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Remedies for Chest Congestion in Babies and Kids

The arrival of winter or monsoon season paves way for common cold, cough, chocked nose and chest congestion in babies and kids. These are common in all the seasons but cold weather combine with an immune system that is yet to mature ends up stimulating breathing difficulties in babies and kids.

So what is this chest congestion? Our respiratory tract has a thin lining made of mucous membranes and when the external factors like dust, bacteria, virus etc. irritates it, the membrane gets inflamed and the body produces thick mucous to soothe the irritation an kick it out. If there is dust particle then slight sneeze is enough to get rid of it but if the irritant is heavy duty then membranes secrete more mucous and coughing and sneezing won’t be able to flush out all the mucous leading to chest congestion.

Causes of chest congestion in babies are common cold, low immunity and disease of respiratory tract. You may feel heavy noise while the baby breathes and often they feel difficulty to sleep, breathe and many get mild fever.

Doctor’s medicine is definitely advised to cure chest congestion in babies but there are certain home remedies that can be resorted to and can be great help to relieve the baby of chest congestion. Whether you call them grandma’s remedies or age old remedies, they still are most beneficial to cure your child and the baby without taking doctor’s help.

Here are those:

Below 6 years:

1. Steam the room: Add a vaporizer to your baby’s room as it helps to add required moisture to the nasal tract of the babies and thus breathing difficulty is reduced. It also prevents mucous from drying and blocked the nose and also aids in loosening the mucous so that it gets removed faster.

2. Ajwain (carom seeds) and garlic pouch: Make a bag or pouch of roasted ajwain and garlic and rub it frequently on the chest of the baby or under the feet to reduce congestion levels. Heat the pouch in tawa or pan. Do not rub the pouch as babies have delicate skin just keep it and remove it. Check the temperature before using the pouch on the baby.

3. Frequent nursing: Mother’s milk is best solution for any and all illness of your baby. Frequent breast feeding aids to prevent the solidification of mucus inside baby’s nose and chest and it also takes care of the hydration need and provides anti bodies to fight germs.

4. Raise the head of the baby while sleeping: By doing so the mucous drains out from the nose and chest, relieving the baby and raising the head can be done by using pillows.

5. Massage with mustard oil infused with ajwain and garlic: Heat the oil by adding crushed and chopped garlic cloves and carom seeds. Massage it on chest and soles of the feet of the baby and make him/ her wear socks.

6. Bay leaf compress: Take 3-4 bay leaves and boil. Dip clean cloth and wring the cloth and keep it in child’s chest after checking for the heat.

For babies above 6 months:

You can follow above points but in addition to these, you can use following home remedies:

1. Soups
2. Boiled water with carom seeds
3. Vicks vaporub

For toddlers 1 year above:

1. Turmeric milk
2. Tulsi or basil juice with honey
3. Hot lemon water
4. Onion juice

For kids above 3 years:

1. Salt water gargling
2. Chewing fennel seeds
3. Dates
4. Mixture of pepper, cumin and rock sugar

In case your baby has severe breathing issues and is cranky, it is better to show him/her to doctor.

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