27 answers

Natural Remedies for Cough/congestion??

What do you do for a child who has congestion...how do you get that congestion moving out??? I have a 10 month old and a 3 year old and that junk is in there just not moving very much. They both feel fine...well, the little one has a slight fever as of this morning. He had a hoarse cough starting this early morning. They aren't miserable-I am!! Seeing them sick.

Anyone have any 'natural' remedies I can try to get that stuff moving? Or do I just leave it alone and let it work itself out?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you to all of you that responded! I ended up doing the steam room. My daughter sorta freaked out after a while because she was so hot. Fifteen minutes was plenty! Did that once. Then I've just been doing the eucalyptus oil in some olive oil-both my kids had a skin reaction with the vicks. So I've been rubbing them down with that and it helps. Took them to the doctor yesterday just to be sure and everything checks out okay they just have congestion, no wheezing, ears are clear so it's just a waiting game until all that comes out. Doctor said to give mucinex to my 3 year old but the little one couldn't take anything. Fortunately they both are active and feel fine...little rascals!

Featured Answers

Hot (or warm!) green tea with honey and lemon. My boys both have allergies and it helps clear them up really fast. Also, if it is allergies, use local honey! It helps to clear the allergies out a little.

I always use vapor rub on chest and feet as my doctor recommended. Also, Saline drops in the nose help since the cough might be coming from drainage. Good luck & Hang in there!

Hi S.!

I used saline drops and a cold water humidifier for my 8 month old son when he was congested last month. He did very well using both.

Good luck!


More Answers

one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 tablespoon cinnamon powder daily for three days
this process will cure most chronic cough, cold, and clear the sinuses

1 mom found this helpful

We used to use a humidifier for infants. We would but vicks vapor rub on their chest. But if you are worried about something that old fashioned, you may want to try this website.


Lots of fluids, not too much dairy, will also help get rid of some of the mucus production.

1 mom found this helpful

Vicks on the bottoms of the feet and then put on socks is a big, big helper. For the 3 year old, you can try a Neti pot. I used one on my son starting at 3, so it's worth a try. Use non-iodized salt and warm water in it to flush out the nasal and sinus passages. For the baby, use saline spray to keep the nasal passages wet so that the mucous is able to move when it is ready to do so. I use an herbal cough expectorant called Naturade Herbal Expec. It contains guaifenesan (what's in Mucinex) and herbs and thins the mucous so that it can move out. I started using it on my youngest when he was 8 months old, at half of the dosage with my doctor's okay. I also use a couple of homeopathic rememdies made by NatraBio...."children's allergy" or "children's cold/flu". (Get the Neti pot, expectorant and homeopathic remedies at Whole Foods or your local health food store. Whole Foods will order any of these if they don't have them in stock.) The combo of Vicks on the feet, saline up the nose (either using Simply Saline spray or a Neti pot), the expectorant, and the homeopathic remedy do wonders for my two boys, now ages 5yrs and 2 yrs.

Also, take your kids to a pediatric trained chiropractor. I have been completely shocked at how this has helped my boys! Every time we have any congestion, we go to the chiro for an adjustment, and the mucous is moving rapidly out of them by the time we make it home after the adjustment. The effects of the adjustment on the respiratory system is just plain gross and amazing.

Last thing, adjust their diets and completely avoid the following: (These foods increase the histamine response in the body, which affects mucous production. The list is in order of biggest response to the lowest histamine response.)

shellfish, fish, cheese, cow's milk, pig products, other cow products (such as beef and yogurt), fowl (turkey, chicken, etc.), eggs, lamb, soy, and oats.

My boys eat alot of applesauce, crackers, pb&j, baked french fries, and fruit smoothies using fruit juices and fruits when they are sick. I wish I could get veggies in them in regular form, but I can't, so sometimes they make it in unnoticed in a smoothie!

I have kept my formerly asthmatic 5 year old child off of drugs and my ear-infection prone younger child off of drugs using all of these methods I've told you about, which has been very surprising to me. No need for breathing treatments for the past 2 1/2 years for my 5 year old, and never a single prescription med for my 2 1/2 year old.

