It is not uncommon for newborn babies to suffer from colds and coughs, mainly due to weak or premature immune systems. As a matter of fact, within the first one year, most babies have up to seven instances of cold.
Newborn babies contract various infection-causing viruses through contact with an infected person or contaminated air or surfaces.
Common symptoms of colds and coughs in a newborn are a congested or a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, a low-grade fever of up to 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, irritability, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping.
One of the most difficult stages of parenting is dealing with a sick child.
The American Academy of Pediatrics even warn against giving cough and cold medications to children under the age of 6 because of potential adverse side effects, and as such it is best to embrace natural methods.
Natural home remedies will relieve their symptoms and strengthen their immune systems.
However, we advise you consult your doctor if your child has a temperature higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit and symptoms persist more than one week.
Always seek doctor’s advice if your baby is younger than 3 months old and is suffering from a fever.
Here are 10 ways of getting rid of colds and coughs in newborn babies.
How to Get Rid of Cold and Cough in Newborn Babies
1. Sponge Bath
One of the most effective ways of reducing fever in newborn babies is to give them a cool water bath or a sponge bath in order to regulate their body temperature.
This bath has the added advantage of relaxing your child and it will help them have a better sleep, which is essential for faster recovery.
- For small babies, give them a sponge bath 2 or 3 times daily. Soak a clean cloth in room temperature tap water, wring out the excess water and then sponge the hands, armpits, feet, and groin to reduce the temperature.
- Alternatively, place a clean, cold, damp washcloth on your baby’s forehead and change it every few minutes.
- For older children, you can give them a cool bath.
Note: Don’t use very cold water, as it may cause the internal body temperature to rise.
2. Warm Chicken Soup
Now, for children older than 12 months, warm chicken soup is very effective when suffering from a cold or a cough. It can help relieve congestion.
Also, the antioxidants in it help speed up the healing process.
In addition, it also helps improves the function of protective cilia in the nasal cavity that prevent contagions from entering the body.
A study published in the Chest Journal shows that chicken soup contains some beneficial medicinal substances for the upper respiratory tract infections.
You can serve your children homemade chicken soup using chicken and vegetables such as spinach, carrots and beet root.
You can give them chicken soup 2 or 3 times daily.
Lemon is another potent home remedy for cold and cough in babies. Being a rich vitamin C source, lemon helps strengthen the immune system and aids the body in fighting colds and flu.
Additionally, it’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties also help alleviate symptoms, such as a sore throat, coughing, and runny nose.
- Extract lemon juice from 4 lemons and add 1 tablespoon of ginger slices to it.
- Put it in a pan and add enough boiling water to cover the ingredients.
- Cover and let it steep for about 10 minutes and then strain off the liquid.
- Add a small amount of warm water along with raw honey to this liquid for taste.
- Give your child this hot liquid to drink, several times a day.
Note: For babies less than a year old, add sugar instead of honey for taste.
Honey is a good remedy especially for children age 1 and above who are suffering from the common cold or a cough.
It is rich in antioxidant, antibacterial and immune-boosting properties that help relieve coughing, soothe a sore throat and eliminate the bacteria responsible for the infection.
- Make a mixture of 2 teaspoons of raw honey and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Give this mixture to your child every few hours for symptom relief.
- Also, you can have your child swallow a spoonful of buckwheat honey a few times a day.
- A glass of warm milk with honey can also be effective in relieving dry cough and chest pain in children.
Note: Never give honey to babies who are not up to 1 year of age, as it contains bacteria that can cause infantile botulism.
5. Breast Milk
Breast milk is very important and essential for babies, especially when they are sick. It contains a unique balance of nutrients to help their bodies’ combat infection and recover faster.
Babies between age 0 to 6 months should be fed exclusively with breast milk to help fight off different infections as well as strengthen their immune system.
Oranges are also a rich vitamin C source that can help increase the production of white blood cells that fight off the cold-causing germs.
It also boosts the immune system to ease symptoms, such as a sore throat, coughing, and runny nose.
- For children above 2 years of age, give them 1 to 2 glasses of orange juice daily.
- For babies below 2 years of age, dilute orange juice with an equal amount of warm water and give it to them to drink at regular intervals.
- Also, older children can be given oranges to eat in order to increase their vitamin C intake.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a highly effective remedy that can help reduce a child’s fever. Due to its acidic nature, it helps draw heat out of the body through the skin.
- Make a mixture of 1 part raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and 2 parts cool water, and soak 2 washcloths in this mixture. Squeeze out excess solution and place one washcloth on the forehead and one on the tummy. Replace the washcloths after 10 minutes. Repeat the process until fever drops.
- Now, for children older than 2 years of age, add ½ cup of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to lukewarm bathwater. Have your child sit in the bath water for about 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat this process if the child’s body temperature rises again.
Ginger is a very popular spice that can be used to cure colds and coughs due to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral and antitussive (cough suppressant) properties.
It can also be used to induce sweating and expelling heat, which in turn relieves mild fever. Additionally, it strengthens the immune system to help speed up recovery.
- Boil 6 cups of water, ½ cup thinly sliced ginger and 2 cinnamon sticks for about 20 minutes.
- Strain this mixture and add raw honey or sugar and give it to your child to drink several times a day.
- For babies younger than 1 year of age, you can dilute the liquid in warm water before giving it to them.
- For older children, you can give them ginger slices or ginger candies to chew.
9. Bishop’s Weed
Bishop’s weed also known as carom seeds is another effective remedy to get rid of colds and coughs in babies.
The carom seed has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties which can help cure common cold symptoms, such as fever, nasal congestion, and sore throat.
Also, it helps loosen mucus so that it can be easily expelled from the body.
- Boil a ½ teaspoon of Bishop’s weed in a cup of water for about 5 minutes, then strain it. Give this solution to your child several times a day.
- Another option, mix together 1 teaspoon each of dry roasted carom seed and jiggery. Give this mixture to your child two times a day.
Ensure to give your child plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration, which can worsen your child’s condition.
Also, ensuring proper hydration helps thin the body’s secretions, making it easier for your child to expel the germs and reduce congestion.
- Give oral rehydration solutions to small babies to help replenish fluids and lost electrolytes.
- Give lukewarm water to older children at regular intervals,
- Decaffeinated tea mixed with raw honey can be given to children age 1 or older.
- Clear juice, clear broths, vegetable soups should also be given to sick children.