8 Home Remedies for Cold and Flu in Babies and Kids
Cold and flu in Babies and kids are infections caused by viruses. Children under the age of six cannot be given over-the-counter cold and flu medication, whereas home remedies for cold and flu in kids can be used as an alternate medication to relieve cold and flu symptoms in babies and children.
Before we start with the list of home remedies, you are advised not to try all of these remedies simultaneously, and you should take care that your child does have allergic reactions to any ingredient. Also, confer with your pediatrician before trying these remedies, and remember to keep the baby’s age in mind before using any of them.
Natural cold remedies can help your baby feel better. Give them supplementary fluids, increase the humidity in the air, use an aspirator to clear their nose, and allow them to sleep.
Symptoms of Cold and Flu:
Knowing the symptoms that your baby will show when they had a cold will help you relieve the condition better.
Here are some points to look for,
- Running nose
- Sore throat
- Blocked nose
- Loss or decrease in appetite
- Mild fever
To treat colds in babies, parents must try to comfort them so that they can feel better. Fever causes dehydration, and the baby might not be thirsty or comfortable drinking. However, you must encourage them to drink more fluids.
A cold can make a baby pretty sad. While there is not much you can do to speed up their recovery, there are ways to make your baby more comfortable. Liquids orally, in the air, and as a nasal medicine.
1. Extra fluids:
Your baby feels better when well hydrated, and more fluids can help relax nasal secretions, too. Frequently breastfeeding is the best way to keep your baby well hydrated. If your baby is having trouble at the breast or bottle feed due to a cold, try suctioning their nose.
Stick to breast milk for babies younger than 6 months old unless your doctor advises. Infants like 6 months babies don’t need water, and being given too many fluids could be dangerous.
2. Saline drops and nasal aspirator:
When kids are too young to blow their nose, saline drops and a nasal aspirator can save the day.
Using an aspirator will clear slime from your child’s nose and make it more comfortable for them to drink from a bottle. It should be tried around 15 minutes before feeding.
How to use saline drops:
- Lay them on their back with a rolled-up towel supporting their head.
- Squeeze two or three drops of saline drops into each nostril.
- Gently rub your child’s nostrils. Wait a minute or two for the saline solution to thin and clear the mucus before suctioning.
3. Lots of rest:
It takes lots of energy to resist infection, and that can wear out a baby, toddler, or child. When your child rests, they’re recovering, which is exactly what they need to do.
Don’t worry if your baby is sleeping more than usual while they are sick. Let them go to bed earlier than usual or sleep in a little later if you can. Your baby may even desire extra rest.
At the same time, it will be a challenging task to get an uncomfortably sick baby to sleep.
Use the below tips that help them to get better sleep:
- Try to stick to your usual routines at rest time and bedtime.
- Get them as relaxed as you can before they fall asleep. For example, use a nasal aspirator if they are stuffed up and use a humidifier in the bedroom.
- Give your baby a warm bath. It’s soothing and may help relieve congestion, also.
4. Steam Therapy
Warm, moist air can clear a stuffy nose, and soothe coughs. Arrange your bathroom as a steam room by running a hot shower and closing the door. Try to sit with your child for about 10 – 15 minutes in the room. The steam will loosen the mucus and will loosen the baby from congestion. Make sure your baby is sufficiently hydrated before and after the steam room treatment as they will lose a lot of fluids.
5. Dry Roasted Turmeric Rub
Turmeric can help in relieving cold symptoms as it contains anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Burn a dry turmeric stick till it is charred on a stove and then make a paste by adding some water. This paste, when applied to the bridge of the baby’s nose, can provide relief. Do not apply the paste inside the baby’s nose.
To soothe a cough, offer kids ages above one year to 1 teaspoon of honey as required. But do not give honey to infants. They can produce a disease called infantile botulism. Use 2 – 3 spoons of warm, clear, liquid such as water or apple juice instead.
7. Always Raise Your Kid’s Head
Your child’s body restores itself at night when he’s asleep, which is why deep, uninterrupted and sufficient sleep is important for the sickness to reduce. Raising your kid’s head will stop the mucous to go back into his system and allow him to breathe smoothly.
