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Tips for Mothers—Natural Cold Remedies for Babies, Infants, and Children

Updated on December 13, 2017
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Dhannyya is experienced in using home remedies for common ailments.

Home Remedies for Children With the Common Cold

Mothers have the hardest time alleviating their babies when they catch a cold. Infants and toddlers with coughs, chest 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 may have troubling breathing with all of the congested and mucus.

Being a mother, I went through a difficult phase taking care of my son during his infant and toddler stage. Giving synthetic medicine is not always the solution for infant colds. My child used to vomit whenever he is given syrup, therefore, I avoided giving medicine to him. 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.

Sore throat cough syrups can be made from home using natural ingredients.
Sore throat cough syrups can be made from home using natural ingredients. | Source

Cough and Sore Throat Remedies

Homemade Cough Syrup

Start giving this homemade cough syrup to babies 1 year of age or older at the onset of cold and cough. You can mix this in the refrigerator. Mix the ingredients as follows:

  1. Mix 50 mL honey, 50 mL lemon juice, and 2 tsp garlic juice
  2. Add 2 tsp of ginger juice
  3. Store in the refrigerator; before administering, remove and let it warm to room temperature

Give one teaspoonful of this mixture two times a day. For infants 12 months or over, 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 can be incorporated into remedies to soothe the throat.
Milk can be incorporated into remedies to soothe the throat. | Source

Milk Remedy for Throat Irritation

  1. While boiling milk, add a few pieces of garlic.
  2. After boiling, add a half teaspoon of turmeric powder.
  3. Drink this milk morning and night.

Additional 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 their night coughing.

Steam Inhalation for Congestion

Steam Inhalation

When your child first begins to exhibit cold symptoms, you should introduce steam treatment. Steam treatments, two times a day, can reduce cold symptoms. Babies will not sit for steam inhalation. Do not insist on steam inhalation if your child is showing signs of respiratory distress. In the event of respiratory distress, seek out professional attention immediately. Always check temperatur and steam settings for safety. Avoid steam burns and scalding. You can attempt to gently introduce steam inhalation while your baby is sleeping.

How to use a vaporizer:

  1. Spread a blanket on the floor.
  2. Put your baby on a blanket on the floor with their head elevated on a pillow.
  3. Keep the vaporizer one foot away from your baby’s head.
  4. A parent should lie down beside baby.
  5. Cover yourself, baby, and the vaporizer with a thick blanket. Hold the blanket so that it does not fall over baby’s face. Kids do not like blankets falling over their face.
  6. Vapors will stay inside the blanket and baby will get the benefits.
  7. You may allow for steam inhalation for up to 45 minutes.

Do not leave your baby unattended. Steam inhalation will help open your baby’s nose and respiratory tract. Chest congestion will also be reduced. I have found Vicks VapoRub to be beneficial for my child. Offering steam inhalation two times a day can alleviate cold symptoms in a baby.

Ajwain can be used to warm your baby's chest.
Ajwain can be used to warm your baby's chest. | Source

Topical Treatments for Chest Congestion


Warm your baby's chest with Ajwain, Bishop's weed, or carom seeds every two hours for coughs. I use this for my child when he gets a cough and chest congestion.

Mustard Oil

Rubbing mustard oil thoroughly on 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.

Vicks VapoRub

Rubbing Vicks VapoRub thoroughly on 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 feet and palms.

Dabur Chyawanprash

For children who are two years old and older, you can give them Dabur Chyawanprash. Dabur Cchyawanprash is a nutritive jam that supports the immune system. I give my child Dabur Chyawanprash and found it to be extremely beneficial for colds, coughs, and fevers, especially in winter.

Amla Chyawanprash Recipe

Amla Chyawanprash is a wonderful, immune-building Ayurvedic health mix using Indian gooseberry. Preparation:

  1. Mix amla (Indian gooseberry), jaggery, and ghee.
  2. Steam cook amla and separate the cooked, fleshy part (remove the seed).
  3. Fry this with melted jaggery and add ghee.
  4. 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.

Amla Chyawanprash Preparation


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    • profile image

      Annie 2 years ago

      Good tips

    • profile image

      britt 3 years ago

      Please do not give a baby honey! There is a rare illness that babies can get from consuming honey before 1 year of age. I would remove this from the page because it could be very harmful for a baby

    • vasmenon profile image

      vasmenon 3 years ago from India

      Very useful tip indeed....Should try it out soon on my 4 yr old...