It could be painful to see your little one coughing throughout the day, going through sleepless nights and being uncomfortably. No doubt cough and cold are common amongst kids, especially during a change in the weather and due to their exposure to germs. As parents, we try to take precautions that the baby is always healthy, but cough can render our efforts useless. And thats when you want to know about the remedies for cough in toddlers to help ease your baby’s discomfort. After all, we all want our kids to be smiling, giggling and happy.
Well, cough can happen due to a common cold, asthma, or a respiratory tract infection. It includes symptoms such as difficulty in breathing, stuffy nose, fever, etc. Since toddlers are too young to go with the over-the-counter medicines, it is always better to ease the conditions just with the items that are available in your kitchen. The below are some common. remedies for cough in toddlers and some practical advice to help them through this time.
In this article we will discuss about the tried and tested home remedies for cough in toddlers and believe us, they work!
Cough in toddlers could be very concerning and can hinder the daily routine and activities of the child especially when proper home remedies for cough in toddlers aren’t followed. Most of the cough symptoms aggravate when the toddler lies down which could also lead to sleep disruption.
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Though there are a lot of home remedies for cough in toddlers that work out, understanding the kind of cough your toddler is suffering from helps in providing the right treatment. The sound of the cough will help you know the location from which the cough is coming — helping you provide the right remedy.
1. What Is A Wet Cough?
Also known as a productive cough, the wet cough helps in bringing out the accumulated mucus. This could sound wet as the respiratory system tries to push out the mucus through the throat, nose, airways or lungs. A wet cough is mostly a sign of a viral or bacterial infection in children.
When there is a lot of phlegm accumulated in the chest it is usually hard to breathe during the night. Using a humidifier in the toddler’s room is the best way to keep the air moist. It helps to thin the phlegm and makes it move out of the lungs.
Honey is one of the safest home remedies for cough in toddlers due to its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Honey should not be given to infants less than 1 year old as it could cause botulism. This is also effective medicine and helps deal with toddler cough at night1.
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2. What Is A Dry Cough?
Dry cough doesn’t bring much mucus and is usually caused due to inflammation or irritation in the respiratory tract. It is caused by upper respiratory infections such as cold or the flu2.
For toddlers and babies, using a humidifier to moist the air in the room will also help cope up with a dry cough. Alternatively, you can take the child into a bathroom full of steam or take them outside in the cold fresh air.
3. Paroxysmal Cough
This is a kind of cough that is continuous and comes with a lot of pain. It makes the person tired. It could also lead to a struggle in breathing. Pertussis or whooping cough is a bacterial infection that causes violent coughing fits3. The best way to avoid your little one getting affected by pertussis is to get them vaccinated and follow our home remedies to ease babies’ vaccination pain.
Whooping cough is very contagious and could be easily spread. It is advised to give antibiotics in consultation with your child’s pediatrician and pediatrician should be chosen wisely. The earlier it is treated, the better are its results.
Croup is a viral infection that typically affects kids who are between 3 to 5 years old. This affects the upper airway and it becomes irritated and swollen. Since younger children have narrower airways, it becomes difficult to breathe.
- Place a humidifier in the toddler bedroom
- Take the child into a steam-filled bathroom for up to 10 minutes
- Take the child outside to breathe cool air
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8 Home Remedies For Cough In Toddlers Age 1-3
Cough and cold are common in toddlers. Their exposure to germs helps them build a good immune system. It is important to keep the toddler comfortable during this phase and give them adequate rest.
It is not always mandatory to run to a doctor or to a pharmacy to treat coughs in toddlers. Sometimes simple home remedies for cough in toddlers works. Listed below are a few such home remedies that work like magic.
1. Keep their head elevated
Keeping the toddler’s head in an elevated position gives them a better breathing posture. Hence if your child is above 1 year, it is suggested to arrange a few pillows behind their shoulders, head, and back — their head in an upright position.
For babies less than a year, it is advised to place a pillow below their crib in their head position which could improve their position. However, you may also consult your pediatrician in this regard to know about the SIDS effect (sudden infant death syndrome) if any.
One simple yet effective way to control cough in toddlers is using the steam technique. Run the hot water tap with doors closed and sit with your child for 15 minutes each — before going to bed and once in the morning. Steaming helps to clear nasal congestion and makes it easy for the baby to blow out phlegm.
You can also open your palms and tap a little hard on their back (where the lungs are) to clear the chest congestion.
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Running a cool-mist humidifier all through the night will help to keep your little one’s airway moist and clear. You can also open the windows during the daytime to get some fresh air and also avoid molds growing due to the humidity overnight.
Honey is one of the natural cold and cough remedies for toddlers and works much better than those cough syrups you get over the counter. It helps in treating night time cough better. According to a source, honey helps in treating cough and soothes scratchy throats.
You can give a spoonful of honey mixed in warm water. However, this is not recommended for children below 1 year.
It is important to make sure the child is hydrated completely when sick as water helps to fight the disease and keep them moist throughout. Make sure your child is drinking the required amount of water as per their age.
It is better to keep offering them water once in two hours, however, without forcing them. Offer lots of non-sugary liquids like soups and broths.
Vapor rubs work wonders in treating colds and coughs in children. One main ingredient in VapoRub is eucalyptus oil which helps to open the stuffy nose and eases breathing. You can put a few drops of eucalyptus oil in warm water and let your little one inhale the steam.
Alternatively, sprinkle a few drops of eucalyptus oil in the baby’s bed when the baby goes to sleep. This will help suppress toddler cough at night and make them sleep peacefully.
7. Carom seeds for cough
Carom seeds also known as Ajwain helps to clear chest congestion. Take a teaspoon of Ajwain seeds and add it to a little water. Let the water boil. Place a small towel above the boiling water. The towel needs to warm up in that boiling water heat. Now, place the warm towel on your child’s chest. This will help ease the cough. Make sure your child’s room is insulated while doing this.
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Tough as it may sound, plenty of rest can help your child’s immune system to function at its best. Needless. to say, this is the most essential and the primary step and should be counted as a major remedy for cough in toddlers. Now, making a toddler sit and rest by themselves probably won’t be possible, so snuggle up with them, watch a movie, read a story and engage in quiet play. At this time, active play is best avoided.
Cough in toddlers can last for a long time if the right treatment is not given at the right time. Though coughs could be bothersome, it is not usually a sign of serious concern. Coughing is healthy reflux to clear the throat and chest airway.
While most of the time the home remedies for cough in toddlers work great, at times you must pay attention to the seriousness of it. It could be a sign of something which needs the pediatrician’s intervention. All coughs aren’t the same and that is why there is a difference in the sound — dry and wet.
It is better to call your child’s doctor if your baby has a cough or a cold and is under 3 months old. Alternatively take all precautions to ensure your little one doesn’t get in contact with infections and viruses causing colds.