Home Remedies for Cough in Babies and Newborn

The way a baby’s body reacts to cough is completely different compared to an adult’s. Their tiny bodies get completely rattled and make a big sound every time they cough. There can be multiple reasons why children cough – infections such as cold or flu, allergies, exposure to irritants like pollution or smoke, among others. Coughing can be quite painful at its worst, and particularly bad for babies as their lungs and airways are yet tender. Hence, making it crucial to cure it by resorting to safe home remedies for baby cough.

Home remedies for cough

It’s easier for adults to combat cough as we can easily reach out for over-the-counter medication. But the same does not apply to babies. Instead of resorting to cough suppressants and other medication, opting for baby cough remedies is a much more viable solution.

Here are a few home remedies for cough in babies that can come in handy.

  • Breastfeeding:

    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 cough remedy for babies under one year.

  • Garlic and carom seed (ajwain):

    A time-tested home remedy for cough, 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.

  • Honey:

    It helps soothe sore throats and also eases cough. Half a teaspoon honey is sufficient for babies, but not for those under a year. And the best part is, babies and kids don’t create any fuss to take it because it tastes good!

  • 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.

  • Warm drinks:

    Not only does a nice warm drink – could be warm milk or water – feel good and soothe the throat, it is also an amazing home remedy for cough in toddlers. Warm liquids help in thinning out mucus which makes it easier to cough up. Moreover, this ensure your little one is hydrated aplenty.

  • 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 cough 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.

Prevention is better than cure

It is always best to avoid illnesses by adopting precautionary measures right at the beginning. And a persistent cough can lead to painful throat sores with aches and shivers. So, how do you keep your baby away from cough? As cough in children is mostly a symptoms of a cold or flu. It is important to make sure that the baby does not catch a cold. Here are a few tips on certain practices that you can adopt early in to avoid cough:

  • Ensure that babies are warm, especially infants as they are used to the warmth in mummy’s womb and the weather may cause discomfort.
  • Make sure that the baby is dry at all times. 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.
  • Be observant and recognise if the baby is allergic or reacts to something, and avoid it. Keep the area that the baby engages in, dust-free.
  • Keep infections at bay by administering the necessary vaccinations within the time frame that it needs to be given.
  • Maintain cleanliness and hygiene at home by washing your hands thoroughly to be safe from germs and viruses.

When must you see a doctor?

While most coughs are harmless and don’t require medical intervention as they can be cured with certain cough home remedies, there are cases when you must consider visiting the paediatrician:

  • If your baby grunts with each cough, is struggling for breath or can’t talk due to the cough.

  • Has fainted or stopped breathing.

  • Has bluish fingertips or finer nails.

  • The coughing makes then turn red or purple.

  • Baby has severe chest pain when coughing.

  • If baby is coughing blood

  • Has a fever that does not improve.

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