With the monsoon picking up through India, it is snuffles and kichkich in every household. Infants and kids are more susceptible to infection due to their developing immune system.
There are many home remedies for cough and cold for babies and toddlers out of which I have listed the tried and tested ones in this article.
Please Note – DO NOT TRY all the remedies in one go, these are for your information only, each kid is unique and different, so the remedy which may suit one child may be allergic to others. So be very cautious while trying out these methods.
Also refer to the age of the child while administering the remedy as many of them may not be suitable for infants.
Always consult your pediatrician before trying out anything new….
All the below listed methods work best if the child has
1. Mild running nose (watery secretion)
2. Mild cough without expectoration.
3. Mild Sore throat.
4. Blocked nose.
Home Remedies for Cough and Cold in babies and Toddlers
Heat coconut oil and add little powdered camphor in it. After it has cooled, pour 4 to 5 drops to your palm and apply it evenly over the chest of your little one. Please take care to use very little camphor as it may irritate the baby skin.
2. Eucalyptus oil
Allow the baby to inhale the eucalyptus oil.The oil can be also be sprinkled in the baby beddings.
For infants, take a dried turmeric piece and burn it in a candle or diya flame, allow the infant to inhale the smoke from the burning turmeric for a minute. The smoke arising from the burning turmeric will be like a thread only, so no fear of smoke inhalation!!!
For kids above 2 years, a little turmeric can be added to milk and given.
4. Wedge for sleeping
If your little one has mucus and has a hard time sleeping, build a wedge out of pillows and keep the child sleeping at an angle. The gravity helps to drain the mucus from the nose.
Peel the skin of 2 garlic pods and allow them to steep in 50 ml of hot water for 10 minutes. Let it cool, feed 2 sips of the garlic water to your little one every 2 to 3 hours. This can be done for kids above 4 year.
Ginger thins out the mucus and so is very helpful for treating blocked nose. Grate a small piece of ginger and add it to hot water and allow it to cool for about 10 min. This can be given to children above 2 years.
7. Chicken soup
Clear chicken soup can be given from 8 Month onwards.
8. Tulsi/Basil leaves
Tulsi leaves have great medicinal properties, they can be either added to water or milk. Allow them to soak in water for more than a hour and feed the water in sips to kids above 2 years.
For Babies above 1 year, a half a teaspoon of honey can be added to the milk and given twice a day.
Roast Ajwain on low flame in a pan, wrap it in a kerchief to make a potli and allow the kid to inhale it or hold it near the nose of infants.
11. Saline drops
Saline drops does wonders to blocked nose, pour 2 to 3 drops in each nostril with the head of the baby tilted down to facilitate the easy flow of the saline into the nose.
12. Ladies finger/Okra
The mucilaginous nature of okra have a probiotic effect on the baby’s body and help to remove mucous and reduce the inflammation and throat irritation.
Slice a okra into small pieces and add to a cup of boiling water and allow to steep for 10 minutes, let it cool. The water can be given in sips to the baby. This can be given to babies above 1 year.
A diluted mild tea prepared from chamomile can be given to kids above 2 years, it acts as a soothing agent for the throat.
Lemon is rich in Vitamin C and helps in developing immunity. For babies above 1 year, mix lemon juice with honey and lots of water.
Cinnamon has an antioxidant effect and acts as an effective antibacterial and antifungal agent. This can be given kids older than 1 years of age.
Mix 1 teaspoon of honey with 1/4 spoon of cinnamon, feed this mixture every 4 hours throughout the day when the first signs and symptoms of cold surface.
16. Mustard Oil
Mix 5 to 10 teaspoon of mustard oil with crushed garlic and ajwain seeds and tadka. After it is cooled, strain the mixture and store in a bottle. When needed, warm a little and apply on the child’s chest, forehead and throat.
17. Vicks Vaporub for babies
It is one of the best home remedy to relieve cough. Rub on the child’s feet and leave the socks on, it can also be applied on chest and throat.
When affected by cold and cough, children are usually bothered by dry air. A warm mist humidifier can be kept in the room to make them comfortable.
19. Steam Inhalation
Never let the child do steam inhalation as done for adults. Fill the buckets or bathtub in the bathroom with piping hot water, hold the baby in the arms for 10 minutes in the steamy bathroom to thin out the phlegm.
For dry cough, heat 2 tablespoon of ghee and add 2 to 3 pepper in it, grind it and give a little of it throughout the day. This can be given for children above 1 year.
Hope all these tried and tested natural home remedies for babies and toddlers was useful 🙂
If your little one has the following symptoms please consult a pediatrician immediately
1. Running nose with thick greenish or yellowish secretion.
2. Severe cough with expectoration (Yellowish or greenish discharge)
3. High grade fever.
4. Difficulty to swallow with inflamed tonsils.
5. Difficulty in breathing.
6. Increased respiratory rate.
Do tell us what home remedies for cough and cold worked out for your little one.
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The information provided in this article is for information only, it is the upto the discretion of the parents to decide for their baby, the author does not hold responsibility for the same.