Bedtime sore throat soother: Warm milk and honey

Coughs abound this time of year. Here's Melissa's soothing remedy:

Here's a great way to soothe a sore throat without having to resort to medicines…. Microwave a mug of milk as you would to make hot chocolate. But instead of stirring in chocolate, stir in about a tablespoon of honey (about two glops from the honey bear). The warm milk will help the honey dissolve. The warm milk is soporific and of course honey is great for a sore throat. (Don't forget that infants under 12 months can't have honey.)

As I'm sure many of you read in the papers recently, honey has been proven to be a more effective cough medicine as anything you'll find on the drugstore shelves.

More: Best of Parent Hacks: Cold and flu season tips


  1. aoife says

    We used to give this to our son every morning. He loved it. (he’s also skinny as a rail and I insert calories wherever they fit)

    Don’t use it if your kid has a lot of mucous issues (phlegm, snot, etc) as milk exacerbates bodily mucous.

  2. Vicki says

    My two and a half year old recently had a nasty upper respiratory infection with a cough and the honey did help her a bit. But I also want to let you know that those vicks plug-ins (along with the handy humidifier of course) worked wonders for her as well. We really felt at a loss when she got sick b/c we have always given her some cough syrup to help her sleep. I will definitely be restocking my vicks for the next time she is sick.

  3. regandbabe says

    if there is mucous try decaf tea with honey…also if the kiddo is old enough to get it gargling with warm salted water helps too

  4. says

    I’ve found that mixing a bit of lemon juice with hot water and honey works well too – the lemon juice cuts the mucous, the honey and hot water soothe any soreness.

  5. says

    Thank you! My daughter’s allergy (corn) rules out everything but a single children’s pain medicine and certain types of benedryl. What a great solution for her next cold!

  6. Parent Hacks Editor says

    Good point, Alex. Brush the teeth AFTER the milk and honey. (Bummer, really…the idea of sipping it in bed is so lovely.)

  7. says

    Honey…it an all time sore throat soother. But I never thought about mixing it with milk. After trying to get my 9 yr to sleep today (who has terrible sore throat and cough) I warmed up a cup of milk, added the honey and he was asleep within 15 minutes. Thanks for the tip! LOED IT!!! Many thanks!

  8. Parent Hacks Editor says

    My dad’s cure-all (what he drank growing up in India):

    milk, honey, a dash of cardammom powder, a dash of powdered ginger, and a dash of turmeric.


  9. says

    I love this idea. Use local honey, and you also help with allergies. Also, we do not drink milk, so we use Traditional Medicinal’s kid’s throat tea. I drink the throat coat almost daily in this season to keep soar throats at bay.
    I really enjoy learning ways to help my little one feel better without taking her to the doctor. Here are a few of the things I use:

  10. Shanon says

    It’s erroneous that milk produces mucus. If you’re sick it’s more than fine to enjoy the benefits of warm milk.

  11. Shanon says

    It’s erroneous that milk produces mucus. If you’re sick it’s more than fine to enjoy the benefits of warm milk.

  12. meg says

    i like the idea of the milk, but our household cure-all is hot water with fresh ginger steeped as long as you can take it, honey, and lemon.

  13. Lisa says

    Just a quick add of something I *just* learned the other day:

    Don’t add honey to boiling or nearly boiling water — wait for it cool a bit, since excessively hot water can lessen the medicinal benefits of the honey (apparently, honey has antiseptic properties).

    Obviously, we wouldn’t give our kids such hot drinks in the first place anyway; I just wanted to point out that you’ll want to wait to add the honey until RIGHT before you give the drink to your child for most benefit.

    And I second the earlier comment about the Vicks waterless vaporizer — those are miracle-workers, and so easy to bring on trips, too!)

  14. Tiffany says

    This sounds so soothing! I also purchased some Nighttime tea from the health food store that is made for children–maybe called Night Owl or something along those lines…has a picture of an owl on it anyway. My 4-yr-old son loves that with honey, particularly when he’s under the weather. I really like it too! Good stuff. Thanks for sharing…

  15. ilene says

    Warm milk with honey and vanilla is not only a wonderful soother for kids but when I was pregnant and off caffeine I drank it almost daily. So warm and yummy. Good for insomnia in adults too.

  16. robin says

    any ideas about if this is just as effective with soy milk? i’m assuming it would be, but i know soy milk doesnt work well with certain things…