The first time your baby develops a bad cough, it can be extremely worrying. However, coughing, wheezing, and developing a cold is actually pretty common during the infant stage, and even while your baby is teething. You usually have absolutely nothing to worry about, though a quick trip to the doctors is always reassuring!
Once you know it’s nothing serious, the big question is how can you treat it? When adults have a cough, over the counter medicine usually works wonders. However, for babies and toddlers, you can’t just buy any old cough medicine due to potentially nasty side effects.
Here, we’ll look at ways to soothe a baby’s cough without, or as a supplement to, medicine. While these home remedies for your baby’s cough are considered safe, it’s also important to point out here that any medicine you do give to your little one should always be prescribed from a doctor.
Saline Drops – A Common Safe Solution
When your baby’s cough is accompnaied by a cold, one of the most common solutions is saline drops. These are easily found in your local drug store, and they really help to reduce swelling of the airways, as well as thin mucus from the nose.
These nasal drops really are great at reducing discomfort safely and quickly. They can also be purchased on Amazon quite cheaply, and are worth having around for when you need them in the future.
The Power Of Steam
Alternatively, you can also try and take baby into a steamy room. This has a similar effect when it comes to unclogging the airways.
Some parents even suggest using a humidifier with Eucalyptus oil. However, before using any essential oils it’s important to do your research as some are harmful to babies and toddlers. Click here to learn more about essential oils and how they can help your baby’s cough. A humidifier on its own without any added oils will work just as well. Be aware however, that mold and other bacteria can build up in a humidifier over time. So, it will need to be cleaned after each use to ensure it doesn’t make your little one even more ill.
You can also give baby more frequent steamy baths, or turn the shower on and leave it running for a while before switching it off and taking baby in the room, shutting the door and sealing off any gaps to allow the steam to build up. Stay in there for around 15 minutes for the steam to take effect.
A Bulb Syringe
If your baby is still really young, a bulb syringe is often a fantastic product to use alongside saline drops. They are especially great for use just before a feed. Using the bulb syringe around 15 minutes prior to bottle or breastfeeding will help unclog the nose, making it easier for your little one to feed.
You’ll need a saline solution, whether nasal drops or a homemade solution, along with a rubber bulb syringe. It is recommended you use a store-bought solution as making one yourself is a lot more difficult than you might think. If made incorrectly, organisms contained within tap water can cause an infection in baby’s nasal passages. So, store-bought is a much safer alternative.
Provide Plenty Of Liquids
When baby has a cold, they’re going to need more fluids than usual. Excess liquid helps to thin the mucus and ease the symptoms. However, unlike with slightly older children, the fluids you can give to baby are limited.
Simply increasing the amount of feeds you give your little one is the best idea. Don’t try to give babies under the age of six months water or juice.
Place A Pillow Or Towel In Baby’s Crib To Raise The Head
When suffering from a cough or a cold yourself, you’ll probably know that keeping the head raised when you’re lying down can help a lot. Place a pillow or a folded-over towel inside your baby’s crib so they can rest their head on it. This raises the head, clearing the airways slightly and making it easier for them to breathe.
Switch To Easy To Swallow Foods
If baby is older than six months, you’ll want to focus on giving them foods that are easier to swallow. Anything soft and smooth will help to soothe a sore throat associated with the cough. Try yoghurt, pudding and ice cream for example.
If baby is younger than six months and is struggling to drink enough breast milk or formula, a visit to the doctor or pediatrician will be required.
Important Things To Consider
When trying to treat baby’s cough, it’s important to seek advice from your doctor. If you look online, you’ll discover a wide range of natural remedies are recommended. However, these should be avoided unless your doctor says they’re ok. Even natural-based ingredients may not be safe for baby to take.
While many baby coughs can be treated naturally, occasionally they may need proper medications. Again, these should always be prescribed by the doctor or pediatrician. Many cold and cough medicines aren’t safe for children under the age of 2, so it’s best to be safe and check before giving them anything.
Another reason you’ll want to seek your doctor’s advice before treating a cough is because coughs can be triggered by different things. If the cough is coming from a problem with the lungs for example, rather than a cold, it could be potentially dangerous.
Overall, the above are the best ways to soothe a baby’s cough. However, as mentioned above, it is important to seek professional advice before you attempt to treat the cough yourself. The cause will need to be determined, otherwise you risk it progressing and potentially making it worse. When it comes to baby’s health, you can never be too careful.
This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always consult with a doctor or licensed medical professional before making any medical decisions.