Eventually you get to a stage in your adult life, where you can say, great I’ve had every cold there is and I’ve gained immunity so I should get only one a year (if that).
That is, until you have kids! In order for them to build up their immunity they, of course, will pick up EVERY cold & cough known to man! Well it sure feels that way! Which usually means you might too 😞 Unfortunately for my kids, they seem to have picked up my ability to keep the cough way after the cold is done.
If you’re that mum who is being driven crazy by the ongoing coughing every night, hopefully these tried & tested ways will help you soothe the cough for an easier nights sleep.
Before trying any of these methods, please get the cough checked out by a doctor. Sometimes coughs can be a symptom of something else (croup, asthma, reflux etc) so it’s best to ask the opinion of your doctor. If you’re reading this, and your child’s cough is a barky cough or is accompanied by breathlessness or wheezing, please visit your doctor ASAP!
If your cough is a run of the mill annoying cough, without any medical intervention needed, these methods have been tried & tested with my kids.
1. Pillows, pillows and more pillows
Sometimes a cough can be caused by your sinuses draining down your throat, so by keeping your head higher than your body it stops this drainage collecting in the back of your throat and irritating those airways. Of course, this applies to kids old enough to have a pillow. If they’re not old enough for this, I find raising the head of the cot slightly does help.
Now, I’m no medic but this advice really does work for us. Whether it’s because it keeps them warmer or because it keep heat from escaping from the body, who knows 😝 Just be aware it might keep them feeling warmer so dress kids appropriately – don’t want them getting too warm.
3. Warm drinks & Plenty of water
As always keep well hydrated, even more so when sick! The idea behind keeping fluids up is that any additional fluids will thin mucus, making it easier to breathe. Cold drinks will contract the airways making it harder to breathe, so as warm as your kid will have it is best 😃 I’ve found warm water with a tiny bit of honey works to soothe a cough and scratchy throat but use honey sparingly and not at all with kids under one. When it comes to dairy, some say don’t offer it whilst other advice says it doesn’t matter, so the jury’s out on that one. I find not offering it does help with my kids, but I have to limit the amount of dairy they have day to day anyway.
4. Warm Steam Inhalation & Massage
Now this method needs to be used with caution! Be aware that if your kid has asthma or you suspect asthma, it can make the cough worse! I felt like the worst mum on the planet when I found out that the warm steam humidifier I was using for Alex was actually a terrible idea when he was prescribed an asthma inhaler after his 4th visit to the doctor for that particular cold 😞
Otherwise, warm steam inhalation, either by having a warm shower or sitting in a steamy bathroom, will help soothe dry airways. To help dislodge any phlegm, I’ve heard patting the patient on the back with a cupped hand, whilst in the steamy room, will help 😃
If your child has a croup cough, warm steam will not help soothe the cough however. Make sure they’re dressed warmly and take a quick walk into the cool night air. I’ve found this helps immensely 😃
5. Children’s Duro-Tuss Ivy Leaf Extract
This Duro-Tuss Children’s Chest Support formulation includes two active ingredients; Lactoferrin-Bovine (Dairy) – a clinically proven natural immunity booster, and Hedera Helix (Ivy Leaf Extract) – to help thin mucus, clear chest congestion & clear the airways. It is available at your local pharmacy in both Honey & Lemon, and 100% naturally flavoured Strawberry flavour. Duro-Tuss Children’s Ivy Leaf is non-drowsy, colour, alcohol, sugar & gluten free.
Whilst it is specifically formulated for children 6 months+, it is always advisable that you consult your doctor or pharmacist before using in children under 2 years old. Unfortunately, due to the Lactoferrin Bovine active ingredient, this is not suitable for anyone with a dairy/lactose allergy.
Yes, you read right. I said onions. Yes, the stuff you use in cooking 😝 Whilst onions are great to cook with for a cold, they also work really well to soothe a child’s cough. All I do is cut a fresh onion in half from top to bottom, so that the root end gets cut in half. I place one half in a small bowl in each kids room, as they typically get the cold together. I was a bit sceptical when I read about this, but like any mum at her wits end, I’d have tried almost anything! It does work most of the time I’ve tried it so will probably keep doing it despite the room smelling more like a pizzeria overnight 😝
Now, some of these methods to soothe a kid’s cough have worked better than others at different times. Remember each cough is different and each kid is different 😃
I’d love to know if you’ve tried any of the above, and how it went for you. Do you have a tried & tested method to ease your child’s cough? I’d love to know more 😃
Thank you to Duro-Tuss NZ for providing the Duro-Tuss Children’s Ivy Leaf for review. As always all opinions in this post are entirely my own