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Natural Remedy for Coughing Toddler?

Hi everyone,
My 20 month old daughter woke up with a bad cough this morning. Since she isn't 2 yet, I cannot giver her any cough medicine (doctor's orders). Does anyone know of any safe, natural ways to relieve her discomfort a bit?
Thanks!

3 moms found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

Wow! Thanks so much to everyone for all the great responses!
I also talked to my mom last night and she recommended honey in warm water - so I did that before bed and my daughter slept pretty well except for one coughing fit that lasted almost an hour, but then finally it passed and she slept all night without coughing again! I had also put a pillow under her mattress and I think that helped too. I am going to buy some baby vicks rub today and I'll try that tonight if she has another random coughing fit. Thanks everyone!!
PS- I know some people said to wait until age 2 to give honey, but I checked the little "FAQ booklet" that our pediatrician gave us and it said Honey is ok after 12 months - also the honey bottle itself said "do not feed do infants under 12 months". So I took my chances based on that info...
:)

Featured Answers

My sister just told me her doctor said there was a study done that said a teaspoon of honey helps with a night time cough as much as a teaspoon of cough syrup. The Dr. said as long as they are one, she would recommend honey.

1 mom found this helpful

My children's pediatrician just suggested that I give my 3-year-old daughter a teaspoon of honey to calm her cough. Even though she is old enough for cough mediciine, the dr. said it really does little to help a cough and honey can do as much or more good. We have done it for a few nights now and it seems to be working great!

1 mom found this helpful

I haven't tried it but I just received an email from a friend with a two year old. The little girl had a terrible cough that was helped by putting good old Vicks Vapo Rub on the soles of her feet, then socks. Apparently it really helped diminish the night time coughing.

More Answers

When my son got his first cold at 11 months, the nurse help-line I called recommended warming apple juice as a cough suppressant. I didn't try it because he never developed a cough, but thought I'd throw it out there anyway.

1 mom found this helpful

Honey.

By this age, it should not be a problem.
Honey is a natural cough relief. Just a teaspoon or so.

If you want to make doubly sure, just research it online... that is how I learned of it.

Here are some links:
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/ColdFlu/story?id=3947988&amp...
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/90594.php
http://specialchildren.about.com/b/2007/12/05/honey-quiet...

Take care,
Susan

1 mom found this helpful

Tea with honey and lemon works great over here. I thought honey was OK past the age of 1 but if it isn't then agave nectar may work just as well (which is what we use most of the time anyway).

**added later: I've actually had a nagging cough for about 9 weeks now. It comes and goes and doesn't seem that serious but I probably should go to the dr. Anyway, I just wanted to say last night was really bad - laying down is the worst! So, I heated up some water and added to it honey and lemon. Drank that, propped up my pillows and turned on my cool mist humidifier. Not sure what did the trick - maybe a combo of all but I did not cough the rest of the night and slept great. Finally!

Best wishes,
M.

1 mom found this helpful

I have a humidifier that has a spout to pour in the vicks liquid, so as the room heats up with some steam, you can smell the vicks and I do believe that it makes a lot of difference. My daughter coughed a lot one night, the next night when I used the humidifier, she was quiet all night. I think we spent around 20-25 at Target for it.

1 mom found this helpful

I use a mild warm tea, like mint or peppermint and add some honey. works great. the warm liquid does some sort of calming thing and the honey soothes the thoat. It may be irritation though from a nasal drip. So if you dry up the nasal passage tha would probably stop the irritation which would then stop the cough. but for sure try the honey. Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

Honey. Teaspoon right before bed. Teaspoon again when she wakes up.

1 mom found this helpful

My children's pediatrician just suggested that I give my 3-year-old daughter a teaspoon of honey to calm her cough. Even though she is old enough for cough mediciine, the dr. said it really does little to help a cough and honey can do as much or more good. We have done it for a few nights now and it seems to be working great!

1 mom found this helpful

My sister just told me her doctor said there was a study done that said a teaspoon of honey helps with a night time cough as much as a teaspoon of cough syrup. The Dr. said as long as they are one, she would recommend honey.

