Your child’s constant cough in the night is hurtful to watch and can keep the whole family up until you find a way to ease your little one’s throat. If your child is below, say, about 5 years and has a minor dry or wet cough, you should consider home remedies for cough as medicated cough syrups may not give instant relief. In fact, I’ve heard that cough drops can make kids dizzy, restless, and sometimes hyperactive. Now, you wouldn’t want all these in addition to the incessant coughing in the middle of the night, would you!
Thus, try some of these home remedies I’ve suggested. Try one at a time until one of them finally work and allow them to fall back into a deep sleep. If the cough persists, you should visit a doctor or give him or her a cough syrup as prescribed by the paediatrician.
7 Effective home remedies for cough
1. Prop up your child’s head while sleeping
For starters, elevate your child’s head when he or she is asleep. This will help clear the airways helping them breathe easily and letting any mucus drain without any difficulty. Add an extra pillow below the one your child sleeps on. However, do this only for kids over the age of 1 year. If they’re younger, you could add a towel under the mattress of the crib. Please do so only after taking an opinion from a paediatrician.
2. Take a walk in fresh, cold air
A walk in the fresh, cool air in the night is known to relieve symptoms of cough. It eases any congestion in the nose or chest. Just wrap your child up in some warm clothes and take him or her out for a walk or a short drive.
Some parents apparently hold their toddlers in front of an open freezer for the same effect. I do not recommend this though. Try taking them for a walk. In case of toddlers, be sure to ask your paediatrician before doing so.
3. Offer honey to your child
Honey is known to have antibacterial properties that will help fight the infection that is a source of your child’s cough. In addition to this, honey will coat your child’s throat that would’ve become sore and scratchy.
You can give a spoonful of honey before bed to kids over 1 year old. You could also mix it with warm water and let them sip on it before they go to bed. This way, your child will stay hydrated too – which will eventually reduce the cough.
4. Make your child breathe in some steam
This is the best remedy in case of nasal congestion. Breathing in steam will loosen the mucus and let it drain. You could use a humidifier or turn your shower room/bathroom into a steam room. Leave hot water running in your bathroom for a few minutes with the door closed to let it steam up the bathroom. Sit inside the bathroom with your child for about 15 minutes to help your child clear his or her airways.
5. Ask your child to gargle salt water before going to bed
Coughs often cause immense throat and chest pain. Gargling salt water gives temporary relief by reducing any swelling in the throat and creating more space. Mix about half a spoon of salt in a glass of warm water and give it to your child to gargle. Give this to your child only if you trust that he or she is old enough to gargle and spit out the water.
6. Apply vapour rub on your child’s chest
You can apply vapour rub on your child’s chest to reduce his or her cough. The aroma will relieve cough and any breathing difficulties. Use vapour rub only for kids over 2 years old. Vapour rubs can have negative effects on toddlers and increase mucus production.
7. Give your child some sugar-free candy
If your child has a scratchy throat, get him or her a sugar-free candy or a frozen berry. Crushed ice or a popsicle, too, are known to have positive effects on soothing your child’s throat.
All of these home remedies have worked at some point in relieving my daughter’s cough and mine too, at times!
Do you know any other home remedies for cough? If so, let me know in the comments.