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Home Remedies for Runny Nose, Congestion, Cough-Cold in Babies and infants


Are you worried that your baby’s runny nose, common cold, congested chest and sneezing? Runny nose, cold can be quite troubling for your baby, especially at young age, as it might cause watery and red eyes, fever or headache. It is always better to follow appropriate home remedies as soon as you see the early signs of cough and common cold.

Following remedies are natural, safe and effective for babies younger and older than 6 months. But some of ingredients like sugar, honey, jaggery are prohibited for kids below 1 year old, so please read given notes carefully.

Remedies for below 6 months old Babies & Infants


1. Coconut oil with camphor oil

Slightly warm one or half teaspoon of coconut oil and 1-2 drops of camphor oil. Apply this mixture over baby’s entire body every night. 

This application will give fast relief to your baby in runny nose.

Note: test this mixture by applying little amount on small skin area of baby before applying it over entire body.


2. Mustard oil with garlic, asafoetida

1.  Crush one garlic clove and heat it with half teaspoon of celery seed or carom seeds/ajwain powder, 2-3 pinches of asafoetida and 1-2 tablespoon of mustard oil.
2.  Then add 2 drops of camphor oil to this mixture.
3.  Apply this slightly warm mixture and massage your baby’s body twice a day for fast relief. 

3. Steam

Inhaling steam helps clear out the mucus that causes the sneezing and runny nose. It also helps your baby sleep better.

For babies younger than 8 months, turn your bathroom into a steam room, simply shut the door and turn the shower on full hot. Sit with your baby into the bathroom for 10-15 minutes. Repeat this 2-3 times a day.



4. Ajwain hot compress

1.  Roast 2-3 tablespoon of carom seeds/ ajwain and wrap them in clean thin cotton cloth.
2.  Apply this warm cloth (hot compress) lightly on the baby’s chest and back several times a day for clearing out the cough and cold.

Note: Roast the seeds again, when it become normal.  



5. Flaxseed hot compress

Take 1 tablespoon of flaxseeds and 2 tablespoon of celery seed or carom seeds/ajwain and roast them on pan. Wrap them in cotton cloth. Press this warm compress in on the chest and back of the baby.

Above chest warming therapies and massages are very helpful relieving baby’s congested chest due to cough and cold.


Remedies for Babies older than 6 months

Caution: Don’t use jaggery for babies younger than one year, use fresh breast milk for them.

1. Nutmeg powder

Mix pinch of nutmeg powder with 1-2 tablespoon of fresh breast milk and give your baby once or twice a week. (You can give second dose after 6 hours of first dose)



2. Mint, basil, ginger mix

1.  Take 2 mint leaves, 2 basil (tulsi) leaves, pinch of black pepper, and half teaspoon of grated or mashed ginger.
2.  Boil all these ingredients in 2 cups of water on slow flame.
3.  Allow the mixture to boil until it reduced half. Let the mixture come to normal temperature and then strain it.
4.  Give your baby 1 tablespoon of this liquid after every four hours.



Note: Only 3 tablespoon a day is enough. You can add 1 teaspoon of fresh breast milk to every dose.


3. Dates with carom seeds and turmeric

Boil 1-2 dates, 1 tablespoon of carom seeds/ajwain/celery seeds and pinch of turmeric powder in cup of breast milk or normal milk for 5 minutes on low flame. Strain and cool it down. Give it to your baby to reduce a runny nose and associated symptoms in baby.

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Aditi Desai

Aditi Desai

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