Home Remedies to Cure Cold (Based on Your Baby’s Age)
By : Priyanka Verma
Common Cold is probably the most common infection that a baby can catch and you can expect this unwelcome guest 5 times in the first year! However much you protect your child, cold and cough are bound to occur every once in awhile.
Babies are more prone to catching many kinds of infections and diseases. They can’t fight bacteria, viruses, and other infection-causing germs as easily as adults. A little one’s immune system is still in the developing stage and it is not as well equipped to fight infections easily.
Why do Children Catch a Cold?
Viruses in the air are the cause for colds in babies most of the times. A change of weather, extremely cold or extremely hot weather conditions can also trigger a cold.
Once you sense that your child has a blocked nose, you get tensed but look at it this way – The cold is the body’s way of throwing mucus out of the body. Most of the times, a baby may also experience a cough along with a cold.
Symptoms of Cold and Cough:
- Runny Nose
- Nasal Congestion
- Sore Throat
- Coarse voice
- Redness in Eyes
- Chest Pain
- Chest Congestion
When my daughter was 4 months old and she had nasal congestion, she would cry and at first, I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t bear the sight of my little one in pain. I tried to soothe her by holding her but no amount of caressing would help. It was only after her nose was congestion free that she could go to sleep. This happened on more than one occasion and everyone in the house would be awake and worry till my baby was able to sleep peacefully.
Yes, it was very troubling to see my little one in pain but with a little care, but I wanted to avoid medicines. One does not have to rush to see a doctor for a cough and cold every time. Moreover, the doctor may prescribe very strong medicines which ultimately affect the liver of your baby and make his immune system even weaker. Hence, sometimes you might want to stick with home remedies with absolutely no side effects.
Given below are some of the remedies that I have been using with my daughter. There are many things that I learned over the past 5 years and I’ve been able to cure her cold relatively quicker.
It’s so astonishing that I never knew that there was a mini pharmacy in my own kitchen! Almost all Indian herbs and condiments are of some use to cure a common cold and cough.
Here are a few Simple Solutions based on Your Baby’s Age that can help to get rid of the Cold Naturally.
Cold and Cough Remedies for Babies up to 6 Months
Babies below 6 months are highly sensitive and need more care and protection. It is best to avoid medicines during this time unless there is no other option.
- Saline Water – Use a saline solution to clear the nasal congestion.
- Humidifier – Place a humidifier in the room so that it is easier for the child to breathe.
- Garlic pods – This age-old remedy is really useful and my grandmother used to put this for me and my brother. Just tie 7 garlic pods in a small piece of cloth and tie them around the baby’s neck at night.
- Elevate the head – While your baby is sleeping, keep his/her head elevated by propping an extra pillow under his head.
- Mustard oil massage – Massage your baby’s chest with lukewarm mustard oil mixed with garlic cloves. Babies love to be massaged.
- Carom seeds hot compress – Carom seeds or ajwain can be heated and tied in a clean fresh cotton handkerchief like a potli. Now use this potli as a hot compress on the chest and back. This potli can also be kept in the sleeping bag or near the head of your baby so he gets the smell throughout the night. You can also add garlic peels to this as garlic has a strong aroma and will help to clear the nasal passages.
- Nutmeg Rub – Just rub a piece of nutmeg (jaiphal) on the grinding stone and mix this powder with 2 teaspoons of cow milk. Now apply this paste on the forehead of your child.
- Check for fever – If there is fever, consult your doctor and give crocin/calpol according to the weight of the baby.
Note – Continue to offer breast milk as it helps to build immunity and fight infection.
Cold and Cough Remedies for Babies aged 6 – 12 Months
- Sleep– Make your child gets as much sleep and rest as possible as it will help his body to recover. I know this is tough, so make your child rest by making him sit in bed and reading a story to him or breastfeeding him to sleep.
- Nasal Water and Suction Pump – Use a saline solution and bulb suction pump to squeeze out mucus from the nose.
