8 Effective Home Remedies for Night Cough In Children

Home Remedies for Night Cough In Children

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Night cough in children can be a distressing experience for both parents and their little ones. Often occurring due to respiratory infections, allergies, or irritants in the environment, it disrupts precious sleep and can lead to fatigue and decreased immunity. Recognizing the common causes and symptoms of night cough is the first step in addressing this issue effectively.

Common Causes of Night Cough

Several factors contribute to night cough in children, with respiratory infections being a primary culprit. Conditions like colds, flu, or allergies can irritate the throat and airways, triggering coughing fits, especially at night. Additionally, environmental factors such as dust, smoke, or pollen can exacerbate the situation. Identifying these triggers can help parents take preventive measures. Here are the 8 home remedies for night cough in children

Symptoms of Night Cough

Night cough often presents itself as persistent coughing episodes, particularly during the night. Children may experience a scratchy or tickling sensation in the throat, leading to frequent coughing. This can be accompanied by a runny or stuffy nose, making breathing difficult and further contributing to the coughing episodes. Recognizing these symptoms promptly is essential for providing the right remedies and ensuring the child’s comfort.

As medicines for the viral, bacterial, or any causing agent may be used, natural and home remedies are effective and great ways to relieve your child’s night coughs at the right time.

8 Home Remedies for Night Cough In Children

1. The Healing Power of Honey

Why Honey is a Natural Cough Remedy

Honey, a natural sweetener, has remarkable medicinal properties. Its soothing effect on the throat makes it an excellent remedy for night cough in children. A 2023 systematic review published in Springer shows better results of using honey compared to placebo and cough syrups. They say that sleep was improved in children who were given honey as compared to the placebo group and cough medication group.

Honey helps coat the irritated throat, reducing coughing and promoting better sleep. Moreover, it possesses antimicrobial properties, aiding in fighting off infections that might be causing the cough. It also provides a dense environment for bacteria.

Honey-based Cough Remedies and Recipes

  • Honey and Warm Water: Mix a teaspoon of honey in warm water and have your child sip it slowly. This concoction will provide immediate relief to their sore throat. You may also give them raw honey in very small amounts.
  • Honey and Lemon Juice: Combine honey with freshly squeezed lemon juice. The vitamin C in lemon boosts the immune system, while honey soothes the throat. Mix in warm water for a comforting drink. Look for a chest infection, or if you fear the infection getting worse, use slightly warm juice.

2. Hydration: The Key to Soothing a Night Cough

The Significance of Proper Hydration

Proper hydration is crucial when dealing with night cough in children. Staying hydrated keeps the throat moist, making it less prone to irritation. Encourage your child to drink water throughout the day. A 2022 study published in MDPI shows that coughing can be triggered in children due to low hydration levels, so it is important to keep our little ones hydrated throughout the day, especially the ones with known asthma.

Herbal teas and infusions, such as chamomile or ginger tea, can also be effective in providing relief and keeping the body hydrated.

Hydrating Teas and Infusions

  • Chamomile Tea: Chamomile tea has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe the throat. Serve it warm with a teaspoon of honey for added benefits. Go through a simple home recipe we have discussed in our other article.
  • Ginger Infusion: Ginger has natural antibacterial properties and can ease throat irritation. Boil ginger slices in water, strain the liquid, and let your child drink it lukewarm.

3. Chicken Soup: A Warm and Calm Remedy

Home Remedies for Night Cough In Children

Throat Soothing Effect of Chicken Soup

Chicken soup isn’t just a comforting meal; it’s a time-tested remedy for respiratory ailments. Its warm, soothing nature helps alleviate throat irritation and reduces coughing. A study published in CHESTJOURNAL describes that chicken has anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve the cough due to upper respiratory infection.

Its warmth also soothes the throat and chest relieving one from coughs for a long time.
The steam from the soup also helps open nasal passages, making it easier for your child to breathe.

Easy Homemade Recipe for Chicken Soup


  • Chicken pieces (preferably bone-in)
  • Carrots, celery, and onions (diced)
  • Garlic cloves (minced)
  • Salt, pepper, and herbs for seasoning
  • Water


  1. Boil the chicken pieces in water until tender, skimming off any foam that rises to the top.
  2. Add diced vegetables, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and herbs.
  3. Simmer until the vegetables are soft and the flavors meld together.
  4. Serve warm.

4. Cut a Garlic or Onion

Amazing Properties of Garlic or Onion Fumes

Both garlic and onion are known for their powerful medicinal properties. Inhaling the natural vapors released by these kitchen staples can provide significant relief for a child’s night cough.

How to Use Onion or Garlic for a Child’s Cough

  • Garlic: Crush a garlic clove slightly to release its aroma and place it near your child’s bed. You may also tie garlic clove cut half in two pieces around their neck as a necklace to get the most desired and long-lasting effect, but care for the odor that may not stick to your child’s skin as it becomes challenging to remove the odor of garlic from the skin. The sulfur compounds in garlic help open up the airways, making it easier to breathe and reducing coughing.
  • Onion: Slice an onion and leave it in the room overnight. Onion vapors act as a natural expectorant, helping to break down mucus and alleviate congestion, providing relief from cough symptoms.