1 mom found this helpful

I didn't read through all 40something responses and i did see you got alot of great remedies! but i wanted to share one with you.
My son had chronic cough syndrome which ended up being acid reflux...anyways thats a long story but what really worked which is going to sound weird is rub regular vicks vapor rub on the bottom of her feet (everywhere!!) generously!! and put sox on. this will make any cough go away after a few minutes.
I don't know how or why it works but it does! my doctor told me to try it! i went though SOO much of that stuff! but it was worth it! now when my kids get sick with a cold and are coughing i do this!
good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

i see a lot of great responses here and agree with a lot of them-vaporizer, baby vic's, elevating the head/upper chest and most of all honey. but what i did not see mentioned was that it should be raw honey-not pasturized. pasturized honey is in essence just sugar where as raw unprocessed honey has live enzymes, vitamins and trace minerals. i recommend the brand Really Raw Honey-you can find it at Whole Foods or Jimbo's for example. i use it for my son & he has had a few respiratory infections with horrible coughs and it has done wonders. i typically use it 3 times a day and just let him suck on a scoop of it on a spoon.

oh and you can use honey at 20 months...you're supposed to hold off until 12 months.

good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,

My pediatrician says that a teaspoonful of honey works great! Your daughter is old enough for honey now--since she's 20 months. Honey is full of natural antioxidants too. You can use a humidifier at night too.

If the cough lasts for several days, continues throughout the day at the same strength, or you hear wheezing, I'd consider going to the doctor. Otherwise, it's probably just a nasal drip thingy.

:-) D.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.! My 20 month old came down with a pretty good cold with lots of congestion and this knocked it right out...honey/cinnamon tea. Heat water to boiling, pour into a mug/coffee cup, add one tablespoon of pure, organic honey (the darker the better, but not too dark or it'll be bitter for her) and 1/4 teaspoon of organic cinnamon powder. Let it cool down so it doesn't burn her and get an eye dropper or empty syringe and give her 3-4 of those twice daily. You'll notice a big improvement the next day!
PS - great for clearing up infections, too. I cleared up an ear infection with this remedy!

1 mom found this helpful

Try "Vick's Baby" on her chest at night. Also, use a cool mist humidifier in her room at night. I hope she feels better soon! :)

Mix up 1tsp of honey with a 1/2 cup of warm tea. and let the toddler drink and it will help soothe the troat, use as often as you need, safe and harmless, my daughter's loves it.
I also like to rub the feet down with Vicks Vapor Sav and put on white socks and rub a little behind the ears and under the nose and it really seems to help with cough and congestion.....

I am a SAHM to a 17 month old and a 7 month old. They have both had coughs and runny noses all summer and it has not quit since fall began. Our ped and our previous ped, we just moved, have both recommended humidifiers when they are sleeping. So, we have had them running 24/7 for about 5 months. The 7 month old coughs really hard when she first wakes up even now, but, that is the only time she coughs. She does not cough throughout the day as she did previously. The 17 month old no longer has the cough, but, is starting, just today with the runny nose. We have a BIG supply of tissue, just for them. Elevating the beds also helps when they are sleeping. I have also found with the 17 month old, just keeping her throat moist with water or other fluids helps to control the cough. Best of luck!

My grandma (b. 1907!) used it on me when I was a kid (and herself) Melt a pat of butter, then salt it. A spoonful should quiet cough -- coat throat. Can't hurt (unless dairy allergies)

Hi S.,

I just got this email from my friend and I hope it will help your little girl.

D.

> Subject: FW: Tame a cough
>
> Isn't life strange. When we had a lecture on Essential Oils, they told us
> how the foot soles can absorb oils Their example: put garlic on your feet
> and within 20 minutes you can 'taste' it.
>
> Some of us have used Vicks Vaporub for years for everything from chapped
> lips to sore toes and many body parts in between. But I've never heard of
> this. And don't laugh, it works 100% of the time although the scientists
> at the Canada Research council (who discovered it) aren't sure why.
>
> To stop night time coughing in a child (or adult as we found out
> personally), put Vicks Vaporub generously on the bottom of the feet at
> bedtime, then cover with socks. Even persistent, heavy, deep coughing will
> stop in about 5 minutes and stay stopped for many, many hours of relief.
> Works 100% of the time and is more effective in children than even very
> strong prescription cough medicines. In addition it is extremely soothing
> and comforting and they will sleep soundly. I heard the head of the Canada
> Research Council describe these findings on the part of their scientists
> when they were investigating the effectiveness and usage of prescription
> cough medicines in children as compared to alternative therapies like
> acupressure.
>
> Just happened to tune in A.MRadio and picked up this guy talking about why
> cough medicines in kids often do more harm than good due to the chemical
> makeup of these strong drugs so, I listened. It was a surprise finding and
> found to be more effective than prescribed medicines for children at
> bedtime, in addition to have a soothing and calming effect on sick children
> who then went on to sleep soundly. Lolly tried it on herself when she had
> a very deep constant and persistent cough a few weeks ago and it worked
> 100%! She said that it felt like a warm blanket had enveloped her,
> coughing stopped in a few minutes and believe me, this was a deep,
> (incredibly annoying!) every few seconds uncontrollable cough, and she
> slept cough-free for hours every
> night that she used it. If you have grandchildren, pass it on. If you end
> up sick, try it yourself and you will be absolutely amazed by the effect.
> =

I would make an appointment with a naturopath (some local natural doctor) and go from there. She will be able to recommend safe stuff that works.

