Tips for Mothers: Natural Cold Remedies for Babies, Infants, and Children
Home Remedies for Children With the Common Cold
Being a mother, I went through a difficult phase taking care of my son during his infant and toddler stage. Infants and toddlers with coughs, chest congestion, and nasal congestion, refuse to eat, cry during the night, and become irritated and fussy. It is no wonder kids cannot sleep well when sick—they have trouble breathing with all of the congestion and mucus.
Giving synthetic medicine is not always the solution for colds. My child used to vomit whenever he was given syrup, therefore, I avoided it. I began giving him home remedies. I wanted to share some tips with mothers so that they can manage a sick child naturally.
Always consult with a qualified medical professional regarding your child's condition. My advice is a blend of both personal experience and components of Ayurvedic medicine. Remedies should be cleared by a licensed health professional before use.
Cough and Sore Throat Remedies
Homemade Cough Syrup
Start giving this homemade cough syrup to babies 12 months or older at the onset of a cold and cough. Preparation instructions:
- Mix 50 mL honey, 50 mL lemon juice, and 2 tsp garlic juice.
- Add 2 tsp of ginger juice.
- Store in the refrigerator; before administering, remove and let warm to room temperature.
Give one teaspoonful of this mixture two times a day to children. For infants, give a half teaspoon two times a day.
Infants under 12 months of age should not be given honey due to the risk of botulism.
Milk Remedy for Throat Irritation
- While boiling milk, add a few pieces of garlic.
- After boiling, add a half teaspoon of turmeric powder.
- Drink this milk morning and night.
Additional Oral Remedies:
- Dry Ginger and Coffee: For daytime relief, drinking dry ginger coffee will also help.
- Chewing Cardamom: You may try giving cardamom or fresh ginger for chewing.
- Sipping Honey: Sipping honey will also eliminate a cough and throat irritation.
- Chewing Garlic: For older children, chewing garlic will eliminate night coughing.
Steam Inhalation for Congestion
When your child first begins to exhibit cold symptoms, you should introduce steam inhalation two times a day. Steam inhalation will help to open your baby’s nose and respiratory tract. Chest congestion will also be reduced. Babies will not sit for steam inhalation, so you need to get creative. You can attempt to gently introduce steam inhalation while your baby is sleeping.
Do not insist on steam inhalation if your child is showing signs of respiratory distress. In the event of respiratory distress, seek out professional help immediately. Always verify temperature and steam settings for safety to avoid the risk of steam burns and scalding.
How to use a vaporizer:
- Spread a blanket on the floor.
- Put your baby on the blanket with their head elevated on a pillow.
- Keep the vaporizer one foot away from your baby’s head.
- A parent should lie down beside the baby.
- Cover yourself, your baby, and the vaporizer with a thick blanket. Hold the blanket so that it does not fall over your baby’s face. Kids do not like blankets falling over their face.
- You may use steam inhalation for up to 45 minutes. Do not leave your baby unattended.
Topical Treatments for Chest Congestion
Warm your baby's chest with ajwain every two hours for coughs. I use this for my child when he gets a cough and chest congestion.
Rubbing mustard oil thoroughly on the back, chest, throat, hands, palms, and feet will bring down cold symptoms in kids. Simply boil mustard oil and fry a few cloves of garlic in it. This oil is naturally medicated.
Rubbing Vicks VapoRub thoroughly on the chest, neck, back, nose, below the ears, hands, and feet will also help with nighttime discomfort. Cover your child's legs with socks and Rub Vicks VapoRub on the feet and palms.
For children who are two and older, give them dabur chyawanprash, a nutritive jam that supports the immune system. I give dabur chyawanprash to my child and find it to be extremely beneficial for colds, coughs, and fevers in winter.
Amla Chyawanprash Recipe
Amla chyawanprash is a fantastic immune-building Ayurvedic health mix made of Indian gooseberry. Preparation:
- Mix amla (Indian gooseberry), jaggery, and ghee.
- Steam cook amla and separate the fleshy part (remove the seed).
- Fry this with melted jaggery and add ghee.
- Fry the amla and jaggery until mixed. Add honey.
Dosing: Give a teaspoonful of this mix to babies 12 months or older, two times a day.