Home Remedies When Babies Have a Cold
Besides cold medicine for babies, some home remedies might also help them recover faster. Consider the following:
1. Continue Breastfeeding
Breast milk is the best cold medicine for babies. Breast milk contains antibodies and other nutrients that boost your baby’s immune system against cold and other viruses.
Adequate breast milk intake also helps meet the nutritional needs of babies, which is crucial for their recovery.
If the baby refuses to nurse because they are irritable, pause for a while and try again later. If the breastfeeding strike persists, bring your child to the doctor.
2. Have a Humidifier
Humidifiers help keep the air moist. Moist air is easier on the nose and throat, which helps your baby breathe better.
If your child is sick, try not to set the air conditioner in his room until he is completely better. The cold air or temperature of an air-conditioned room can worsen their symptoms because AC makes the air drier.
3. Give Them Fruits and Vegetables
Proper nutrition is an excellent cold medicine for babies aged 6 months and older. If your baby is just starting with solid foods, consider mashing some fruits and vegetables for puree.
Fruits and vegetables contain various vitamins and minerals that speed up their recovery and protect them from other illnesses.
4. Offer Them Honey
Drinking honey can help with cough and sore throat. You can give a teaspoon of honey for the baby to drink, or dissolve honey in tea or warm water.
However, do not give honey to babies under the age of 1 as it increases the risk of infant botulism
5. Give Them Warm Water
When the baby is six months old and above, you can give warm water to help soothe his throat.
This natural cold medicine for babies helps loosen the mucus and prevent dehydration.
If your little one doesn’t like drinking water, you can work around this by making warm tea, lemon water, or soup. However, do not give them sugary drinks.
6. Pat Their Back
Gently and slowly patting the baby’s back helps clear chest congestion.
Lay the baby on your thigh in a prone position. Then, gently pat their back with your cupped hand. If your baby is more than a year old, you can pat him on the back when he sits down on your lap.
7. Clean Their Nose
Mucus dries and hardens around the baby’s nose. This, of course, makes the baby feel uncomfortable.
To promote comfort, clean the crust around the visible area of the baby’s nose using a cotton bud or cotton moistened with warm water. Be careful not to push in farther the crusts/debris. Only clean what is visible to you and do not try to reach far inside the nostrils.
8. Give Them a Lukewarm or Tepid Bath
Give your baby a lukewarm or tepid bath before going to bed. In addition to reducing fever, babies can also inhale the minimal steam, which helps loosen mucus in their throat and nose.
When Should You Go to the Doctor?
Usually cold symptoms subside on their own within 10 to 14 days. Still, take them to the doctor if they are:
- Having difficulty breathing, which can be characterized by bluish lips
- Fast breathing and/or widening of nose (alae) when breathing and/or abdominal (wavy) breathing
- Less than 2 or 3 months old. This is because newborns are at high risk of complications from colds.
- Urinating less than usual
- Having a fever persistently above 38 degrees Celsius
- Constantly fussy
- Complaining about ear pain
- Having red eyes or eye discharge
- Coughing persistently
- Having thick, green mucus for a few days or blood in their phlegm
- Refusing to to eat generally.
Generally, if they don’t get better despite the medicine and home remedies, bring them to the doctor.
Learn more about Baby Care here.