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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Under-the-Weather - Natural Cough Remedies for Babies

The searched-for info on the net related to baby health tends to be on cough and cold remedies, and no wonder - over-the-counter medication and its negative effects on babies is all over the news lately. So I've gathered a few more natural remedies for you.

The first one I touched on before - the humidifier. Vicks makes a humidifier that has a tiny reservoir for their Vicks drops. But for a baby, that might be a bit too intense. There are several essential oils that can be used instead; with just one or two drops of a high-quality oil, you can really help clear up those little lungs. The oils to try would be: eucalyptus, thyme, sage, peppermint, or rosemary. As I said, just one or two drops should do it. Also, make sure you don't use it in a totally enclosed room. Run the humidifier with a bedroom door open, and check periodically to make sure the vapors aren't too intense.

Steam is a great way to help congested lungs. Take your baby into the bathroom with a hot shower running. This time, shut the door and just sit together in the room so baby can breathe the steam for a good 10 or 15 minutes. Or you can sit baby in a nice warm bath for a similar effect. Adding a cup of chamomile tea to the bathwater can give a little more comfort and relax your baby.

And speaking of tea, you can make a mild tea of sage and thyme for baby to drink. Make sure you don't steep it too long - just a couple minutes - and taste test it yourself to check the potency. If your baby is under 6 months, it's a good idea to check with your pediatrician before trying this one. Only a little tea is necessary, and make sure it isn't replacing a regular formula or breastmilk feeding.

If your baby has a productive cough, mix 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger with 1 teaspoon olive oil and rub it on your baby's chest. This will help clear things up.

For breastfeeding moms, make sure you're keeping up on your vitamins, and eat lots of foods rich in vitamin C. Lemon water is a great way to get an extra boost. By eating extra healthy yourself, you'll be passing on those benefits to your baby.

If you've got any cough remedies of your own, please add them to the Comments. I'd love to hear them.


Tracy said...

Those are some GREAT ideas. We love to bring baby into the shower like you said. Also, don't forget to incline baby's head for sleep. Many people sleep on more pillows for comfort and drainage when congested. We also like to give any of the Hyland's tablets that have chamomile in them.

Anonymous said...

I tried the ginger with the olive oil and my toddler broke out in hives. He has eczema, so I just wanted to warn other moms whose babies might have allergies. Also, we do not give him chamomile because it is a rag weed and he is also allergic to that. The warm bath is a good idea.

Jodi said...

thank you so much, I love to research things like this also, thank you for your time and blog!


Diane said...

Hi Jodi,

Thanks! I've moved this blog to You should come visit me there - it's loaded with new stuff!

Diane said...

Hi Jodi,

Thanks! I've moved this blog to You should come visit me there - it's loaded with new stuff!