Catching a cold can be a disturbing experience, especially the running nose, itchy and red eyes, itching nose and general malaise associated with it. If infants get cold, matters become even more worse as the baby can get cranky and the nasal congestion can make it difficult for baby to breathe or suck milk.
Many of us are scared to try medications or even home remedies in such cases. However, there are surely some very effective and safe home remedies that can be used for treating cold in babies. Here are a few of them that can be tried at the comforts of your home.
Ways To Cure Infant Cold
Saline drops are generally used for loosening the mucus inside the nasal canal and also for removing and irrigating the nose so that the breathing can be eased and the baby can sleep peacefully without much trouble. For this, you can use an over the counter saline drop or prepare one at home by adding half a teaspoon of salt to eight ounces of warm water. Using a bulb syringe, put one drop into one nostril. This can be sucked out using the bulb syringe. Repeat for each nose several times to clear the nasal blockage.
Honey is a mild antiseptic and antibacterial agent and can be used for treating infant cold. Half to one teaspoon of honey can be given for infants over one year. This can also be mixed with some warm water as honey can be a little too sticky for their mouth.
A humidifier helps when your baby is having a particularly bad cold with nasal and chest congestion. This can cause him or her great difficulty while sleeping due to the breathing trouble. In such cases, use a humidifier at home while your baby sleeps. A humidifier steams the air, keeping it moist and this helps in keeping the mucus from becoming sticky and keeping the nasal and chest congestion to a minimum.
Care has to be taken to keep the humidifier clean and change the filter frequently to prevent other infections and aggravation of symptoms. Using a humidifier will also help in keeping the throat and nasal passages from becoming dry and causing irritation.
Fluids are very important when you have a cold. This is because, lack of adequate fluids can cause the mucus to harden and this will again aggravate the symptoms of chest congestion and nasal blockage. To prevent this, ensure that your baby drinks warm liquids frequently so that the warmth from the fluids will aid in melting the phlegm.
It is also important to avoid fluids that can aggravate a cold or chest congestion. Fluids like milk, starchy fluids like rice water etc. must therefore be avoided even if it is warm. This will help in moisturizing and relaxing the blocked airways. Fruit juices, which are rich in vitamin C, too can be warmed and given as it will help in strengthening the immunity of the body as well.
Giving your baby a steamy bath too can give wonderful results when he/she has cold. For this, you can use a closed bathroom for first building up the steam and then give your baby a warm bath inside the bathroom. This will relieve his chest and nasal congestion by melting the mucus and easing the breathing. You might want to use a bulb syringe for removing the mucus and use a saline solution for irrigating the nose after a steam bath.
There are many essential oils that can be used for opening up airways. The best that can be used is eucalyptus oil that is known for its amazing properties that can relieve chest and nasal congestion naturally. As eucalyptus oil is very strong, it has to be used with much care when you are treating a baby.
Do not attempt to spray the oil on to the bed or pillow on which the baby sleeps. Make use of a diffuser into which you can add one drop of eucalyptus oil along with the water. The fumes from the diffuser will help in opening up the airway passages of your baby. However, you must limit its use to once a day and not every day.
Saffron can be used on the baby for relieving congestion. Saffron can be grinded and made into a paste with water and the paste can be applied on the chest, forehead, neck and throat of the baby. This can be left overnight for its action to take place. This will help relieve all chest and nasal congestions. Continue application every day until the baby is relieved completely off the cold.
Lady Finger Soup
Soups like ladies finger soup can be given to the baby if you have started on semi solid foods. Ladies finger is known to be mucilaginous in nature and can help in removing the mucous from the baby’s respiratory tract. You may also add freshly ground turmeric and a few cumin seeds, which are antibacterial in nature and help in the healing process by removing phlegm from the chest and nasal passages. The soup can be simmered for ten minutes and allowed to get warm before giving it to the infant.
Chicken soup is known to be wonderfully relieving when served warm or hot. This can be given to the baby if he/she has started semi solid foods. Certain compounds in chicken is known to relieve mucous build up and open up airways, which will help in treating infant cold effectively. Researchers suggest that canned varieties of soups are as effective as homemade ones. Serve warm instead of hot.
Chamomile has anti inflammatory and soothing properties and help in treating infant cold. A mild tea can be brewed and given in small quantities to ease the symptoms and relieve your baby off the cold. Though there are several other herbal teas that are safe for babies, you must always consult a doctor before giving them.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.