Watching your child suffer whenever they are feeling under the weather is one of the worst things as a parent. You feel completely helpless and wish that you could cuddle your way to their better health. As kids get older, there are more medications and over the counter options that do make a difference whenever a cough arises, however, whenever you have a baby or toddler on your hands, not too much makes a difference. There are a few doctor-approved natural cough solutions to try as a parent of a sick child.
Our Dr. Noze Best founder, Dr. Steven Goudy, Pediatric ENT says, “Having a cough is hard as an adult, and even harder when it is your child! The purpose of the cough is to remove mucus and bacteria from the lower airways to clean and clear the pathways of easy breathing. Unfortunately your child’s cough seems to get worse at night, and we often want to suppress the cough so they (and you) can sleep!”
5 Natural Cough Solutions For Little Ones
First, you might be wondering, “but what about cough medicine?” Dr. Goudy shares that, “currently there are not any FDA-approved cough suppressants for children because there is a concern that it will lead to a buildup of mucus and bacteria in your child’s lungs, making pneumonia more likely.”
This is why having natural cough solutions at home and available for your little ones will make your life easier as a busy parent whenever sickness arises.
1. Broth, hot or cold drinks
Heck, even chicken noodle soup will do the trick! Liquids help thin out mucus, making it easier to cough up. This is a great natural cough solution if you have toddlers at home, not for babies. However, formula and breast milk will do the trick for younger ones after you have used a nasal aspirator to clear out their nose passages so they can eat or nurse without congestion.
As an added bonus, if your child has a sore throat from coughing too much, cold liquids will help soothe and even numb it a little bit so they have temporary relief.
If you have a child who is ages 4 or older, they can also safely suck on a popsicle to provide coughing relief as well. For younger ones, ages 6 months to 4 years, try putting frozen fruit in mesh bags (try these from Munchkin!) and letting them chew on it for a similar effect - minus any choking hazards!
3. A cold-mist humidifier
“Making sure that your child’s airways are well humidified is one of the best things that you can do,” says Dr. Goudy. Having a cool-mist humidifier in your child’s room will be especially helpful for nighttime coughing as they try to sleep. The cool-mist humidifier will help loosen chest and nasal congestion.
4. Saline drops.
A lot of the time, a baby’s cough is caused by postnasal drip and the easiest and most natural solution is to use saline drops to help loosen up the mucus. Once the saline drops have been absorbed (give it about ten seconds), use the NozeBot baby nasal aspirator, that provides hospital-grade suction in the comfort of your home, to suck those boogers out!
We want to highlight how honey is almost always on top of cough remedy lists if you are looking for natural options, but we want to note that honey cannot be used on any child under the age of one. This is because babies can develop botulism, an illness that is rare, but serious and “caused by a toxin that attacks the body’s nerves,” according to the CDC. Dr. Goudy shares that iIf your child is older than 1, and has had all their vaccinations, you can try honey to help their cough (and provide a sweet treat) if your pediatric provider is on board.
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We truly hope that these natural cough solutions for babies helps your little one better manage their cough and gives you some peace of mind as a parent!
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The Nozebot is a battery-powered suction device designed to clear nasal congestion in babies and children.