Home Remedies to Treat Cold and Cough In Babies
Cold is a very common illness among babies throughout their first year. They usually go away on their own without any treatment. Every baby gets cold and it’s a very normal thing that can be cured at home itself if it’s mild. Because every time your baby gets cold you shouldn’t give antibiotics or any other drops if it’s mild because babes will adapt to those antibiotics and the next time they get cold, it won’t go away on their own unless you give an antibiotic or a drop to them. A baby’s immune system will take time to mature. If your baby has a cold with no complications it will go away on its own with some home remedies for 7 to 10 days. If the baby still has a cold after 7 days it’s better to take your baby to the hospital.
What is Common Cold and Cough?
A common cold is a viral infection that occurs in your baby’s nose and throat. Babies are more susceptible to the common cold and cough as their immunity system is still not fully developed yet. When babies come out in this world they are surrounded by so many impurities and infections all around. So they are more prone to infections. Babies who get a common cold and cough under 3 months of age have to seek medical advice immediately.
The cold virus spread through the air. When someone sneezes, the particles get into the air, and if your baby inhales that air, he may catch a cold. The cold particles can also land on your baby’s toys and other things present near your baby. That is why it is very important to clean your baby’s room frequently. Don’t let others touch your baby unless they have washed their hands before holding the baby.
A cough occurs when your baby’s airways are affected for some reason. Your baby may feel irritable and not interested in eating anything as he is continuously coughing. Fluids will help a lot at this time.
When your baby has a fever, cold, or cough, he loses body fluids in the form of sweat fever, and tiny droplets when he sneezes or coughs. It’s important to restore those liquids in your baby’s body for the healthy functioning of your baby’s body.
Babies will show these symptoms within 2 to 3 days after getting infected by the virus.
- Stuffy and Runny nose.
- White discharge from the nose.
- Low appetite.
- Trouble sleeping.
Symptoms if the cold and cough is severe:-
- Difficulty in Breathing.
- Irritability and fussiness.
- Decreased appetite and fatigue.
- Trouble nursing.
- Difficulty in sleeping.
- Non-stop coughing.
When to see the doctor:-
If your baby is younger than 3 months and has a cold then you have to see the doctor if:-
- Your baby isn’t wetting diapers like before.
- Has a temperature of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Has trouble breathing.
- Has thick green nasal discharge.
- Refuses to feed or eat.
- Refuses to nurse.
- Coughs out blood.
Treatment with Home Remedies:-
- Breastfeed your baby frequently. Because breastmilk contains all the antibodies that help your baby fight viruses.
- Carrot juice is the best drink to give to your kid if he is above 6 months of age as carrot contains essential nutrients and minerals that help in boosting the immune system. If your baby refuses to eat solid foods at this time, give him soups, they are very good for colds and coughs and all babies love soup because of its taste and texture.
- Saline drops provide quick relief from congestion in your baby’s nose. You just have to pour a few drops of saline drops into your baby’s nose 2 to 3 times a day to loosen the mucus present in the nostrils. If your baby doesn’t allow you to put drops in his nose, pour drops when he is asleep.
- If the baby’s nose is filled with mucus, clean it gently and remove the congestion. It makes the baby more relaxed and breathes freely.
- Massage your baby’s body mainly the chest and the back area with mustard oil daily. The warmth present in the mustard oil relieves congestion of the throat and the nose.
- Use a steamer or a humidifier in your baby’s room when he is asleep. Make sure that they are not placed close to your baby. Place it a little far away from your baby and lock the door. Steam opens up your baby’s nose very quickly and your baby will feel relaxed. If you cannot afford a steamer or a humidifier, you can switch on the geyser in your bathroom and wait till it becomes extremely hot, and then open the shower or the tap with hot water and close the bathroom door. The hot water generates steam in your bathroom. You can take your baby with you in the bathroom and sit there for 10 to 15 minutes in steam. A humidifier will add moisture to the air which prevents your baby’s nose from drying.
- You can also use baby vapor rub available in the market.
- Let your baby wear full and comfortable clothes during the cold. The Baby’s head, ears, and feet should also be covered.
- When your baby has a cold and cough include so many fluids in his diet because cold and cough can cause dehydration.
- Take a clean cloth or napkin, dip it in warm water, and gently press it on your baby’s chest and back. The warmth will dilute the congestion or phlegm present in the chest and nose.
- If your baby wakes up from sleep due to a cold and blocked nose, let him sleep in a side position or put a towel or a very flat pillow under your baby’s head.
- Many parents think that babies shouldn’t have a bath during cold, but this is completely wrong. A warm bath will give relief to your baby and can cure a cold too. Just make sure that the baby is not in the water for a long time.
- Let your baby sleep and take a rest as much as he can.
- Take half a cup of Ajwain. Heat it on a pan till it turns hot. Wrap the warm ajwain in a cotton cloth and press it slightly on your baby’s chest and back. This is the traditional method to cure colds and coughs in babies.
- You can also buy a Nebulizer for a speedy recovery from a cold and cough. Ask your doctor how to use it and how long to use it for your baby. Doctors usually suggest using it twice a day for one week. It’s easily available in the market nowadays. So keep one at your home. It is of great use. Good for elders too.
- At nap time keep a soft and thin pillow or a folded towel or bedsheet under your baby’s head to breathe easily.
Must Haves At The Time of Fever, Cold, And Cough:-
- Digital Thermometer.
- Baby Vicks.
- Saline drops.
- Baby Napkins.
- Baby Socks and head cap.
- Light clothes.
- Separate baby towels.
Cold and Cough After Fever?
Doesn’t this sound a bit weird? Normally we elders or children get a cold and cough with fever or we normally get a cold and cough due to viral infection or change in weather. But some children or sometimes babies get cold and cough after recovering from fever. My baby has gone through this. He got a high fever without any other symptoms like a cold, cough, loose motions, etc. He just had a high fever for 3 days continuously with some rash on his legs and hand. The doctor gave antibiotics and paracetamol. On the 4th day, he had a slight fever in the morning. After that, he didn’t get a fever at all and we all felt happy that he is healthy and recovered fully.
On the 5th day in the afternoon, he got a severe cold and a light cough. I was shocked because I never saw babies getting coughs and colds after recovering from a fever. We went to the doctor again. He gave me cold and cough medicine and told me it happens due to some allergy. He told that a cold and cough can take one week to recover fully.
Getting a cold and cough after the fever is a good sign that your baby’s body is throwing out the infection in the form of a cold and cough after the fever as it cannot stay anymore because of your baby’s immunity and the antibiotic given.
Foods that are best to give at the time of cold and cough for babies:-
When your baby has an illness they prefer smooth mashed foods which are the way to eat and digest. So give everything in mashed form or the form of soups. Avoid hard foods if your baby is not interested in eating them. Always serve the food warm for quick recovery.
- Mashed Daliya.
- Breastfeeding continuously if the baby is below 2 years.
- Soft khichdi.
- Moong dal khichdi.
- Masoor dal khichdi.
- Idli plain or with milk or any other soup.
- Curd rice at lunchtime. Avoid curd at night
- Coconut water.
- Lime water.
- Buttermilk. Avoid buttermilk at night.
- Whole Milk with a pinch of turmeric and black pepper.
- Fruits. Avoid some fruits like pomegranates, apples, watermelon, muskmelons, pineapple, etc at night. You can give them in the daytime.
- Soft Upma.
- Corn flakes with honey.
- Half a tablespoon of honey before bedtime helps to ease cough and sore throat. Not recommended for babies below one year of age.