Cold in babies is very common. It is a problematic period when a baby is suffering from cold, for the baby as well as the parents as there is no immediate relief for this ailment. I have observed that in most of the cases once the cold occurs it takes a minimum of 5-7 days to get relief from it no matter what medication one takes. Cold in babies can make these few days very tortuous. So, in this article I am sharing some causes, remedies for cold in babies, safety measures to be taken etc. which can be helpful to give some comfort.
Causes for Cold:
- Contaminated surfaces can be a major cause as many viruses are present on the surface for 2-3 hours or more
- Direct contact with someone having cold can lead to transmission of the virus to your baby
- Air can be a direct medium of transmitting cold in babies when someone with cold sneezes or coughs etc.
Symptoms of Cold in Babies:
- Runny nose
- Difficulty in sound sleep
- Irritability etc.
Remedies for Cold in Babies:
- Feed the baby with very light and easy to digest food as the heavy food will produce more kapha (phlegm in layman language) which will further produce more heaviness.
- Frequent breastfeeding is advisable as it contains antibodies which help in fighting the cold.
- Make sure your baby doesn’t get constipated.
- Give carrom (ajwain) seed water (take 1 tsp of ajwain in 500 ml i.e a glass full of water and boil it till it reduces to half). Strain this water and keep giving a teaspoon of this frequently to the baby. It will help the baby to recover soon and also in avoiding snuffy nose. This remedy is for babies above 6 months.
- For babies below six months fumigating the room of a baby with carom seed smoke (in charcoal angeethi) can be done.
- For babies below six months mother’s milk is the best. And if baby suffers with snuffy nose then saline drops can be instilled in nose so that there is no difficulty in breathing. Care should be taken not to use the saline drops very frequently as it produces dryness in the nasal lining.
- Make a paste by rubbing jaiphal (nutmeg) in a grinding stone and mix it with cow ghee. This paste should be gently rubbed in the temples and the dimples above the hip of the baby. This gives warmth to the baby which helps in fighting cold.
- Change the clothes of the baby daily to avoid infection.
- Bathing the baby in warm water can help. Just make sure the baby is not exposed to cold after bath. Keep the room of a baby warm.
- Steam helps a lot. Keep a humidifier or simply keep boiling water on an induction so that the room has warm vapors. It helps in relieving congestion.
- Keep wiping the nose and don’t let the mucus get dried up around the nostrils as this is where the virus resides and keeps active.
- I personally don’t suggest giving anti allergens. If fever persists then acetaminofen drops can be given.
- Homeopathic medicines taken through proper prescription by a doctor is good for babies as it is easy to administer and is also having no side effects.
- Another medicine which I found to be very useful is Divya Dhara by patanjali which can be rubbed in the clothes and around the pillows in case of babies. Care should be taken that the liquid should not go in the eyes of the baby as it can cause a lot of irritation.
Lastly I would say that according to Ayurveda, cold can be beaten up with heat. Not only external heat but internal heat which is nothing but the digestive fire. If the digestive fire is active cold cannot harm. So lot of care should be taken while selecting food which you give to your little ones.
Home remedies for Cold in Babies:
One of the best home remedies for cold in Infants is honey as it has been shown that consuming honey before sleeping leads to a more sound sleep and settles cough.
Keeping your baby hydrated is really essential for making your baby feel better as cold or cough makes a baby lethargic . the signs of dehydration in babies are fewer tears while crying, dry mouth, less active than usual etc
3. Extra pillows
Extra pillows can help a baby get relief from congestion which is one of the most effective newborn baby cold home remedies.
4. Breast milk
Breast milk contains antibodies that are essential for fighting with all kinds of viruses or germs along with hydrating the baby
A humidifier can be a great support in getting relief from cold by moistening dry hair and act as the best baby running nose home remedy
Turmeric reflects great antibacterial or anti-viral properties providing relief to the baby.
Safety measures to be taken
- Maintain hygiene
- Wash your hands often especially before handling the baby
- Don’t let a person with cold come in contact with the baby etc
When to see a doctor?
With the remedies in mind, cold should resolve in around 10-15 days, if not seek medical assistance especially in case of newborns make sure you get him/her checked up with a doctor at an early stage only, to prevent anything serious afterwards.
Lastly I would say that according to Ayurveda, cold can be beaten up with heat. Not only external heat but internal heat which is nothing but the digestive fire. If the digestive fire is active cold cannot harm. So a lot of care should be taken while selecting food which you give to your little ones.
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