Powerful Home Remedies for Cough and Cold in Babies that go Beyond Medicine
It is that time of the year when weather changes puts many of us into a fragile category. Besides the weather, today as we all go through the scare created by the novelty of Corona virus, the complications have only increased. A single sneeze or the slightest hint of being unwell is enough to put us into self-doubt or into a “could it happen to me?” syndrome.
Imagine, having a baby around you in this situation, who can neither protect themselves nor can be masked up. Just having this unpleasant thought will sink new parents to the lowest and keep them anxiously confused about how to protect their babies from this.
It would be difficult to see your little one uncomfortable; however, it is best to stay prepared, as a cough and cold are not unusual in babies under the age of 1 year. Let’s learn how we can fight off these infections with age-appropriate effective remedies that are simple and beyond medicine.
- Prevention: Babies can catch a cold and cough very easily since their immune system is still developing. Germs spread when someone coughs or sneezes, or when a baby comes into direct contact with an infected person. So, the first and foremost thing to do is to maintain hygiene and sanitise any surfaces which the child might come in contact with.
- Hydration: Give your baby breastfeed or formula feed as and when they demand, or more than usual if required, as it will help to thin out the mucous and expel it more effectively. If the baby is exclusively breastfed, continue to feed your baby frequently. This will make sure that the leukocytes which are immunity-boosting cells present in your milk will increase in number, whenever your baby latches on to you.
- Inclination: Irritation of the throat can be a sign of improper burping and hence feed in an upright position and do not miss out on burping him or her after every feed. Raising the baby’s head slightly by placing a pillow under the mattress or a wedge pillow helps to create an inclination that will help them breathe easily.
- Warm oil massage: Using this age-old wisdom will keep cough and cold at bay. Take about a ¼ cup of mustard oil, warm it and switch off the flame. While it is still warm, add 1 – 2 crushed garlic cloves and a pinch of carom seeds (ajwain seeds) to it. Keep this covered to infuse the oil with the garlic and ajwain. Once it is at room temperature, you can use it to massage your baby’s chest and soles of the feet. Alternatively, you can give your baby a soothing massage with some warm, cold-pressed coconut oil infused with basil (tulsi) and betel (nagarvel) leaves. Before you start with the massage, you must first do a small patch test to see if these oils suit your baby’s skin.
- Eucalyptus oil: Sprinkle a few drops of eucalyptus oil on a clean cloth and place it in the room where the baby sleeps. You can also infuse eucalyptus oil in water and place it in a diffuser. The pleasant aroma will expel any mucous out of his or her chest.
- Herbal rub: Indian spices have abundant healing properties and most of them can be safely used for babies. Roast a dried turmeric stick, powder it and make a smooth paste with warm milk. Add a few strands of saffron (kesar) and ½ tsp of sweet flag or vekhand (Acorus calamus) and apply it on the baby’s nose, forehead, chest, and back.
- Carom seeds (ajwain) potli: Thymol in carom seeds (ajwain seeds) is loaded with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, which helps to clear congestion and soothe a cough. Roast about 1 – 2 tablespoons of ajwain seeds in a dry pan till the seeds let out their aroma. While they are warm, tie these seeds tightly into a clean muslin cloth and keep it close to your baby’s nose while sleeping, or use it as a warm compress on your baby’s chest, back and throat. Always check the temperature before using it on the baby’s skin.
- Boosting the feel-good hormones: Give your baby some laughs and playtime to release happy hormones. While distancing is important, so is the touch and cuddle for you and your baby. Oxytocin is a feel-good hormone secreted by the body, when there is skin to skin contact with your loved ones. Spend time with your child and let them experience the magic of your touch.
These powerful magical first aid kits from our very own pharmacy will help your child recover more healthily and quickly. In addition to these remedies, the mother can also consume immunity boosting spices whose effects can be seen in the breast milk. This in turn can benefit the baby immensely. It can take up to 3 – 5 days to recover from a cough or cold, but keep an eye on their symptoms. If your baby is rejecting feeds or having less than usual wet diapers, be sure to visit a healthcare provider right away for professional care.
Disclaimer: None of the suggestions in the blog is meant to replace medical advice or medicines. Please check with your doctor or healthcare expert before trying anything new.