Best of luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,

I personally like the homeopathic remedies, they are very effective with kids. You can get them at Whole foods Market.

And for cleaning the nose and congestion you can get a spray called Baby Simply Saline at any store (Walgreens, Krogers, etc) for the spray you will have to buy one for each kid, is not to share.

Other option is the "little noses" saline spray/drops, also at any store and it is the same just without the pressure.

Good luck,

1 mom found this helpful

Vicks, humid air, fluids...Eucalyptus Oil mixed with a bit of water on a rag over nose (works like vicks) or mixed in pot on stove for humidity. (It needs to be mixed with something and not direct contact to skin.)

Let them hang out in the bathroom for a little while with a hot shower running to clear things out. Use saline nasal drops to clear the nose and moisturize (I like Little Noses brand.)

Put a rolled up towel or thin blanket under the head of their mattresses to prop their heads up a little at night and help things drain.

You can use a cool mist humidifier too, but I never found them to be very useful. Also be sure that they are getting plenty of fluids during the day to keep hydrated and thin the mucous (especially if there is any fever involved.)

Good luck!


email me and I can send you info about xanthones that work very well. I have an article of MRSA and how these help.

tecuento123 at yahoo

I live in RR.


Vick's on the bottom of the feet with socks is great. Always did it with mine when they were babies. SO much better than giving them some medicine to swallow I found. Good luck.

I am not familiar with natural remedies,but in the past with my kids the hoarse cough has meant a trip to the dr.because it usually is a sinus infection or croup.

Hi S.!

I used saline drops and a cold water humidifier for my 8 month old son when he was congested last month. He did very well using both.

Good luck!


I would use Vicks on their chest (I've heard putting it on the bottom of the feet with socks on works too), use a humidifier in their room (or whatever room they're in), use those Vicks plug-ins, use saline drops and a nose syringe to try and pull some of it out, have them drink lots of water and no dairy products (dairy makes mucous thicker), and you can also buy the liquid Mucinex for kids (not sure if they have any for babies, but I know your 3 yr. old could take it). Other than that, there's not much else to do except wait it out, and take a nap whenever they are sleeping LOL
Hope they feel better soon!

Hot (or warm!) green tea with honey and lemon. My boys both have allergies and it helps clear them up really fast. Also, if it is allergies, use local honey! It helps to clear the allergies out a little.

I always use vapor rub on chest and feet as my doctor recommended. Also, Saline drops in the nose help since the cough might be coming from drainage. Good luck & Hang in there!

I would second the advice about a steamy bathroom (but without letting your kids in the water), saline drops, and also Mucinex (which is just an expectorant, helping loosen everything so they can cough it up). Although I'm not sure you should use that with the 10-month-old. Hope you all feel better!

Most of what I thought was already suggested, for example, get them off of dairy (creates phlegm) and sugar (lowers the immune system)products, but then there's the obvious too, plenty of water, rest and vitamin C (a natural anti-histamine). You can also massage their sinuses to get the stuff to move out naturally. I learned that from a chiropractor. I hope they are doing much better by now.

My Dr. told me to put her over my knees and thump her back for about 10 minutes. It should be like thumping a drum, firm enough to help break up the congestion. Of course, we do this in combination with the hot shower, humidifier, vicks on the chest and feet, saline drops and snot sucker. When it's really bad, I make a tent with a towel and put my daughter's head next to the running water in the sink and do concentrated steam. We are struggling with this right now too. Good luck.

Cut out all dairy and use the saline spray to keep their little noses clear.

Try rubbing some vicks vaporub on their feet before bedtime and then put socks on them, and then rub some on their chest. It works wonders! good luck...

saline spray and a plastic snot sucker is what is reccommended. Anti-histamines, herbal or chemical do not work in small children and can be dangerous.

"Steam Room" = close bathroom door, turn shower on as hot as possible [(DO NOT put kiddo's in tub/shower)] put a dollop of vicks vapor rub in the shower (make sure the water runs over it) and sit on the floor/toilet with kiddo in your lap for 15-20 min and voila - vicks hot steam! Works wonders and isn't too overbearing! Make sure you have tissues, saline drops, and bulb syringe handy. This always breaks up the congestion for my son. Repeat two-three times a day.

