Home Remedies for Cold in Babies and Newborn

Common cold and flu occur due to infections in the nose and throat, and is extremely normal in babies. In fact, it’s a sign your baby is fighting the infection as his immunity develops to combat such infections. Cold often leads to a runny nose and congestion. Providing relief from these symptoms helps treat the cold, and very young infants must visit the doctor on first sign of cold to eliminate other serious conditions.

Increased cases of cold in winter

There are more chances of babies catching a cold in winter as the cold air cools nasal passage and slows down mucus clearance. Generally, mucus is the first line of defense and if it passes that, our immune system takes charge to fight the infection. Hence, babies are more prone to get sick and catch a cold in winter. The fact that their immune systems are still in the developmental stage also plays a huge role.

Home remedies for cold

One cannot resort to over-the-counter medication for babies and other alternatives such as home remedies for cold are ideal and effective. Here are a few simple and safe baby cold remedies that you can adopt to ease your baby’s discomfort:


There is a reason why breastfeeding is highly recommended in the initial six months of a baby’s life. Breast milk has antibodies that help the baby fight infections and builds its immunity, thus making it the best cold remedy for babies under one year.

Garlic and carom seed (ajwain):

A time-tested home remedy for cold, especially at night, garlic and ajwain are extremely efficient in treating cough and cold due to its anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. Just dry roast two cloves of garlic and a tablespoon of ajwain. Once cool, tie it up in a clean muslin cloth and make a pouch. Place the pouch in the baby’s cot or under the pillow, the smell emanating from the pouch will help unclog a blocked nose and help relieve congestion.

Saline drops:

Saline drops are great to unclog mucus in the nose. Usually that does the trick but if your infant has some serious clogged mucus, then you can also use a suction bulp, made especially for this purpose for babies.

Elevating head:

This one technique works for all – babies, kids and adults. Do the same thing you’d do yourself if you had a cold. Elevate your child’s head by propping up the mattress using a pillow underneath it.

Salt water gargling:

This is an age-old and time tested cold home remedy. Almost everyone has tried this and its popularity is because it is effective. It helps ease throat irritation arising due to cough. However, give this solution only to those toddlers who know how to spit out the solution after gargling.

Lemon water mixed with honey:

Vitamin C is highly effective in fighting cold, and lemons are rich in Vitamin C. Coupled with the soothing properties of honey that will help in easing throat pain and soreness, this home remedy for cold is ideal for kids who have been introduced to these ingredients. Just squeeze some lemon juice in a glass of warm water and add some honey.

Inhaling steam:

This is another effective baby cold remedy. Run some hot water in your bath and let the steam accumulate. Then, sit with your baby in the bathroom full of steam for around ten to fifteen minutes. This will help in relieving congestion as the mucus will loosen. As your baby will lose quite a lot of fluids during this process, ensure your little one is adequately hydrated before and after this procedure.

Carrot juice:

When your baby has a cold, it is absolutely essential to keep the baby hydrated with plenty of fluids and also ensure your child gets nutritious food [https://www.in.pampers.com/toddler/nutrition] [Nutritious diet] to help strengthen and build immunity. A solution to both these concerns, is carrot juice. Full of essential nutrients and vitamins, carrot juice is considered to be one of the best home remedies for cold and flu. For babies between six months to 1 year old [https://www.in.pampers.com/baby/development/article/1-year-old-baby-activities-and-development] [Link ALT Attribute: 1 year old baby], you can steam carrots, then mash and dilute using some warm water. Older kids can have fresh carrot juice.

Precautions to take when curing baby’s cold

Cold is caused due to multiple viruses, and once babies get infected, they build immunity against it. However since there are so many viruses that cause cold, it’s absolutely normal for your baby to catch a cold six to seven times in the initial two years, or more. And although it sounds awful, and it truly is, there are many things that we can do to help fight the infection effectively and to ease your baby’s discomfort. A baby having cold is one of the initial trying times that a parent goes through, seeing their baby go through such discomfort. But, being proactive and taking a few steps will help ease the process and provide your baby the much-needed comfort and relief it needs.

  • Make sure that the baby is dry at all times. The weather plays a crucial role and having wet nappies during winters can further aggravate the sickness. We may be checking for wet nappies but we’re human at the end of the day. There could be times when we miss checking or are too tired, considering the first few months include sleepless nights that take a huge toll on parents, mentally and physically. In such situations, it is always advisable to use diapers to make sure that your baby stays dry and warm. Babies are at the risk of catching a cold if kept diaper-free for long.
  • Maintain cleanliness and hygiene at home by washing your hands thoroughly to be safe from germs and viruses.
  • Ensure that your baby gets plenty rest. 18 hours of sleep is a must for babies, and for toddlers, a minimum of eight hours. Baby may be drowsy and less active than usual, in such cases, let him rest.
  • Keeping your baby hydrated is extremely crucial when he has a cold. Feeding your baby warm liquids is a plus as it helps loosen the mucus and drain the mucus out of the body.

When to see a doctor?

If your baby seems to not get any relief after using then home remedies for cold, it is recommended you visit the Paediatrician. Here are some signs you can look out for that should turn on the alarm bell for you:

  • If baby has a continuously runny nose with thick, greenish and yellowish secretion.

  • Difficulty in swallowing coupled with a sore throat.

  • Fever greater than 101 or 104 degrees for more than two consecutive days.

  • Has issues with breathing or is wheezing.

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