternatives to pharmaceuticals!

    Reply
    • Ophira

      Hi Lori, its great that you try home remedies. You can find Ajwain (carom seeds) in any Indian store in the States. Its used in Indian cooking so you will defintely find it at your local Indian store.

      Reply
  2. Rumaisa

    I’m glad that I do most of the things mentioned in this article, however, there were some new remedies that I learned. Insightful post!

    Reply
    • Ophira

      Hi Rumaisa, glad you founf this post helpful.

      Reply
  3. The Salty Mamas

    What perfect timing, my son just came down with a cold. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Ophira

      Great! I am glad my list helped 🙂

      Reply
  4. The Wordy Mom

    I swear by honey and ginger for the whole family. And a dash of cayenne — not a good idea for babies of course.

    Reply
    • Ophira

      Yes, honey and ginger is a very quick action remedy for cough.

      Reply
  5. Erica

    Will have to try the honey and ginger combo – thanks!

    Reply
    • Ophira

      Hi Erica, yes honey and ginger work well for cough 🙂

      Reply
  6. Jessica

    Home remedies are my go to for my son. He’s only had to have antibiotics once!

    Reply
    • Ophira

      Hey Jessica, thanks for the comment 🙂 Yes we have luckily only had one bad flu with little one so far and I could manage well with home remedies for other times.

      Reply
  7. Jiya B

    I loked the tips shared and infact use most of them. I can vouch on ajwain potli. It does wonder in infants.

    Reply
    • Ophira

      Thanks Jiya, yes Ajwain is a life saver. Even before rainy season started this year I gave my lo Ajwain water everyday. A few days i went without and he caught the flu 🙁 Then back to ajwain it was!

      Reply
  8. Tasheena @ SimplyTasheena.com

    This is a very helpful list. A lot of these remedies I’ve never heard of before. Saving for future reference.

    Reply
    • Ophira

      Thanks Tasheen 🙂 Glad you found these, we have personally tried these,and they do work.

      Reply
  9. jhilmil

    Honey and ginger is what i gave to my kid and I find that it actually helps treating cough. I also give turmeric milk to my kid when the weather seems rough, rainy and in winters.

    Reply
  10. Neha

    Such useful and handy tips! Perfect for new mom’s to keep handy.

    Reply
    • Ophira

      Thankyou Neha!

      Reply
  11. Shell

    These are fantastic tips!!! I use home remedies as often as possible for my kiddos…

    Reply
    • Ophira

      Thankyou Shell

      Reply
  12. Jenni

    These are really great tips, some I’d heard of, others I haven’t. One that we use is rubbing vicks on our childrens feet at night time. Not sure how it works but it stops coughs in their track.

    Reply
    • Ophira

      Thankyou Jenni

      Reply
  13. Ritu Bhathal

    I always like to try natural remedies !

    Reply
  14. Stacia

    Very handy tips! I do the honey and ginger thing a lot, but I do have tumeric on hand as well and will have to try!

    Reply
    • Ophira

      Thankyou Stacia, yes turmeric helps with sore throat too.

      Reply
  15. Fancy

    These are wonderful tips, thank you.

    Reply
  16. Angela Noel

    My son is already too old to take advantage of these tips. But I do have friends with new babies and I’ll be sharing the eucalyptus hint with them!

    Reply
    • Ophira

      Thankyou Angela.

      Reply
  17. Lisa Orchard

    These are great tips. I wish I had them when my kids were little. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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