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  • 9 Natural Remedies for Baby's Cough Used by Real Moms

    These moms say that plants like oregano and malunggay are very effective!
    by Kate Borbon .
9 Natural Remedies for Baby's Cough Used by Real Moms
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Baby cough can be worrying for many parents. Not only is baby feeling uncomfortable and stuffy, he might also be having difficulties breathing. But just because your baby is coughing doesn't necessarily mean his condition is serious or that he needs to be hospitalized.

    "Coughing and sneezing are the only ways babies have of clearing their airways — of lint, spit-up, whatever,” pediatrician Suzanne Corrigan, M.D. tells Parents. “It doesn’t necessarily mean illness.”

    Though tempting, don't give your babies cough and cold medicines. These should not be given to children under 4 years old, according to the Food and Drug Administration of the US. These include decongestants (phenylephrine), antihistamines (chlorpheniramine maleate and others), cough suppressants (dextromethorphan) and cough expectorants (guaifenesin).

    Contact your pediatrician if your baby’s cough only keeps worsening or if it is beginning to interfere with your baby’s eating and sleeping patterns. In most cases, however, simple home remedies you can do at home might be what you need to get rid of baby cough. 

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    Natural remedies for baby cough

    We asked parents on Smart Parenting Village to share the home remedies they use to treat their babies’ cough before bringing them to the doctor’s office. According to these moms, these home remedies work perfectly for their children!

    Before you give some of these home remedies to your baby, make sure she is six months and above, ready for solid food, and allowed to drink liquids. Pediatricians will tell you that babies shouldn’t drink water until they are 6 months old. They can get the hydration they need from breast milk or formula, even in hot weather. Read more here.

    Breast milk

    There’s a reason why breast milk is known as liquid gold! Breast milk contains properties that help protect babies from different kinds of viruses and bacteria. If your baby has a difficult time feeding at your breast, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests expressing your milk into a cup or a bottle for him to drink.

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    Water therapy

    The benefits of keeping your child hydrated are numerous, and according to the moms of Smart Parenting Village, it is one very helpful way to treat cough! Health.com writes, “Staying hydrated supports your system’s ability to eliminate pathogens or viruses. Plus, just like drinking tea or eating soup, water will soothe a dry, scratchy throat.” Parents says that liquids can also help thin out your child’s mucus so that it is easier to cough up.

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    Oregano

    Oregano is a plant that has long been known to contain properties which help fight off bacteria and treat coughs, so it is not at all surprising to see that many parents on Smart Parenting Village shared that they use oregano to treat their babies’ cough. While some suggested letting their kids drink homemade tea made out of the plant’s leaves or even pure oregano juice, most said that they would steam oregano leaves on top of rice as it is being cooked then add a bit of calamansi juice.

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    For babies, some moms shared that they would let their children inhale the steam coming from the oregano leaves. “Nakakapagpaluwag daw ‘yon ng paghinga saka nakakatulong para lumabas ‘yong plema,” one wrote.

    Malunggay

    Malunggay, otherwise known as Moringa oleifera, is another plant that is widely used as natural remedies for baby cough. One mom shared that she would give her children malunggay juice to drink, while some would also add a bit of honey and calamansi extract to it. Some also suggested adding malunggay to the lugaw they would make for their kids.

    Special lugaw

    A couple of moms shared that they would cook lugaw with onion, garlic, and ginger to help treat their kids’ cough. This is also a great idea for babies who have already transitioned to solid foods, and a simple way to make sure that your child isn’t hungry and that he gets energized. You may also want to try giving your little one chicken soup. Just its warm temperature can serve as a vaporizer that will help loosen your child’s mucus, according to Parents.

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    Honey

    Honey is another popular home remedy used by some parents on Smart Parenting Village to treat their babies’ cough. Most of the moms commented that they would use honey as an ingredient in drinks they would make for their babies to drink. For example, one mom wrote that she would make a mixture out of honey, calamansi, garlic, and onion. “Garlic and onion are natural antibiotics. Calamansi [helps to] boost the immune system. Honey is a good choice for cough. I give it [to my child] 1 teaspoon, 3 times a day, until [they get] better,” she said. Meanwhile, some moms simply said that they would mix honey with lemon juice or with ginger.

    However, honey is not suitable for children below one year old. According to the AAP, doing so might cause a child to develop an illness called infant botulism, which is a serious disease that “can cause abnormal functioning of the nerves, leading to weakness and paralysis.” On the other hand, children ages 1 year and above may be given honey, which can help thin down their mucus and loosen their cough. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) also notes that honey can alleviate soreness of the throat. If you don’t have honey at home, an alternative you can use is corn syrup.

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    Massage

    Many of the moms commented that they would apply oil on their babies’ chest and back then give them a gentle massage before putting them to bed. Some also shared that they would apply those to their babies’ feet before dressing them in socks to wear overnight. Why is massage helpful for soothing baby cough? According to Livestrong.com, when you massage your baby’s chest, you are helping loosen his phlegm, therefore making it easier for him to cough it out.

    When massaging your baby, pediatrician Dr. Roselyne M. Balita recommends using edible oil, like sunflower oil and virgin coconut oil, so there's no danger of your baby ingesting toxins when he puts his fingers or toes in his mouth. Mineral oil can get hot especially when you use it for massage where there’s a lot of friction, explained Dr. Balita. She does not recommend aceite de manzanilla as it can burn your baby’s sensitive skin.

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    Humidifier

    Humidifiers aid in adjusting the moisture levels in the air inside a home. The AAP says that adding a humidifier — specifically, a cool-mist humidifier — inside your baby’s room can help him breathe more easily. Remember to clean your cool-mist humidifier daily to prevent the growth of bacteria or mold, which can make your child sick.

    If you don’t have a humidifier at home, Parents suggests having your child sit in a steamy bathroom or take a warm shower. The steam can help ease your little one’s stuffiness!

    Essential oils

    A few moms responded that they would diffuse essential oils at home to help give their kids relief. However, make sure to use essential oils that are safe for babies or young children. Also, beware of essential oil varieties that might contain chemicals that might be harmful to your child.

    Let them get some sun

    Many moms shared that in the mornings, they would have their kids go out of the house and get their bare backs exposed to the sun for about 5 to 10 minutes to absorb some heat. This can also help relieve baby cough. If you’re planning to do this with your child, make sure you don’t stay out too long!

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