It is quite disturbing for a mother to see her baby coughing as it can disturb his sleep and make him cranky. Knowing about the different cough remedies will help you take care of your baby and relieve the symptoms.
The most common cause of cough is a viral infection, which usually goes away on its own after a few days. Though not a serious condition, it can sometimes be a symptom of other illnesses. If the cause of your baby’s cough is due to a cold, then in such cases no specific treatment or antibiotics are required. It can be treated at home with some effective home remedies. However, if the symptoms are worrying and doesn’t go away in a few days, you have to take him to the doctor as soon as possible.
Studies have shown that over-the-counter (OTC) medicines should not be given to babies and children below 4 years, as it can lead to serious side effects. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also warned against the use of OTC medicines for cold and cough in babies and children below the age of four. This has led many parents to look for alternative remedies for treating cough in babies.
Natural Cough Remedy for Babies
Small babies may get frequent bouts of cough and cold as their immune system is still not developed. Experts say that babies get around eight to ten bouts of cold in the initial two years. Given below are few effective natural home remedies for cough, that you can try to help your child feel better.
- Keep your baby hydrated. Give him plenty of fluids. The child is often cranky, hence, you may have to force him to drink lots of liquids.
- It is best to give him warm liquid. This will help in thinning the mucus. Give warm and clear fluids, like warm water and apple juice. Warm milk mixed with turmeric powder is also good for cough.
- If you have weaned the baby and he is on dairy milk, then you may want to switch him over to formula milk. Milk or any dairy product can worsen the condition, as it causes the mucus to thicken.
- Breastfeeding is the best natural remedy to prevent your child from any infections.
- Use a mist humidifier or a steam vaporizer. This will keep the nasal mucus from drying up, and help ease the symptoms of cough and congestion.
- Holy basil is also a good home remedy for cough. Extracts of holy basil help in alleviating the symptoms of cough, as it has antioxidant, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. If fresh holy basil is not available, you can brew dry basil in water-after the water cools down, give a little quantity to your child at regular intervals.
- Along with the remedies mentioned above, you may give a warm bath to your baby. Add aromatherapy oils like, eucalyptus oil, thyme oil, sage oil, etc. to the water for better results. The vapor will help calm and soothe the baby from the discomfort and induce good sleep at night.
- Cough often worsens at night, so slightly elevating your baby’s head while he is sleeping will provide him relief. The symptoms of cough also aggravate when lying down. So if your child can sit, make him sit, rather than lying down.
- If your child has congestion along with cough, then steam may also help loosen the stuffy nose, but it is not advisable to put your child close to hot water as he may get burnt. Instead, you could take him to the bathroom with you. Close the door and turn on the hot water or shower, and sit in the bathroom for about 15-20 minutes. The steam will help your child breathe easily and get some relief.
- If you or your partner smoke, it is better to refrain from doing so around the child, as inhaling the smoke can irritate the inflamed airways further. Also, keep your child away from grills, burning woods, etc. for the same reason.
- Wash your hands properly before handling or feeding your baby to prevent the risk of infections.
- Make sure that your child gets sufficient rest. With this he will be able to get well soon in no time.
|It is not advisable to give honey to babies under 12 months of age, for treating the symptoms of cough. It may lead to allergic reactions and infant botulism, due to the presence of pollens and bacteria like Clostridium tetani.|
If the cough is persistent and lingers for more than a week, which disturbs your baby’s sleep and day-to-day activities, it is better to get him examined by a pediatrician. At the same time, if your baby has sore throat, do not waste time and seek medical help immediately.