Natural cough and cold remedies for babies – so baby can feel better fast!
It’s never fun when your baby gets a cold, and it’s even worse to feel helpless when they’re crying for Mommy to help them feel better. It just SUCKS that you can’t even EXPLAIN to them why they feel so crappy! Here are some natural cough and cold remedies for babies and toddlers you can use at home to offer some comfort to your babe when they have a cold.
(And that’ll make you feel better too!)
As always, consult with your doctor when your child is ill and seek professional medical advice. The following is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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Try these natural remedies for infant cold
Nurse Your Baby To Health (Literally!)
If your newborn gets sick, first of all, call your pediatrician; ESPECIALLY if they have a fever. For any child, call immediately if their fever reaches 100.4 or if it’s lower but stays constant. (Fever in your baby isn’t something to take a chance on.)
If your new little one has a cold and you’re nursing, often all they’ll need is your breastmilk. This is literally the BEST of the cold remedies for infants under 3 months. Breast milk has all kinds of health-boosting nutrients customized for their body by their mama. Try more frequent nursings, and ensure baby gets to the hind milk. (You could even express some fore milk FIRST if you want.)
Hind milk is the richer, thicker milk that comes out LATER in a nursing session. We want our babies getting this milk all the time – it keeps them fuller longer for one thing – so it’s always a good idea to nurse as long as possible on one side before switching.
Related: First Week Of Nursing Your Newborn
But what if your little one is too congested to nurse comfortably?
This can feel pretty frustrating for both of you!
Sometimes a stuffy nose/congested ears can make it uncomfortable (or impossible) for your babe to lay comfortably in your arms, let alone suck and swallow. When this happens, you can try changing positions so that his head is more elevated by dropping his bum between your legs.
Another way to make him more comfortable is to hang out in a steamy bathroom, to help open his airways. This can be super helpful. Some mamas may even choose to nurse in their steamy bathroom. (I liked to nurse in a warm bath! Skin to skin is really great for comforting baby too.)
Gently rubbing their sinus areas in a massage can also help. Use your ring finger, as it provides a more gentle touch, and massage from the nose out toward the ears.
Lastly, some nursing mamas may choose to express some breast milk and use it as they would saline drops (drip 1 drop in a nostril). As your milk is customized to your baby and contains immune boosting properties this is anecdotally effective and trusted by many mommies!
Saline Drops & nasal aspirator
Again, check with your pediatrician before use, but many times over the counter saline drops can help. 1-2 drops in a nostril can rinse out the nose and clear nasal passages. Do this very carefully.
If their nose had dried mucous in it, this will also loosen it up.
(For my kiddo, I also use the saline drops in his eyes when they get gunky. Babies tend to get icky eyes when they get a cold… and gently wiping eyes with saline drops can help remove the gunk more gently than water.)
Then, you can suck the snot out with a nasal aspirator. (Yes, that is as gross as it sounds, but we all know how much better we feel when our noses are clear! We want that for our babies too…)
One of my very favorite baby gifts was this nasal aspirator. This thing was a life saver for us when our babe was sick the first year! You can get alot more suction with this than with a standard bulb aspirator – and I felt that it was safer to use because it was impossible to put it too far up his nose.
Homeopathic Remedies for baby cold
This is a personal choice, but I am comfortable using homeopathic remedies for my baby’s cold. Homeopathics are natural cough and cold remedies for babies – they are chemical free.
We found this particular brand of homeopathic baby cold medicine to be quite effective. (Note that it is recommended for babies 6 months and older.)
Giving your baby some broth to drink in a sippy cup will also help. If you make it with garlic, onions, carrots, lemon, and celery it will have a lot of vitamins and minerals to support healing in their bodies. You want it to be gentle for their little tummies, so don’t add too many spices to it and be sure to strain it carefully. (This is of course dependent on the age of babe – I chose not to give my kiddo anything like this before 6 months.)
Natural cough and cold remedies for toddlers
Once you’re babe is over a year old, you can feel a little more comfortable using painkillers, but many mamas prefer to
A great option for your toddler when a cold is beginning is a detox bath.
This is a simple soak of Epsom salts and a sprinkle of baking soda in a warm tub. The benefits? It soothes their body, gives them minerals, helps pull out the germs, and promotes sleep which they need to heal.
Some choose to add essential oils, but baby and toddler skin is sensitive so do so with care and make sure to only use child-safe essential oils in diluted amounts. You can do this each afternoon before a nap or after dinner to promote a wonderful night of rest.
Be sure to have some water for them to drink, as it usually makes them pretty thirsty after. Also, the water will help flush out any toxins that were released in the bath.
Related: Essential Oils for Baby Cough
Cool Mist Humidifiers
Cool mist humidifiers near their beds or even in the area where they play can help your toddler breathe easier.
For children under 2 years of age, avoid using essential oils or Vicks unless directed to by your pediatrician. Simply use the humidifier as directed.
For older toddlers, use a child-safe essential oil in the humidifier. You may also want to rub some on their big toes or the bottoms of their feet, properly diluted based on the oil and their age (a great rule of thumb is 1 drop of essential oil in 1 TB of carrier oil for little ones unless you have learned otherwise; less is more!).
Broth or Veggie Juice
For your toddler of any age, bone broth is very healing and letting them sip on it throughout the day will keep them hydrated and promote healing. You can make a simple broth using chicken bones, onion, garlic, celery, and carrot. Be sure to strain out the broth when it’s done. To make even more healthy and healing add a tiny bit of ginger and turmeric.
Consider using this broth to boil rice or pasta in for a side dish with meals or to make a hearty soup for lunch or dinner to keep as much nutrition fueling their body as possible.
If you have a veggie juicer, fresh fruit and veggie juice is GREAT way to get added nutrition into your toddler as well.
Honey is not recommended for use with babies under one year old – It is, however, very healing for your older toddler. Be sure to use raw, unfiltered honey and if you can get some Manuka, all the better!
You can give them a teaspoon every couple of hours to soothe a sore throat and help them heal if they’ll take it that way. It’s also very soothing to throat raw from coughs.
There are many spices and foods that can ease cold and even flu symptoms while nourishing the body to fight them better. Adding them to honey makes a great little immune boosting, body relieving syrup.
Pro-tip: Some moms even take the all natural cold and cough remedy themselves when their kids are sick to help prevent catching what their kids have.
Don’t Forget Rest!
And of course, your little one needs his rest. Coughs and colds and flus are no fun at all, but you can take advantage of this time to read lots of books, get in lots of snuggles, and maybe have a movie marathon with a favorite series. Naps are great if they’ll take them, especially near a cool mist humidifier.
When my babe is sick I’ll even hold him for a nap if that will make him sleep – it’s SO important and being his mommy is my number one job, so I can take the hour or two out my day to cuddle.
P.S. YOU need rest, too, so you can stay healthy while taking care of your sweet little one. Be sure to take care of yourself, Mommy!
What are YOUR best tips or natural cough and cold remedies for babies? Share them with us!