When your baby comes down with a cough, you want to do whatever you can to make her more comfortable. Yet at the same time, you don’t want to grab over the counter medication, since there are usually side effects and chemicals that you’d rather not expose babies to if it can be avoided. What's more, recent studies have shown that cough syrups are worthless and the sugar they contain may even prolong illness.
Thankfully there are quite a few natural remedies out there that you can use to calm your baby’s cough.
If your baby seems congested, take her in the bathroom and run a hot shower. The steam from the shower will help loosen that congestion in her lungs.
Putting your baby in a warm (not hot) bath can have the same effect. Make the bath even more effective by adding a few drops of eucalyptus, sage or thyme oil into the bath water. The vapors from these essential oils will help open baby’s airways, allowing her to breath easier. The vapors from these oils will also sooth a sore throat.
If your baby's cough is caused by croup, sometimes the best course of action is to wrap her up warmly and take her out in the night air. The cold air sometimes calms the inflammation in the upper airways.
You can also use sage and thyme to make tea out of them. The warm herbal tea will help clear mucus out of your baby’s lungs. Please check with your pediatrician to find out at what age you can start giving your baby these herbal teas.
Licorice tea is another great natural cough treatment. Licorice has antibacterial properties that will help you baby fight the bacteria that are causing the cough. It also soothes the throat and calms the respiratory tract; helping her get some much needed sleep. Make a cup of licorice tea and give it to your baby as warm as possible, of course without burning her.
Another very effective and gentle natural cough remedy for babies is an herbal rub. Start with 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil and add 2 drops of essential oils to the olive oil. Good oils to use are eucalyptus, sage, rosemary and peppermint oil. A mixture of eucalyptus and rosemary works really well at night, since the eucalyptus will calm your baby’s cough and allow her to breath easier, while the rosemary helps calm her down and drift off to sleep.
Mix the olive oil and essential oils well, then apply the mixture to your baby’s chest and back. If the baby is small, swaddle her in a soft blanket, otherwise keep her back and chest as covered as possible with a thicker, tight fitting shirt to build up body heat which will allow the essential oils to vaporize. As baby breathes in the fumes, breathing will get easier.
A humidifier is another great option when it comes to making your coughing baby more comfortable. Use a few of the same essential oils suggested above and run the humidifier in baby’s bedroom.
Some Moms have found that breastmilk will help soothe and heal a cough better than any other drink. If you're nursing and baby develops a cough, don't stop breastfeeding. Increase baby's feedings. Breastmilk is not a dairy product and is the safest food for baby when he's sick.
This article is provided for information purposes only. Please consult your baby's health care provider before trying home remedies.