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

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Dhannyya is experienced in using home remedies for common ailments.

Natural home remedies can help relieve your child of cold symptoms.

Natural home remedies can help relieve your child of cold symptoms.

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.

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

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

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:

  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 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

  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 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.
Milk can be incorporated into remedies to soothe the throat.

Milk can be incorporated into remedies to soothe the throat.

Steam Inhalation for Congestion

Steam Inhalation

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:

  1. Spread a blanket on the floor.
  2. Put your baby on the blanket 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 the baby.
  5. 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.
  6. You may use steam inhalation for up to 45 minutes. Do not leave your baby unattended.
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Ajwain can be used to warm your baby's chest.

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

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.

Mustard Oil

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.

Vicks VapoRub

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.

Mustard oil can be used to warm the chest.

Mustard oil can be used to warm the chest.

Dabur Chyawanprash

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:

  1. Mix amla (Indian gooseberry), jaggery, and ghee.
  2. Steam cook amla and separate the 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

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Annie on March 30, 2015:

Good tips

britt on March 26, 2014:

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

Vasanthan R Menon from India on January 13, 2014:

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

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