Last Updated: 16th March 2020
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
- A cough
- A sore throat
- Stuffy nose
- Blocked nose
- Loss of appetite
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.
Check out – Home remedies for dry cough
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.
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.
You may also like to check – Best baby face cream in India
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.
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.
Also read – best baby soap in India
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.
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’s hands. Please suggest everyone to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before holding your baby.
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.
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
- Please don’t give honey to babies below 1 year of age. It may cause a rare disease called Infant botulism.
- 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.
- Don’t get panic in case of cold and cough. Cold and cough in infants help to develop their immune system.
- 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.
- Don’t try any home remedy for babies below 3 months of age.
- 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.
- Give your baby lots of cuddles. Your love and touch help your child to get well soon.
- 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.
- 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.