Cough in toddlers can last for a long time without proper care and Indian cough remedies and can disrupt their daily life. As most cough symptoms become stronger when lying down, sleep disruption can also affect the toddler.
However, there are a lot of simple Indian home remedies for cough that can help you take better care of your little one, and shorten the span of their cough and cold infections.
Understand the different types of coughs
The sound of the cough can give you an approximate understanding of the location where the cough is coming from, allowing for a more focused remedy.
1) Deep Cough, which could be coming from the chest – could be caused by the accumulation of mucus in the airway
2) Tight cough, originating from the upper part of the throat – could be caused by infection of the larynx
3) Mild cough, along with sniffing – could be caused by postnasal drip from the back of your child’s throat
How do you get rid of a dry cough in a toddler?
Dry cough can be a problem for toddlers, caused due to a lot of factors, from a respiratory infection, inflammation of the airway to even simple dryness of the airway and cold infection. There are different Indian home remedies for cough which can work to varying degrees in soothing a toddlers cough problem.
Half a teaspoon of honey for kids from age 1 to 5 years and 1 teaspoon of honey for those of age between 6 to 11 years will soothe their irritated airway and a high level of antioxidants will also help their immune system fight any respiratory infection better. It also tastes good and kids will love having them. This is one of the best Indian home remedy for cough for toddlers at anytime
Note: Do not give honey to kids below 1 year of age as it may cause Botulism.
2. Warm Chicken Soup
Every kid will love a warm chicken soup, which has been a long time remedy for inflammation and infection. Its warm vapors will also help loosen the mucus in the airway and reduce irritation.
3. Warm juice
Simple warm juice will thin out the mucus in the airway and reduce irritation
4. Cough Lozenges
Cough lozenges come in tasty flavors and your toddler will never say no to them. Kids from age 4 onwards can suck on these lozenges which will soothe the soreness of their throat.
5. Mist Humidifiers
A practice more prevalent in the developed countries, mist humidifiers improve the water vapour content of the air around you which can prevent the airway from getting dry and also helps reduce nasal irritation.
6. Salt Water Gargle
A long practiced remedy, salt water gargle, maybe with lukewarm water is effecting at thinning the mucus and reduce the dryness of the throat.
Do allow this practice only for toddlers who are older, and who are not prone to swallowing accidentally.
7. No physical activity
During a cough infection, it is recommended not to allow the kids to indulge in physical activities as that can worsen their coughing fits.
8. Adequate Rest
A child in such a situation should have adequate resting time, which will allow their immune system to improve its effectiveness. This home remedy is safe for your kid and really effective.
Steam can be a highly useful remedy in helping your child breathe easy. Simply put some hot water in an open container or bowl, and let the kid inhale the warm vapours for about 10 minutes. You can also mix some eucalyptus oil in it for older toddlers.
10. Keep the surrounding area clean
A cough symptom can get worse due to presence of dust, pet dander, or other forms of allergens in the immediate environment of the kid. Keep the area clean to prevent exposure to any known allergens.
Coughing: Best Indian Home Remedies at night:
Lying down or sleeping, particularly at night can cause coughing in the toddler, and can severely disrupt the toddler’s sleep cycle. However, with a few simple home remedies, the problem can be reduced
1. Let the toddlers headrest in an elevated position
A very common remedy, keeping the children’s head in an elevated position, allows for better breathing, and less obstruction.
However, infants and young babies should not sleep on a pillow. Consult with your doctor or physician on the best practice,
2. Using a mist humidifier
As mentioned above, the water vapor in the air will help the child sleep comfortably, with less cough causing irritation in the airway.
3. Saline drips
Over the counter saline drips, specifically made for young children, can be used to thin the mucus in the nose and can be extracted out with a cotton cloth. This practice can be allowed only once in a day, before sleep, as repetition can cause dryness in the nasal passage. Use a bulb syringe, if the kid has not yet become better at blowing their nose.
4. Use a chest rub
A simply massage or rub with ointments such as the Vicks, can make the child feel comfortable while sleeping
Proven Indian home remedies for cough for kids
Of course, in India, due to the varieties of natural ingredients that are easily available to us, there are a lot of age-old remedies, which have continued till today, with great results, due to the medicinal properties of these ingredients
These Indian home remedies for cough, particularly in infants are still useful enough, in improving the symptoms and affect the root cause of illness.
1. Mustard Oil
It is an effective Indian remedy for cold and cough symptoms. Heat 1 tablespoon of mustard oil, with 1 fat garlic clove and a pinch of ajwain powder for 1 minute, taking care not to burn the garlic completely. After filtering out with a strainer, massage the chest and back of the toddler.
2. Ginger Tea
Ginger can help loosen the mucus and is a highly effective remedy. Mix grated ginger in a cup of water, boil it for about 5 minutes, add half a tablespoon of lemon juice and one tablespoon of honey, and serve it warm to the kid.
Note: It should be done only for kids age 2 years and onwards.
Garlic can be used by itself by using one clove of it boiled in a cup of water, and after straining it, served warm to the baby. Only do it for kids above 1 year of age.
It can be also mixed with rasam, particularly tomato rasam or soup, which can then be served with hot rice. This can be done for kids from 8 months onwards.
Turmeric is a more effective and powerful Indian remedy for coughs for all. Boil a pinch of turmeric powder with a cup of water, which can then be served warm to the baby.
Mix it in milk and provide it to the baby.
Tulsi has a lot of medicinal properties and is a highly effective tool against cold. Wash 10 leaves, and boil them in around 2 cups of water, along with 2-3 peppercorns, one quarter of cumin seeds, also 2-3 ajwain leaves, for about 5-7 minutes. Serve it warm, along with palm sugar.
6. Black Pepper
Black pepper can be used in varying degrees to help your kid.
It can be dry roasted, finely powdered, mixed with honey, and can be fed to the baby (from 1 year age as above). The powder can be also used with a handful of mashed hot rice and ghee. It can also be given with rasam.
Dry roast 1 tablespoon of ajwain seeds, until there’s a nice aroma and tie it in a cotton cloth, making a ajwain potli. Let the kid inhale it for 30 seconds.
One quarter tablespoon of cinnamon along with one tablespoon of honey can be served plain, mixed with applesauce or oatmeal to the baby, which can be quite effective in reducing the cough
Other than these, there are also several other Indian remedies involving lemon, or ghee, or pure ginger that are also highly effective.
When to see the doctor
In some cases, the cough may not be a simple cold and may signify something more severe, in which case, it is advisable to visit your doctor or physician.
A visit to the doctor is necessary when
a) Baby is not nursing or drinking enough fluids
b) Baby is crying uncontrollably, in spite of all your attempts at soothing
c) Toddler is having difficulty breathing or is wheezing
d) Toddler is choking or unable to swallow
e) The cold or cough lasts for weeks
f) Baby or toddler has acute ear pain
These Indian cough remedies, mostly natural and effective. As well as focus on making the toddler’s immune system becomes resistant to cold and infection, which in the long run is beneficial for the child. Over the counter drugs should only be administered to babies or children, under the extreme situation, under the advice of a doctor or physician, as repeated use can make their immune system overly dependent on the drugs, alongside causing different side effects.