Please DO NOT give your 10 month old honey and DO NOT give either child over-the-counter medication!

For my baby, I use the baby chest rub and a good humidfier. Also, for her room we bought one of those little Triaminic vapor fans that blow out menthol vapors. It was about $7 - $8 and came with 3 refills and uses batteries - I thought it might be safer than the plug-in one. I tried the saline drops and they did help a lot, too. Many moms swear by those drops!!!

Have you heard of Arbonne's Vapor rub and Vapor Soak? I have a 3 month old and a 2 year old and they both got sick and very congested. What I did was at night I gave them a warm bath with the Vapor soak then rubbed the Vapor rub on both of their feet. In the morning, I cleaned out their noses with Avr nose spray and the bulb then reapplied the Rub on their feet with my 2 year old I also put the rub on his chest, back and neck. These products saved my sanity! Good luck and let me know if you have any further questions, ____@____.com

You can also put them both in the shower. Warm, but not too hot and just let them sit there in the steam. For my son, I would put his Bumbo seat in there so they could sit and play without him slipping around too much. The two of them enjoy the fun together. You can do it as often as you need too.

I'm all about natural remedies. I've gotten a couple things that really worked for my babies. Sambucol, which is elderberry syrup, is a natural fever reducer as well as it targets lung infections. You can easily double the dose on the bottle as it's very gentle. (Have that on authority from a worker at People's Pharmacy) Then you cut out all white flour, white sugar, and dairy for right now. These all will stimulate additional mucus production. Also massage their chests with extra virgin olive oil morning and night. I have an amazing essential oil blend that I mix a couple drops in the palm of my hand and massage morning and night. It works like a miracle. It's called "Deliverance" (and is a must for every home medicine kit) I buy it at butterflyexpress.net. It's a wonderful combination of clove, eucalyptus, cinnamon, lemon, rosemary, thyme and oregano. Another thing that helps the congestion moving out is a vaporizer. The moisture helps loosen things up. Hang in there!

The menthol cream (vicks vaporub or the like) on their feet with socks over it works wonders! I know it sounds crazy, but it's helped my little guy, then me, and I finally convinced my hubby to try it too.

I've also heard saline nose drops work really well, but I've never tried them. I've tried other sprays, etc before and the whole idea of liquids up my nose just bothers me.

What I have done in the past with all 4 of my kids is run a hot steam shower. Let the bathroom steam up. Then shut the water off. Get your child and have them just sit on your lap in the bathroom and inhale the steam. It loosens up whatever is in the chest. Good Luck!

Hi S.,

Rubs some Vic's Rub on the bottom of their feet and put some sock on right before they go to bed and it will help them tremendously on their cough. They will get a good nights rest. MMMmmm....actually, on your 10 month old you might want to read the instruction on the jar being that he is under 1 yrs old, he may become allergic to it. And for the congestion you can make some oregano tea and sweeten it w/sugar and this tea loosens up their mucus from the chest walls. Now this tea does taste gross but you know many children like the flavor...what you can do is boil the water first and then turn it off and drop a pinch of oregano leaves and let them seep for about 5 minutes and then take the leaves out. Let it get warm and sweeten it and give it to them...if they like it they can drink it all day long if they want and just remind your 3 yr old everytime he coughs to spit out and your 10 month old you can pat his back (make your hand like a cup & pat his back all over) like if you are burping him to loosen the phlem and he will probably spit up the phlem. Now if they don't like the taste you can give them the Children's Mucinex it works very well. Again, I don't know if you can give it to your 10 month, check the label. Well, S. these are some home remedies that works very well for me. Hope they work for you.

P.S. When the kids go to bed or nap try to keep their heads elevated that helps the phlem not to get attached to the chest walls. The baby you can maybe put him in his car seat as much as possible to nap and sleep and take him out every now and then to let his little back rest...but it really helps keeping them elevated when they sleep.

Hope your babies get better.

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