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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.

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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 natural remedies you can try to treat a cold in baby.

home remedies, natural remedies, ginger, garlic, turmeric for cold and cough

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:

First step,hydration. 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. This is one of the best natural remedies to open up clogged nose and provide baby some relief.

Age 6 -12 months

The above mentioned natural remedies can be continued alongwith;

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

The above mentioned natural remedies can be continued with a few more additions given below.

Now that the 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 a 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 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.

Homemade cough syrup: In a pot, add a cup of water, some basil leaves, chopped ginger, and whole peppercorns and bring this to a boil. Let this simmer and reduce until the liquid is down to about 1/2 a cup.
Now strain the liquid and keep aside to cool.
Once cooled, add honey to this water and mix well until combined.
Use this liquid as a homemade cough syrup

Homemade cough medicine:
Another type of cough medicine is this jaggery, ginger and carom seed medicine.
In a pot take about 2-3 tablespoon worth of jaggery, add a 1/2 tablespoon of ginger juice to this and some carom seeds and cook this while continuously stirring on a slow heat. Once the jaggery is melted and the mixture well-combined transfer to a glass container and have a tsp of this 2-3 times a day.

Offer a warm cup of turmeric milk.

Keep baby hydrated. Make soups, juices and breastfeed as frequently as possible.

Here is our favorite chicken soup for cough and colds.

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

Which home remedies work for your baby?  Leave me a comment below. If you like what you read, make sure to subscribe to our blog to receive a monthly resource-filled newsletter on parenting topics. Hope to see you there!

30 thoughts on “Natural Remedies To Treat Cough And Cold In Babies”

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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!

  1. 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.

  2. 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.


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