13 Effective Indian Home Remedies For Cold and Cough in Babies

Cold and Cough is the most common disease that happens to almost every newborn more than 5 times in a first year. And it’s very obvious that you as a new parent get panic with it initially, but with time, you know how to cure a cold and cough of your child without visiting doctor every time.

Home Remedies are the most effective and safe solution to cure the cold and congestion in babies. But if your child is below 3 months of age then don’t try any remedy at home. it is always advisable to visit paediatric to consult. 

Changing weather can also trigger a cold and cough in your newborn. So, you have to understand the cause of cold and congestion in your baby. Normally, the cold takes 7 to 10 days to get cured completely and cannot be cured quickly with any kind of medicine.

During a cough and cold, babies become cranky and irritated. It also disturbs the child’s sleeping pattern. I know, it’s not easy to see your child in terrible condition. Cold gets better with time by its own.

Before my son’s arrival, I was not at all interested in exploring the home remedies for myself. I used to have a big box of generic medicines and never gave much attention to the side effects of allopathic medicines on my body in the long run.

But, when I conceived, I promised myself to live a medicine-free life. I wanted my baby to have a strong immune system and be less dependent on medicines. So, my journey in exploring home remedies started with my son’s birth. Now, we never rush to doctors or the medical stores for immediate solutions until and unless the problem is severe.

Let’s talk about the symptoms of common cold and cough in babies

Symptoms of common cold and cough in babies and kids

  • Running nose
  • Sneezing
  • A cough
  • Fever
  • A sore throat
  • Stuffy nose
  • Blocked nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Restlessness

I’m not suggesting any baby cough remedies for 3 month old or below. I never recommend any kind of oral remedy to the baby below 6 months of age.

I am sharing a few home remedies for cold and cough in infants

Most Effective Home remedies to cure a cold and cough in 3 to 6 months baby

1. Ajwain Potli

Ajwain or carom seeds have antiviral and antibacterial properties. Dry roast ajwain on a tava or pan. Put the ajwain in a cotton cloth and make a potli of it. Gently rub it on the baby’s chest, back, under feet and palms.

Make sure the potli is not very hot. First, test the temperature by putting the potli on your wrist. Make sure that the baby must have a single layer of clothing before you start to rub potli on the body.

Caution: Don’t rub it on the naked chest of your baby.

You can place potli near baby’s nose or in baby’s crib so that it can inhale ajwain smell. It is a really helpful remedy to cure baby’s cough.

2. Breastfeed your baby

Breastfeeding is the first and foremost solution to treat cold and cough for your newborn. In your baby’s first six months, breastmilk is the only way to heal your child’s body from any type of problem. Breastmilk also improves the immunity of your child to fight against bacteria, germs, and virus.

You can put a few drops of breastmilk in each nostril of your baby. It will help to cure a cough and cold faster.

3. Saline Drops to get relief from blocked nose

Nasal saline drops are a quick solution to get relief from the blocked nose and nasal congestion in newborns. It’s safe and recommended by pediatrics to use for infants.

Saline drops are actually the salt-based water. Put saline drops in each nostril of your baby as this would help to clear the nose. Nasal saline drops loosen up mucus. Use of saline drops makes feeding easier for your baby. Just elevate your baby’s head while putting in the drops, otherwise, the liquid will flow out.

If your baby has a stuffy and blocked nose then use saline drops or spray. You can easily buy it from the pharmacy. You can also use a bulb syringe to remove mucus from your newborn’s nose.

One can also go for making saline drops at home, just be very careful about hygiene.

I have personally used “Little Remedies” Saline Drops for my son. 

4. Garlic Cloves in Ghee/ Mustard oil

Boil few cloves of garlic into mustard oil and apply it externally on your baby’s neck, chest, back, under feet and palms.

This remedy helps to cure cough of your child. Remember, the oil must be warm and not very hot. Mustard oil gives warmth to the body and garlic has antibacterial properties that help to destroy bacteria that cause cold.

5. Vicks Baby Rub

When your baby has a cough and chest congestion, this also creates problems with the child’s sleeping patterns. To let your child sleep peacefully throughout the night, try this quick solution to help your child.

For this, you just need Vicks baby rub and a pair of socks. You just need to rub it on the bottom of your baby’s feet and cover the feet with cotton or woolen socks, depending on the weather. This remedy is recommended for the babies above 4 months of age.  

Vicks baby rub allows the airways to open up and thus breaks down mucus. Cooling effect (menthol) of baby rub does the trick with the brain that your baby is not congested and airways are open. So, this remedy is helpful to let your baby sleep comfortably without coughing throughout the night.

vicks babyrub

6. Mustard oil infused with sendha namak

Mix 1 teaspoon of sendha namak in warm mustard oil and gently massage on the chest and back of your baby and cover the baby with a cotton sheet or blanket. This mixture gives warmth to your little one’s body.