I can send you a dvd about chinese food herbs. They are safe and will help with the cough.

God Bless!

J.
____@____.com

I haven't tried it but I just received an email from a friend with a two year old. The little girl had a terrible cough that was helped by putting good old Vicks Vapo Rub on the soles of her feet, then socks. Apparently it really helped diminish the night time coughing.

Hello,
well, the best remedy I have ever used is vicks vapor rub. You put it on the soles of her feet and put socks on. The cough usually stops within half-an-hour. Since she's so young I would use the baby kind, it's lavendar scented. You'll be amazed. My husband even does this (with the baby kind since that's all we have)and it will take away his cough.

Check out the Homeopathy Pharmacy. I have used stuff from there for my kids (4 and 6) since they were little. There is one in Santa Monica around 11th and Broadway and then there is one across from Whole Foods on Barrington by National.
Good luck

Hi S.,
I have been using natural remedies for 12 years with great success. There are allot to choose from. First you need to get a book at the wellness center. It is by Valencia pharmacy. You need to know what started first with her. Like a sore throat, runny nose etc. Then what type of cough, dry, mucus, hard hacking, ect. Then you look up her moods. Sometimes it is two different ones. The worse it is the more often you need to give it. Like spongia 30X is for coughing they also have a natural blend with spongia and others in a syrup at lassens vitamens. If you take her to Kim Wahl at the wellness center you will really be glad. I like to keep on hand. Phospherus 30X, Hepar Sulph 30X, Ferrum Phos 30X and Mercurius 30X. I have been really glad I have learned about this. My children have really been blessed to stay off antibotics and other medicines. Good luck. you can write me if you have any questions. ____@____.com
M.

Hi S.,
Hyland's makes a honey and lemon cough syrup that helps. Also, using a vaporizer, rubbing Vics on chest and bottoms of feet. You can also get some stuff called Oblas (sold at Whole Foods) and do a steam shower, or boil some water and add the Oblas, then hold her by the steam.
Best,
S. G.

Humphrey's (or Highlands- I get the 2 mixed up) sells a natural cold remedy tablet (similar to the teething tablet). You can look for it in the cold/ medicine section. I just purchased it the other day and gave it to my 22 month old and it seemed to relieve his cold symptoms pretty well. I'm hooked.

Other than that, use a humidifier, Vicks (for babies) and lots of liquids (stay away from dairy).

Rub Vick's on the bottom of her feet, and put on socks. This should help.

S.,

The best thing you can do for a toddler with a bad cough is to be sure there is a humidifier or vaporizer in the room, especially when she sleeps. Also, simple saline solution in the nose is incredibly helpful, for any age. I also found that rubbing the back, with lotion or a little topical warmer, (my mother swears by Vicks, ugh!) does a lot to relieve the cough. Sometimes the rubbing, along with a little gentle tapping can break up the cough, be sure it is gentle, however, and along the back or sides.

Good luck. There is nothing worse for a mom than a sick little one. Worse is a family of lots of sick little ones!

A.
http://www.WomensDreamTeam.com/Angel

When my son has a cough I mix the juice of a lime and a tablespoon of honey. This relieves his cough and soothes his throat. However, if it's persistent I did find a homeopathic cough syrup but he's 3yrs old. You might want to see if there are any homeopathic stores where you live and ask them if they recommend anything for a child under 2.

C.~

www.HelpUStayHome.com

I use Melaleuca Oil on their chest. This really helps and they sleep all night. And my kids are older and I could use cough surup but if I can avoid using meds I will. It is safer than vicks! I also put some of the oil in their humidifier.

since it just started tonight your going to want to prop her head up too since chances are she's going to be coughing tonight.. I use a wedge or a blanket over a pillow and .. like others have said vicks on the chest, humidifyer(sp?) and warm up some honey and lemon in a pan and have her drink it .. Good luck

It looks like you have a lot of responses. But the best cough remedy I found was Hyland's cough syrup - it is all natural (homeopathic) and you can always find it at Whole Foods, but sometimes you can get it at the CVS or RiteAide. It is the only thing my kids will take and it works great for adults too!!! And as always honey and lemon work good too!

S.,
No honey under two years old. I would recommend getting a humidifier. It would open up her chest and she would breathe easier. Ice Cream and milk products will increase the coughing, so limit the milk products before bed at night. Coughing a bit is not a bad thing. Coughing brings up the phlegm and breaks up the mucus. If she starts running a fever, then I would check with the doctor. If it starts sounding really bad, call the doctor. Use your best gut feeling, then precede.

Hope this helped a bit.

