Natural Remedies for 2 y.o.'s Bad Cough

Updated on November 01, 2010
A.R. asks from Madison, WI
21 answers

My son has a really nasty cough which is effecting his sleep. He typically naps for 2-2 1/2 hrs, but the past 2 days it's only been 20 minutes because he wakes himself up from coughing. We are using Baby Vicks on his chest, saline drops and a vaporizer in his room.
Any other ideas on how to help the cough??

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answers from Honolulu on

Have you taken him to the Doctor and had his cough evaluated?
That would be best....
many things can cause a cough...
If he gets any worsening symptoms or fever.... he needs to go to the Doctor.

As an aside: Pertussis is 'epidemic' in some States.

If he can't nap because of the cough, then he probably cannot sleep at night either. So either way, he is getting lack of sleep.... which affects the body's recovery and healing...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Honey! It's amazing how much it helps!

Also, if the cough has been going on for more than a week, or if he's spiking fevers, it might be time to have him seen, might have evolved into pneumonia or bronchitis.

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answers from San Antonio on

I know that the fda recently pulled cough medicine off the shelf for under 4 so this is what I do. 1 part lemon juice to 2 parts honey mixed in a small amount of warm water. It really helps soothe an irritated throught. Be sure to clean the vaporizer every few weeks or so with water and vinegar it will really help too! Hope he gets better :]

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

We got some natural cough medicine at whole foods. They have a children's section and the people there can help you choose one.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Vicks could be part of the problem. It seems to help some kids, but studies have shown it actually increases congestion for quite a few kids. I can't stand to be around anything mentholated myself – gives me asthma and gets me coughing even if I wasn't before.

I've heard Samubcus syrup (elderberry syrup) recommended – available in health food sections. I've never tried it. I believe it is said to build the child's immune response.

Honey can help soothe throats, and reportedly might help quiet coughs.

If some of the cough is from post-nasal drip, the saline should help. There's a fine-mist nasal spray for young children that they may tolerate better.

You don't say what the cause is for his cough. If it was a cold or flu, it might be wise to have a pediatrician check it. Kids can get secondary infections and pneumonia.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

My 3 year old son is just getting over a cold that he's had all week. He had a very runny nose and a constanst, harsh, phleghmy cough. His coughing kept waking him up as well. Our pharmacist recommened Boiron Homeopathic Medicine Chestal Homeopathic Cough Syrup, Honey. It is honey based and safe for children 2 yrs old and older. You can find it at Walgreens, CVS, almost anywhere. Directions say to give him a teaspoon every 2 hours. We found that is worked best when done just that, given every 2 hours. But my son grew tired of it and his cough continues. It is worth giving it a try! It provided us some relief. Also, like many of your responses, we've had great success with just plain honey as well. Finally, I think someone else mentioned this but the one thing that *always* works for coughs in rubbing vicks on your son's feet then put on socks at night and my son can sleep through the night even with a bad cough, it's amazing!



answers from Milwaukee on

LOTS of water all day long and whenever he wakes up from coughing. You said you have a vaporizer - I'm just wondering what kind. I use the Vicks warm mist vaporizer and it stops all coughing all night. Makes the room really humid though so very light jammies are all that is needed. Good luck!



answers from Milwaukee on

Honey and put the Vick's on his feet.



answers from Minneapolis on

Just FYI - there've been two cases of pertussis (Whooping Cough) diagnosed at my daughter's daycare/preschool in the last 3 weeks. I live in St. Paul, so the cooties might not be over yonder in Madison -- but, it's just something to monitor and be aware of for your Little One.



answers from Milwaukee on

I've found the best nutrition to build the immune system and it is safe for toddlers too! Let me know if you want more information. --R. H.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Just wanted to add to really, really push the non-dairy liquids all day long. Hope he's better soon!



answers from Minneapolis on

I have found that a spoonful of honey helps when my daughter has a cough that is keeping her up. Used this a few weeks ago, after nearly a hour of coughing (at 3am of course!) we got up and got some honey. Within 10 minutes, the cough was better & she slept through the rest of the night. The important part, I have been told, is to use locally produced honey. Not sure if that has been proved, but it seems to work for us. I also give my daughter warm decaf tea. I hope your son feels better soon!



answers from Johnstown on

Sounds like you're doing what you can. You may want to have him elevated a little when he's sleeping--use an extra pillow under him. Maybe a little warm tea with honey &/or lemon? Other than that, that's all I can really think of.



answers from Redding on

Try putting the Vicks on his feet instead of his chest. Or, try putting it on his back.
Try giving him some honey or having him drink something warm like honey and lemon water instead of milk before napping. Milk can make congestion a little worse.
Best wishes and I hope he's feeling better soon.



answers from Orlando on

As previous post; Boiron Homeopathic Medicine Chestal Cough Syrup. This is what we use here in our home, for both my toddler and I. It works great. Also just honey will also soothe a cough, if you can, try finding Buckwheat honey, which is a dark amber honey, it works best for coughs. Sometimes if the cough is very persistent, I top off the Boiron Chestal with an xtra teaspoon of honey. Works every time :)



answers from Des Moines on

there is a brand of natural remedies that is sold right along with the childrens cold medicine at most pharmacies/grocery stores. It is called Little Remedies. The have a "Little Cough" remedy that is great. Mostly honey I think. All natural and safe for anyone over the age of 1



answers from Madison on

A teaspoon of honey may help, as well as rubbing vicks on the bottom of his feet, then put socks on.


answers from Redding on

I've never tried it myself, but many people swear that putting the Vicks rub on their feet under socks stops bad coughs at night. May be worth a try :)



answers from Sacramento on

vicks on the bottom of the feet covered with socks does work. my son was able to sleep for over four hours straight using the vicks when nothing else helped. good luck and hope he feels better soon!



answers from Milwaukee on

regular vick's (not baby vick's is not strong enough) on the feet.


answers from Seattle on

A spoonful of honey.
Baths with eucalyptus.
Teas made of Thyme, Lavender and Ginger (I like to half the hot liquid with almond milk and add honey).

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