A cough is the reflex action of a body to boost clearing of the upper Airways. Cough in babies isn’t treated in the same way as adults. The chemical based cough syrups and other OTC medicines that adults use are not good for babies, toddlers and children under the age of 6.
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Based on this note, it is better to treat cough cold and flu of your baby with home remedies. These remedies will reduce the symptoms and give fast relief to your baby. She will feel better but the illness period may not get shortened because it has to run its course of about 10-14 days anyway.
Symptoms of Cough in Babies
Cough is alarming signals if your child gets it under the age of four months. Always consult your pediatric before taking on any home remedies at this stage. Cough in babies above the age of 1 year is not as much cause of concern.
The cough may produce one or more if the following symptoms
- Difficulty breathing
- Slight fever at night
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Barking sounds
- Waking up in the middle of night
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Most of the time the cough and cold in babies is caused by viral infections and allergies which can be treated by home remedies.
Causes of Cough in Babies
Infractions, environmental pollution in some underlying health conditions can cause cough in babies. These can include;
- Bacterial Infection: This is a wet cough that produces phlegm or mucus
- Allergies: Allergies can cause, watery eyes, runny nose, sore throat or rashes in addition to the cough
- Cold: Dry cough may indicate cold or viral infection
- Acid Reflux: Acid reflux in babies can cause cough with bad taste in the mouth
- Wheezing cough: Wheezing cough may be caused by asthma
- Whooping cough: This kind of cough causes sneezing, runny nose and low fever
- Other causes: Inhaling foreign bodies such as cigarette smoke, fireplace smoke, chemical fumes and other irritants
Why You Shouldn’t Use Harsh Chemicals for Baby Cough
Viral infection in babies or adults run its course of 10 to 14 days irrespective of the medication you administer. Even if you take prescribed medicines that overwhelms the symptom and give you relief, the illness will still continue until it has run it has course. Therefore, no need to use chemical based medications if it is going to give only symptomatic relief. There is really no need to use any such medicine for viral cough and cold.
5 Effective Home Remedies for Cough in Babies
Following home remedies give enough relief during an episode of viral or allergic cough in babies.
Saline nasal drops is used to shrink the swollen airways and thin down the mucus. Otherwise wise the stuffy nose causes sleeping, breathing, and eating difficulties. You can use suction bulb to remove the mucus.
- Sanitize your hands with soap and water
- Cradle your baby in one arm
- Suck a few drops of saline as recommended by your doctor
- Give the saline drop by gently squeezing dropper in the nose without touching the mucus
- Keep the baby in same position for 5 minutes for saline drops to thin the mucus
- Keep your baby in seating position if she begins to cough
- Clean dropper sand saline bottle top before capping the bottle
Ensure that the dropper is properly cleaned before and after administering saline drops. Also rinse the top of the bottle with warm water.
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Another way to thin out mucus is to give your baby more fluids like water, fresh juices, and milk. Breastfed children below the age of 6 months should only be given breast milk or formula.
Elder toddlers can be given water and juices.
Chicken soup it hot chocolate can be given to kids who take cooked meals.
Add cool mist humidifier in your babies’ room. Use it with proper care to avoid developing molds and bacteria. Moist air will loosen the mucus to make it easy to remove and give your baby a lot of relief.
Honey soothes sore throat and aid in removal of mucus. This is a good remedy for 1 year and older babies. Administer ½ teaspoon of honey before bed and ensure to give the baby daily until cough is cleared. You can stop giving the baby after a couple of days of clear airways
Lots of Rest
Healing of any ailment is faster when sufficient rest is taken. Fighting infection saps energy, so if you baby takes more rest she will recover fast from infections if any that is causing cough.
Rest doesn’t mean being in the best all the time. Activities that do not give physical or mental strain also constitute rest.
- Let you baby or toddler sleep as much as she want
- Keep your baby or child occupied in simple activities like storytelling, drying with crayons it even watching a happy cartoon for sometime.
- Let her relax on rocking chair
Any other short term activity that your child enjoy us ok.
When to Call a Doctor for Your Baby’s Cough
Call a doctor immediately if your baby has:
- High fever
- Trouble breathing or talking
- Coughing blood
- Fatigued and appear sick
- Trouble swallowing
- Coughing blood
If your baby is really struggling to inhale, choking or has blue lips or fingernails then this is an emergency case. Otherwise normal cough and cold can be easily treated at home.