5. Teach Your Child to Gargle

Effect of Gargles on Cough

Gargling with warm salt water can help soothe a sore throat and alleviate coughing. It reduces inflammation and clears mucus, providing relief from cough symptoms. Teaching your child to gargle properly can significantly aid in managing night cough.

A 2021 study shows that different mouthwash products were tested to relieve coronavirus symptoms including using basic salt water. They found that most of the mouthwash brands were effective in relieving viral load from the patients. The salt water didn’t significantly affect viral load but they are effective in relieving coughs.

How to Make Your Child Gargle

  • Prepare the Solution: Mix half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Ensure the water is lukewarm, and not too hot.
    Demonstrate Proper Technique: Show your child how to take a small sip of the solution and gargle it in their throat for about 20 seconds.
  • Spit, Don’t Swallow: Instruct them to spit out the solution without swallowing it.
  • Repeat as Needed: Encourage your child to gargle several times a day, especially before bedtime, to minimize nighttime coughing.

6. Creating a Comfortable Sleep Environment

Importance of Humidity Control

Maintaining the right humidity level in your child’s bedroom is crucial. Dry air can irritate the throat and worsen coughing. Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air, creating a comfortable environment for your child to sleep in.

Choosing the Right Bedding and Pillows

Opt for hypoallergenic pillows and bedding to minimize exposure to potential allergens. Wash bedding regularly in hot water to remove dust mites and other irritants.

Elevate Your Child’s Head

Elevate your child’s head with an extra pillow to promote better airflow, reducing the likelihood of coughing fits during the night.

7. Effective Essential Oils for Nighttime Relief

Best Essential Oils for Cough and Cold Symptoms

Certain essential oils have natural properties that can relieve cough symptoms and promote better sleep. Eucalyptus, lavender, and tea tree oil are excellent choices due to their antimicrobial and soothing effects. A 2015 study shows that eucalyptus oil and anise are most commonly effective in cough and other respiratory ailments.

Safe Application Methods for Children

  • Diffusion: Use an essential oil diffuser in your child’s room. Add a few drops of the chosen oil and let the diffuser disperse the aroma gently. Ensure proper ventilation and use age-appropriate oils.
  • Topical Application: Mix a few drops of essential oil with a carrier oil (like coconut or almond oil) and apply it to your child’s chest and back. Always do a patch test first to rule out any allergies.

It is always advisable to consult your healthcare provider before using any essential oil for aromatherapy, as they will come in direct contact with lung cells.

8. Apply Some VapoRub

Common Causes of Night Cough

Effect of VapoRub on Cough Retention

Vaporub, a mentholated topical ointment, can provide relief from night cough by opening up the airways and easing breathing difficulties. Its mentholated scent and warming sensation can help your child breathe more comfortably, reducing coughing episodes.

How to Use Vaporub for Cough Prevention

  • Apply on Chest: Gently rub a small amount of Vaporub on your child’s chest before bedtime. The warming effect will help clear nasal passages and reduce coughing.
  • Use on Feet: For an added remedy, apply Vaporub to the soles of your child’s feet and cover them with socks before sleeping. This method is believed to help suppress coughing during the night.

How long should I continue these treatments?

Continue the remedies until your child’s symptoms improve significantly. If symptoms persist for more than a week, consult a healthcare professional.

Are there any side effects of these natural remedies?

Generally, these remedies are safe when used as directed. However, always monitor your child for allergic reactions and discontinue use if any adverse effects occur.

How can I stop my child coughing at night?

To stop your child from coughing at night, maintain a humid environment, use soothing remedies like honey or steam therapy, and consult a healthcare professional if the cough persists.

What is the fastest way to stop coughing at night?

Why is a child’s cough worse at night?

The fastest way to stop coughing at night is by using natural remedies like honey, garlic cut and placed near the throat and nose region of the child, or essential oils, which can help soothe the throat and reduce irritation.

Why is a child’s cough worse at night?

Child coughing is often worse at night due to postnasal drip, the fluids in the nasal and throat region go down and make them dry, lying down position, and dry air, which can irritate the throat, triggering coughing fits during sleep.

What causes night coughing?

Night coughing in children can be caused by various factors such as respiratory infections, allergies, or irritants in the environment, leading to throat irritation and coughing episodes, especially during the night.


Managing night cough in children involves a combination of creating a conducive environment, using natural home remedies for night cough in children, and ensuring proper hydration. These remedies, grounded in time-tested practices, provide comfort and relief, allowing both you and your child to enjoy restful nights. Remember, every child is different, so it might take some trial and error to find the most effective remedy for your little one. Stay attentive, consult a healthcare professional when necessary, and soon, your child will be enjoying peaceful nights, free from troublesome coughs.

Also Read: Natural and Effective Home Remedies for Period Cramps

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