E.:)

First of all, the doc is right...NO cough medicine! I had a friend whose 16 year old almost died last week because his body was sensitive to cough medicine. He only took 1 teaspoon, the recommended dose, but for him it was an overdose because of his body chemistry! Ended up in ER, and if they hadn't gone, he would have died. I guess it's not uncommon for this to happen, especially with little ones, and this kid was 16! If you want, I can email you her letter about what happened. All moms should be passing that one on.

Secondly, no one mentioned this, but at night, elevate your toddler's mattress so the part where his/her head is, is more upright while dealing with this cough. Also, turn on the shower and sit in the bathroom with the steam for 10-15 minutes. Your toddler will hate it, mine did, but it softens everything up and helps the cough if it's dry.
Then use the humidifier of course in their bedroom, the air is so dry right now as it is.
And the Vicks thing always helps my kids, but I put it on their chest too and they hate the smell, so that lavender one for babies someone mentioned might be better.

Put Vicks Vapo rub generously on the bottom of the feet at bedtime, then cover with socks. Even persistent, heavy, deep coughing will stop in about 5 minutes and stay stopped for many, many hours of relief. Works 100% of the time and is more effective in children than even very strong prescription cough medicines. In addition it is extremely soothing and comforting and they will sleep soundly. Good luck!!!

There are homeopathic cough medicines available at natural food stores and also honey is good for cough's (as long as the child is over one year). Our doc thinks honey works as well as any OTC cough medicine anyway.

Try honey. Or, maybe use a camphor rub (both my grandmother's swore by this remedy...Vick's vapor rub). Also, if you have a diffuser or a potpourri burner, diffuse some eucalyptus oil. That's great for coughs and congestion.

Good luck!

Don't give her any milk products. I was dubious as well, but it really does help. Both my kids drink soymilk and it helps quite a bit with the coughing disorders.

Cold air humidifier - every night and saline spray to clear her sinuses - they may be dripping and causing the cough. The saline also helps clear out allergens.

honey! plain old honey. i even saw a documentary about it recently. you can try to chop onion really small and put them in some honey, then strain it and take a spoonful of that fr the exra vitamin c and some other nice enzymes, but my daughter didn't like the taste. also, hibiscus and rose hips tea (or any kind of "zinger" or sour tea) mixed half and half with apple juice feels good on the throat. or hot water with fresh lemon juice and sugar or honey is good too. and try to teach her to spit out the phlegm, it'll take practice, but my duaghter can do it now. good luck and get well soon!

Vicks vapo rub on the feet works wonders, and they have an infant version of the Vicks vapo rub.

a spoonfull of honey

A ton of my friends have sworn that rubbing vicks vapor rub on their feet and putting socks over at bed time works every time.
Also, have you ever heard of Hylands brand? They do homeopathic "medicines" and they have a honey cough syrup that I have tried and seems to help sooth the cough. You may want to check with your doctor about the honey intake for under 2 year olds.
Good Luck!

there's Bioron's "chestal" that's all natural and works..also these lollipops are good for coughs..Goody Pops..berry buddies..by Herbon Kids..i use all the Bioron products they're great..my son is 32 months been using them since he was 1..u can get them at Whole Foods and i've also found Bioron at CVS Pharmacy

A cool mist humidifier and Vicks vapor rub on her feet then cover with socks - it works!

Santa Monica Homeopathic store on 7th and Broadway they are great ask for Kristin or Greta

A teaspoon of honey is proven more effective than otc cough medicines. Good luck.

Hi!

I've heard that if you rub Vick's Vapor Rub on the bottom of their feet and then put socks on their feet, it will alleviate the cough. I've tried it with my daughter and it has helped. Good Luck.

I use Arbonne's herbal vapor rub on the bottoms of my kids feet then put socks over the top. They are quiet from bedtime till 4AM like clock work. When I hear them start coughing I run in there take the socks off re-apply put the socks backs on and off to sleep again. It contains Eucalyptus,rosemary, sage, spearmint, and peppermint(if you want to run those by your Doctor) Its in a non-greasy balm. It amazing how the feet absorb everything. Let my know if your are interested. ____@____.com Good luck!

S.,
I have used "Sembulactin" for several years for chest congestion. It is Elderberry extract and is a safe alternative for children. It get it at Henry's. H

Just use a Cool Mist Humidifier, and rub a little baby's vicks on the chest.

Humidifiers work wonders. I prefer cool mist to warm mist.

Check with doc on this one, but can you give honey yet?? Not sure at what age you can, but honey and lemon works wonders. good luck to you.

A spoon of honey works for my little ones....and a humidifier.

B.

I just heard that if you rub vic's vapo rub on her feet, cover with socks the cough will stop in a few minutes, it will also comfort her. My mom gave me this advice, she followed it herself to try it out, after 3 weeks of a nasty cough she was willing to try anything and this was the only thing that worked!

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