7. Tulsi and coconut oil massage

Tulsi is a sacred plant in Hindu Indian culture and a commonly used herb in Indian households. Tulsi has antiviral, antibacterial and antibiotic properties that help to cure diseases like cold and cough, fever, throat infections, flu and congestion. Tulsi is one of the widely used ingredients in many home remedies.

For small babies, you can add tulsi in oil and give the massage with it to your child.

Take 2-3 teaspoons of good quality coconut oil; prefer to go for organic products. Warm the coconut oil and add 5-6 crushed tulsi leaves. By crushing them, tulsi leaves’ juice will mix with the coconut oil and oil will soak all the healing properties of tulsi.

Remember, the oil must be warm not too much hot. Gently massage the oil on the chest, back and under feet of your baby while sleeping. This oil mixture will help to give relief from cold and cough.

home remedies for cold & cough

8. Elevate baby’s head

Your baby’s sleep may get disturbed because of blocked and stuffy nose. He may have breathing issue while sleeping. To make your baby sleep comfortably, elevate its head slightly using a pillow. It helps your child to breathe easily during congestion.

9. Light Steam

Inhaling light steam helps to clear the blockage and loosen the mucus in your baby’s nose. Steam is a good and natural way to deal with blocked nose and chest congestion. Clear nose helps your baby to sleep better. Inhaling steam helps to open blocked airways.

To give light steam to your baby, keep your baby in your lap and keep steamer near you. This way, your baby will get the sufficient steam. Continue it for about 10 to 15 minutes. Avoid keeping your baby close to the hot steam water as it could harm your little one. You can keep steamer near your bed and turn your baby’s face towards it.

You can also use the bathroom as the steam room, turn on hot water tap or shower and let the door remain closed. Sit in the bathroom along with your baby for 10-15 minutes. Your baby will get sufficient steam.

If your child doesn’t like steam then you can use room humidifier or vaporizer in its sleeping area. It will help to keep room moist.

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10. Wash Your Hands Often

Keep your hands clean and wash them frequently. As your baby is suffering from cold and cough, dirty hands can transmit germs to your baby.

Wash your hands thoroughly before handling your baby. Also, keep your baby’s hands clean too, you can use wet wipes to clean baby’ss hands. Please suggest everyone to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before holding your baby.

11. Saffron

Saffron is a stimulant tonic, which helps to treat cold, cough, congestion and fever. Adults can have saffron in milk but for infants, the saffron paste is used to apply on the forehead to quickly relieve cold.


Saffron is helpful in curing blocked chest and congestion. Take a pinch of saffron, grind or rub it to make a paste. Add few drops of water. Apply the paste on the baby’s chest, forehead, throat and under feet at night. You can do this every day until a baby is relieved from cold and congestion.

12. Humidifier

You may have observed that coughing usually increased during sleep time. It all happens because of the dry air in the room. Using the Humidifiers help to add moisture to the air which may help ease coughing in babies.

13. Dry Roasted Turmeric

Turmeric has antibacterial and anti-viral properties, it helps in relieving the cold and cough in kids and adults. For Babies, dry roast the turmeric and make a powder from it. Now, make a paste of turmeric using a little amount of water. Put a layer of turmeric paste on the baby’s nose during night time, it helps to relieve a blocked nose and running nose.

Avoid putting the turmeric inside nostril of the baby.

Things to keep in mind

  1. Please don’t give honey to babies below 1 year of age. It may cause a rare disease called Infant botulism.
  2. If your baby has a cold then cover your child according to the weather.  Baby’s clothing must be in layers in order to cover the chest from cold and to keep it warm.
  3. Don’t get panic in case of cold and cough. Cold and cough in infants help to develop their immune system.
  4. If your baby has other problems along with cold and cough then don’t try the home remedies and go to pediatric for the checkup.
  5. Don’t try any home remedy for babies below 3 months of age.
  6. Breastfeed your baby as much as possible. Mom’s milk is loaded with antibodies that help to build immunity against all types of germs, viruses, and bacteria.
  7. Give your baby lots of cuddles. Your love and touch help your child to get well soon.
  8. Loss of appetite is normal during a cough and cold. Don’t feed your baby forcefully. Let your baby decides “when and how much food” his body needs.
  9. You must know when to seek medical care. If your baby has certain symptoms such as high fever, drowsiness, constant crying, body rashes, breathing problem then you must seek medical help immediately.

You can also read – Home Remedies for Constipation in Babies & Kids

Disclaimer: All suggested home remedies during cold & cough are based on my experience, expert advice, and research. For babies below 3 months of age, it’s always better to consult pediatric before trying any kind of home remedy.

About Neha Goyal

Neha Goyal is the face behind the BeingHappyMom. She practicing a conscious and organic lifestyle and believes in the philosophy of spending money on life experiences rather than life gadgets.

