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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Natural Remedy for Baby's Cough

(Note: You can now read Natural Remedy for Baby's Cough at the new dkMommy Spot!)

I'd like to try and share as many natural cold and flu remedies for babies and young children that I can this season. With parents becoming more reluctant to use over-the-counter medications, the search is on for natural alternatives, and I've got a slew of them up my all-natural sleeves!

If you have a baby, owning a humidifier is essential when living in the cooler climates. I'd suggest a humidifier with a small reservoir for inhalants. If you already own one and there isn't an inhalant reservoir, that's alright. I'll show you how to use essential oils in either case.

Probably the most common essential oil that comes to most minds for coughs and stuffy noses is eucalyptus, but that's pretty potent stuff for babies, in particular babies under a year old. If it's all you have, you can use a few drops in the humidifier, but stay in the room with your baby while the humidifier is running, and keep the door open a crack. An oil I prefer is rosemary. A good quality rosemary oil requires only a couple of drops in the inhalant reservoir, and the fragrance is calming and pleasant. If you plan on putting your baby to bed while using rosemary in the humidifier, try running the humidifier for a good 30 minutes before bedtime. That way you can check the room for vapor intensity. Keep in mind your baby's sense of smell is much more acute than yours; less is more. After you put your baby to bed, keep the door open a crack just for a little extra ventilation.

If your humidifier doesn't have the inhalant reservoir, put a few drops of the oil on a cotton ball and place the cotton ball near the steam vent. But make sure you don't block it, or no humidity will get through.

Always get the highest quality oils you can afford, because there is a difference between them. If you can, give a whiff of the oil before you buy it. It should definitely smell like what's written on the label!

One last piece of advice: I've seen humidifier cleaning solutions out there, as well as additives to put in the water tank to avoid mineral buildups. I'd definitely steer clear of these. We've used humidifiers in our home for years, and if you clean them regularly with water and vinegar, and if they're rinsed out very well, you'll have no problem with buildups. It's important to take apart the entire unit on a regular basis as well, scrubbing out any mineral buildup with an old toothbrush.

Check back for more cold and flu natural remedies for your babies and young children. The wonderful thing about natural remedies is you can use several at once without worries. And that's important because when your little one is sick, nothing is better for mom and dad than peace of mind about cold and flu care.

(Note: Two other possible oils to use would be thyme or lavender. Follow same precautions.)


Gruppie Girl said...

My 7 year old ccoughs for the month of November and then for the month of February. Nothing seems to help. The poor thing!

Would you reccomend a humidifier with rosemary oil for her too?


Diane said...

Hi, Gruppie Girl! Yes, you could definitely use the humidifier and oil for your daughter. Since she's older, you could use the eucalyptus too, which is stronger. I'd still suggest leaving the door open a crack, just to be on the safe side. Even just the humidifier might really help her out. Hope it gives her a better winter!

dawn224 said...

I *Adore* our warm air humidifier. I'd never thought of rosemary before. Thanks!

s said...

Great advice - I just found this through google. My 14 month old has a cough that keeps her up at night. I will definitely put some oil in the humidifier.

nouf said...

My two sons (one is 3 yrs old and the other is 3.5 months old) both cough all the time.
The pediatrician told me that both had clean chests, so it is all from their noses.
He did not precribe anything to my baby other than saline solution. The eldest took a cough medicine, but it did not cure him.
Do you suggest anything? Can I rub their chests with warm olive oil+ rosemary oil?
My baby keeps on choking from the secretions that go down his throat from his nose. I am very worried :(

Diane said...

Hi neuf! I'm so sorry to hear your little ones are having difficulties! Did the doctor tell you to clean your baby's nose with the saline? I use Baby Saline that comes in a little aerosol can, and that will at least keep the nose clear. Also, for your older one, you could try ginger tea. It can be potent, but if you don't make it too strong, he should be fine. Try my new website It's this site but more beefed up, and I've done newer coughing articles. Also, if you'd like to email me directly at, maybe I can write out some more ideas for you. I know you must be very worried!