Helping baby sleep through a cough

So your baby’s cold has moved into her lungs and coughing is keeping her up at night? Whether you’ve read through my previous posts about how to help your baby overcome a cold, or are just starting here, here’s what you can do right now to re-introduce that coveted, restoring beauty sleep:

1) Clear her sinuses with a bulb syringe before bed. It’s usually drainage that causes that “tickle”, so help eliminate the source for her before going to bed. Plus, leaving that yucky stuff in there overnight is probably the number one cause of ear and sinus infections.

2) Do a eucalyptus treatment while they are in bed. The menthol (and other similar “-ol” chemicals) which are present in eucalyptus not only help curb the need to cough, but also fight airborne bacteria and viruses. I covered how to do these in my previous post; this time, just place it under your baby’s crib.

3) Give your baby a lavender body rub. Just add a few drops of lavender essential oil to some oil or lotion (don’t apply it plain or it will irritate your baby’s skin). Lavender has great antimicrobial properties, and rubbing it into the skin is a direct means of safely introducing it into the blood stream.  Plus, it is known for its relaxing properties as well. If my baby seems especially uncomfortable, I also add some chamomile. Coughing is less likely to occur during the deeper stages of sleep, so the idea is to get them into a deep sleep as quickly as possible. Lavender and chamomile are both good for that.

4) For toddlers, a sippy cup of water can be kept in the crib so that if baby should wake up at night,  will she will see it and take a drink. Sometimes room-temperature water is just what she needs.

5) Also for toddlers, consider pulling milk and dairy from their diet for a day or two. We’ve even gone as long as a week for our little guy. Milk and dairy make mucous thicker, whether in the sinuses, lungs, or digestive tract. Pulling it from your child’s diet for a day or two and giving them clear liquids instead will help them overcome this last stage more easily. (If your child is less than a year old, keep giving milk or formula as usual, and just hang in there!.)

6) A note on homeopathic cough remedies: It is important to understand that while the correct way to identify a homeopathic treatment for an illness is through its symptoms, that does not mean that taking a homeopathic cough remedy will make your child stop coughing. It means they will overcome their cough more quickly. (More about homeopathic remedies in previous posts). Still, I recommend using one. We like Hyland’s.

Jen DeBrito, CCLD, CCBE

Jennifer is a Holistic Christian Doula & Birth Educator in Colorado Springs. In addition to coaching couples through Christ-centered childbirth, she also specializes in wellness coaching for prenatal and postpartum mothers and their children. She is the author of Expectant Parents Workshop: Devotional and the proud owner of Eden’s Promise, LLC.

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