61 thoughts on “13 Effective Indian Home Remedies For Cold and Cough in Babies”

  1. my baby of 4 months is having this cough and cold. The previous night she wasn’t able to get enough sleep. It looks as if it blocked her nose and her throat. She vomits when coughing. Please what should I do

  2. My baby girl is a year and 9 months. My problem with her is that she won’t drink the medicine. I tried forcing her to drink it but she only threw up. Anyway I can give my baby her medicine?? Any help I would really appreciate it

  3. My baby is suffering from cough and what I do is give him saline solution which will I put in a nebulizer. It’s very effective and I’m a fan of home remedy and I also use humidifier. Aside from that breastmilk is my partner and it is definitely helpful in making my baby feel well. Thanks for this informative post.

    • As your baby is less than 3 months then I would suggest you avoid home remedies. Breastfeed him as much as required. Cough and cold takes time to go away. You can consult the doctor in case it’s severe.

  4. my son is 4 year old. At the time of weather change he starts cough very badly. then Antibiotics and nebulizer only works. pls. suggest any home remedies for bronchitis cough or asthma

    • If you know this situation happens everytime then you should take all the necessary precations to avoid asthma.

      Give him foods which has hot effect on his body.

      Rub the coconut oil mixed with garlic cloves or little amount of kampor on his chest every night during winters or before giving him bath then let him bath with lukewarm water, it will clear his chest.

      • thank you for this information. also pls. advice if there is alternate of nebulizer. As soon as weather changes we need to continue nebulizer. for last one month situation is same (continue use of nebulizer)

  5. Hi This article is really helpful, I habe a gril baby who is 10 months and every often she gets prone to cold and cough and I immediately take her to my pediatrician and was bit worried about her immune system, moving forward I will try these home remedies

    Once again thank you so much for sharing your experience

    • Hello Deepa,

      It is normal that babies have a cold and cough multiple times in the first year. No need to go to the doctor on the very first day of cold and cough. You can try few home remedies and kadha’s for your baby.

    • For babies below 3 months, I always suggest avoiding any home remedy or medicine at home. In case of medical issues, consult with pediatric.

  6. Absolutely Knowledgeable. You have mentioned every small thing. I am a doctor myself and I normally do look after the colic discomforts in babies. WE prescribe gripe water but today’s gripe is full of artificial stuff like alcohol in Woodward’s gripe water. I educate mothers about it.
    If you want to look at my website and Side effects of Gripe water you can jump in and just a little suggestion my website is a good addition to the article.

    • Hello Sathish,

      Kids below 5 years of age are prone to cold and cough often because immunity system is still immature and they got infections from surroundings like school, play area. you can’t do much about cold. But yes, let your child have good healthy food options which will help to develop the immunity. Give your child citrus fruits, it helps to cure cold.

  7. Thank you for the information…. My LO is 11weeks and 3days…. He was diagnosed with bronchiltis and we were given medication and asked to steam once in a while…. My challenge right now is that sometimes he coughs endlessly with teary eyes and it’s obvious he’s uncomfortable and in pains…. Please is they anything I can do to relieve the cough when it starts?

    • As baby is too small to give any home remedy. But here are few tips to avoid a cough during sleep.

      Give steam to your baby before sleep. Elevate his head while sleeping. Keep your room moist, it will not trigger cough.

      Once your baby completes 3 months, then you can give ajwain potli heat.

  8. Nice attempt.. but u should research more and more. Because now a days mothers are very worried about their children’s health and using lots of medicine unnecessarily. So you can help them in better way

    • Hello Afsal, even I don’t recommend any medicine until unless it is an emergency situation. Did you find something unusual in this article? Please let me know.

    • Hey, Simran I don’t recommend medicine in my blog. for medical help, please consult the pediatric.

      But let me tell you onething about fever, its not a disease itself.. its a way of our body to indicate that something is not good with our body so it comes as fever so that body cells can fight against that bacteria/ infection. Fever medicine will work for temporary purpose only, we need to find out the root cause and cure it.

  9. My 3.5 month baby having chest cough conjunction in very high note ..plaza suggest me what should I do in this season to save my child

    • Deepika,
      As baby is too small, I would say don’t try too many home remedies if congestion is high. Just breastfeed him as much as you can. Give steam to your child twice or thrice in a day. It will help to clear the blockage. You can try ajwain potli seek.

      Did you consult with the doctor? Please seek the medical help if its continue since last few days.

    • Dear Shweta,

      For Dysentery, it’s better if you consult your child’s pediatric. I don’t think so that you should go for the home remedies this time.

      Home remedies work best for common diseases like seasonal cold & cough, loose motions, vomiting, constipation…

      I hope, you got my point. much love to your baby.

  10. I have 8 years baby boy. When my boy faces this problem I usually follow this technique: Take some slices of ginger and chew them with a little salt. If you think that your baby can’t chew raw ginger, then mix some sliced ginger extract with hot tea.

  11. these were some real genuine home remedies, loved each one of them especially tulsi and coocnut oil massage, i didn’t know about it. Thanks for sharing 🙂


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