Note: Make sure you don’t insert the pump too deep inside as this can irritate the nostrils of the baby.
- Warm Bath – If the weather isn’t too cold, you may give a warm bath to your child as this also helps the body to relax and the nose to get unclogged.
- Homemade Vapour Rub – You may prepare a homemade vapour rub and apply it on the baby’s chest on the sole of your baby’s foot. Don’t apply it on the face, nose or anywhere near the eyes.Click below to see Homemade Vapour Rub Preparation Video
Cold and Cough Remedies for 1-2 Years Old Babies
- Plenty of Water – Give your child plenty of water as this helps to prevent dehydration.
- Tulsi Tea – Offer lukewarm tulsi concoction/tea to your baby.
- Hot Liquids – If your child likes soups, you can give lukewarm chicken soup or vegetable soup. This helps to soothe the throat and also improve immunity.
- Honey in Warm Water – Mix half a teaspoon of honey in warm water and make your baby drink it.
- Honey Ginger Mix – Honey can also be given with a few drops of ginger juice, with garlic paste, and cinnamon powder to tame a cough.
- Cinnamon Honey Tea – You may also prepare tea using cinnamon sticks and add honey to it. Give it to your child with a spoon when lukewarm.
- Homemade Cough Syrup (1 – 5 Years old children)- This is a very effective homemade cough syrup recipe that doesn’t contain any additives and can be stored for 4 – 6 weeks.
- Immunity Mix –This immunity mix is a great way to soothe the throat. Try giving this immunity mix to your child to cure a sore throat.
Click below to see Immunity Mix Preparation Video
- Turmeric Milk – Turmeric has antiseptic properties which help in treating viral infections and cough & cold. Mix a teaspoon of turmeric powder in a small amount of lukewarm milk. Most children don’t like it so you must add a teaspoon of honey to it and make your child drink it.
Cold and Cough Remedies for Children above 2 Years
- Clear the nose – Help your child to blow the nose so that the mucus can be removed. Don’t blow too hard as it can harm the nasal passages.
- Jaggery Balls – Make small balls using jaggery, ajwain and black pepper powder and make your child keep it in his mouth. These sweet balls will be well-liked by your munchkin.
- Steam Inhalation – Allow your child to have steam with natural vapor rub or Karvol plus capsule in the water. It helps to unclog the nose instantly.
- Hot water Gargles – For a child over 4 years, gargling with salt water is also a good option. Monitor your child while he does it.
- Mulethi – Give your child a piece of liquorice (mulethi) to keep at the inside of the mouth.
Click below to see Home Remedies for Cough and Cold by Ayurvedic Practitioner Dr. Varsha Raykantiwar.
How to Prevent Your Child from Catching a Cold?
Although it might not be possible to prevent a cold but here are a few things that you can do to build immunity in your kids:
- Vaccination – Get the flu vaccine (if you haven’t already)
- Maintain hygiene – Encourage your child to wash hands before and after meals, after potty and after playing. (That’s the time germs get into the body)
- Avoid Sharing cups and glasses – Yes, we know Sharing is Caring and we teach that to kids all the time but not when you’re spreading germs around. Prevent your child from sharing cups, glasses, and spoons with family members. You never know who is carrying germs!
- Cover your mouth while sneezing – Teach your child to cover his mouth while coughing and put a hand over his nose while sneezing, to avoid germs from spreading.
- Garlic for breastfeeding mothers – If you’re nursing, add garlic to your diet so that your milk helps to boost your child’s immunity and keeps infections at bay.
- Avoid sharing towels – You’re not showing love to your child by letting him use your towel. No! There are other ways of showing affection mommy! Let your child use his own towel and while wiping hands, choose disposable paper tissues over cloth ones.
- Healthy Diet – Give your child a healthy diet with all the essential nutrients so that his body becomes resistant to germs and infections.
Hope the above information from my experience of using home remedies for cold and cough is useful to all the mommies!
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