Simply take a towel and fold it. Put this towel under your child’s head to elevate his head. You can try it with a soft pillow too. Make sure that the height of the pillow is normal as your child may end up having neck trouble if the pillow is too high.
The health benefits of ginger root have been touted for centuries, but now we have scientific proof of its remedial properties. A few slices of raw ginger root in boiling water may help soothe the trusted source of a cough or sore throat. Recent studies recommend that it can also ward off the feelings of sickness that so often accompany the flu.
9. Chicken soup
Sometimes mom does know best!
Hot liquids, such as soups for cold, help decrease mucus buildup and keep you hydrated. A study found chicken soup has anti-inflammatory effects, which help reduce a cold’s undesirable side effects.
Elder kids can gargle with salt water to get some relief from the cold and sore throat. Gargling helps in cracking down the mucus and reducing swelling. Make the baby gargle 5 – 6 times during the day.
Precautions to Take While Using Remedies
- Avoid trying any home remedy which affects the consumption of an oil, herb, or medicine for babies below 6 months of age.
- Ensure that your child is not allergic to any ingredient you will be using in your home remedy.
- Breastfeed as much as you can. Breast milk has a lot of antibodies that construct immunity.
- Ensure that the baby gets 18 hours of sleep, and toddlers or older kids get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep when they are with a cold and cough.
- Honey will not be recommended for children who are less than 1-year-old.
- Toddlers and elder kids should be encouraged to use a handkerchief and wash their hands to avoid sickness.
- To avoid infections wash your as well as your baby’s hands frequently during this time. As 80% of infections spread through touch.
- Give only boiled and cooled water to control any other infections in the baby.
- Do not give food forcefully to your baby. Loss of hunger is common during colds and flu.
- Try the recipes yourself before using them on the baby.
- Your baby’s clothing during a cold and flu should be as per the weather.
- Keep your house neat & clean, so the infections will not spread and no one else falls ill. It is a good idea to disinfect objects that are used frequently.
- Keep your child away from school or daycare when they are not well, especially if they have a fever.
When to Consult a Doctor
- While using home remedies, you must also observe your child for the symptoms given below. If the symptoms continue, immediately you must take your little one to a doctor.
- Running nose and cough with thick, greenish, and yellowish secretion.
- Sore throat and difficulty swallowing.
- Refuses to eat or drink.
- Inflamed tonsils.
- Increased respiratory rate.
- Fever greater than 101 or 104 degrees for more than two days.
- Has a fever that does not reduce after taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
- Has issues with breathing or wheezing
- Extremely drowsy or fatigued.
All the above symptoms are indicative of something other than the common cold and would require prompt medical attention.
The above-mentioned remedies will help provide your little one relief from the cold. You could take a trial and error approach where you can observe which remedy your baby reacts to the best. Once your child recovers from the cold and flu, you must go into prevention mode.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I treat my baby’s cold at home?
- Offer plenty of fluids. Liquids are important to avoid dehydration.
- Suction your baby’s nose. Keep your baby’s nasal passages clear.
- Try nasal saline drops.
- Moisten the air.
What home remedy is good for a cold fast for kids?
- Plenty of fluids.
- Saline spray.
- Extra pillows.
- Vicks VapoRub.
Can I put Vicks on my baby?
If your baby is under the age of 2, you should never apply Vicks to their chest, nose, feet, or elsewhere.
How can I unblock my baby’s nose naturally?
The nasal spray works by thinning out the mucus, allowing the nose to clear out and ease congestion.
What can I give my baby for cold and flu?
- Give plenty of liquids, including breast milk or formula.
- A small amount of water may be offered to your baby if they’re over 6 months old.
- Suction out nasal mucus using saline drops and a suction bulb.
- Moisturize the air with a cool-mist humidifier.
How do kids get rid of mucus in their lungs?
You can use a cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier in your child’s room to help loosen mucus in the airway and relieve cough and congestion.
How can I prevent the flu naturally?
- Wash Your Hands Thoroughly & Frequently.
- Keep Your Space. Try to stay about six feet away from others when possible.
- Stay Active.
- Eat a Nutrient-Rich Diet.
How do you know if your baby has pneumonia?
Symptoms of pneumonia include fever and cough. Some kids will also have chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, or faster breathing.