Natural Cold Remedies for Babies

13 Safe and Effective Natural Cold Remedies for Babies (from a Nurse Practitioner)

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If you’re like me, you’ve been dreading your baby’s first cold. There’s not much worse than seeing your poor baby not feeling well. With the use of these natural cold remedies for babies, you can help your baby feel better quicker.

Natural Cold Remedies For Babies

Caring for your sick baby is stressful and you may feel so helpless. Even as a Nurse Practitioner, it’s upsetting to see my baby sick.

Luckily, there are a lot of things you can do to help.

The next time your baby falls ill, apply these natural home remedies for cough and cold for babies. These natural remedies help ease your baby’s symptoms and help them get better sooner.

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Natural Cold Remedies for Babies

When your baby catches a cold or a cough, it’s important to try your best to stay calm and take action.

First, it’s important to determine if their symptoms can be treated from home or if they need to see a pediatrician.

Read this post on more tips to help you decide when your baby needs to see a pediatrician for a cold.

If your baby’s symptoms are mild enough to treat from home, apply these natural cough and cold remedies right away.

Breastfeed On Demand

If you’re breastfeeding, feed on demand while your baby is sick. Breastmilk is a really powerful tool for sick babies.

First, breastmilk helps your baby stay hydrated. Extra fluids help loosen mucus, loosen coughs, and keep your baby more comfortable.

Plus, breastfeeding helps boost your baby’s immune system. Your breastmilk contains antibodies and nutrients that help your baby fight off infections faster (VeryWellFamily).

You may feel glued to your baby for the next day or so, but it really does make a huge difference.

Extra Liquids

For babies older than 6 months, offer some extra drinks or liquids when they’re not feeling well.

You can give them extra water, breastmilk/ formula or even broth or homemade smoothies.

Extra fluids help to loosen mucus and congestion. This helps your little one feel much better.

Chicken soup and broth have anti-inflammatory properties. This means it helps improve tightness and congestion.

Also, warm broth is so soothing for a sore throat or chest. Plus, the warmth helps loosen congestion and mucus.

Grandma was right, chicken soup is a good choice!

Cool-Mist Humidifier

Humidifiers are one of my must-have items all winter long. Even if your baby isn’t sick, the dry winters can be harsh on your little one’s skin and breathing.

Cool-mist humidifiers are great for colds because they add moisture to the air.

This helps loosen mucus, open up your little one’s airway and helps them breathe more easily.

Steam Bathroom

Since babies aren’t ready to take hot showers, a steamy bathroom is a great alternative.

Turn the shower onto hot and bring your baby into the bathroom for a few minutes.

Hot steam will help your baby cough less and breathe better.

Elevate the Head of Their Bed

Think back to the last time you had a cold or a cough. Lying flat was probably the last thing you wanted to do.

The same is true for your sick baby.

Unfortunately, babies less than one-year-old can’t sleep with any pillows or objects in their cribs. So you can’t stack a few extra pillows for your baby.

Instead, you can insert a wedge or rolled-up towels underneath your baby’s mattress.

This will elevate their head without increasing the risk of SIDS. However, make sure to only elevate the head of your baby’s bed slightly- 10 degrees or less!

Babies should not sleep in any upright positions including car seats, rock and plays, or swings. Flat on their back is safest, but you can try to increase to 10 degrees for some help during colds.

Baby Wearing

Natural Natural Cold Remedies for Babies

When you’re baby is awake, you’ll want to try to keep them upright as much as you can.

Baby wearing is an easy way to keep their head elevated and keep your hands free throughout the day.

Being upright helps relieve congestion and sinus pressure. Also, it helps improve your baby’s cough.

If you don’t have a baby carrier yet, I absolutely love my Boba wrap.

It’s so easy to put your baby in on your own and it keeps them comfy and safe.

Sinus Massage

Sinus massages are an effective technique to relieve sinus pressure and help your baby feel more comfortable.

Gently massage the sinuses in a circular pattern. This helps mucus flow and relieve pressure.

Normal Saline Drops

Normal saline drops are the best for babies and adults! They help loosen mucus, reduce swelling, and help you breathe more easily.

All you do is insert the tip of the drops into your baby’s nostril and apply 2-3 drops per nostril.

You can do this 2-3 times per day as needed.

Bulb Syringe

Unfortunately, babies aren’t born knowing how to blow their noses. They rely on us to help get all of the thick mucus out for them.

Bulb syringes are a suction that can suck the mucus out for your baby.

If their noses are really clogged with thick mucus, try using a few normal saline drops before suctioning.

Nose Frida

A newer alternative to using a bulb syringe is the Nose Frida. I’m not going to lie, when I first heard of this, I thought it was pretty gross.

My opinion completely changed when my baby got her first cold.

Let me tell you, IT REALLY WORKS!

If you haven’t seen the Nose Frida, it’s basically a syringe with a long tube attached to it.

You place the syringe into your baby’s nose and suck on the tube to pull the mucus out. There is a very sturdy valve in place so the mucus will not get anywhere near your mouth.

If you haven’t tried it yet, you really need to!

Boogie Wipes

Another essential for your baby’s first cold are Boogie Wipes.

When I was pregnant with my little one, I thought these were just another one of those “things” that everyone says you need, but are just a waste of money.

But, again I was wrong.

Boogie wipes are tissues that are moisturized with Normal Saline, aloe, chamomile, and Vitamin E

When you’re wiping your baby’s nose all day for days in a row, they’re going to start getting raw and irritated under their nose.

The Boogie Wipes are the perfect alternative because they’re actually moisturizing while wiping.

Also, these are great for thick crusty mucus that normal tissues can’t seem to wipe away.

Vitamin C

When your baby is sick, in addition to helping ease their symptoms, you want to do all you can to help boost their immune system.

For babies older than 6 months or who are already eating solids, offer them lots of foods high in vitamin C. This includes oranges, apples, peppers, or homemade smoothies.

Extra Sleep and Snuggles

Natural Cold Remedies for Babies

The best medicine for anyone when they fall ill is extra rest.

This may be hard if you’ve recently gotten your baby into a good sleep routine. However, for the next few days, put your routine aside and let your baby sleep as much as they need to.

If your baby wants to be held and cuddled, try your best to provide as much extra love and comfort as you can.

At the end of the day, our job as parents is to be there for our babies and provide as much love as we can.

That is ultimately what will help them feel better and live a healthy life.

Natural Remedies for Your Baby’s First Cold

When your baby catches a cold, it’s important to provide as much love and support as you can.

If you’re not sure when to take your baby to the pediatrician, this post has loads of helpful tips.

Also, if you have other kids at home, make sure to practice good handwashing to prevent the spread of your baby’s cold to everyone else.

If you’re ever in doubt about your baby’s symptoms, make sure to call your pediatrician for an expert opinion.

Natural Cold Remedies for Babies
Natural Cold Remedies for Babies
Natural Cold Remedies for Babies
Latest posts by Jordan F, MSN, FNP-BC (see all)

2 thoughts on “13 Safe and Effective Natural Cold Remedies for Babies (from a Nurse Practitioner)”

  1. I love all of these, except elevating the head. Unfortunately, there is NO safe way to elevate an infant beyond a 10° angle, and putting towels or wedges under the mattress can lead to positional asphyxiation. I know it’s so hard to watch them struggle with sickness, but that is one thing I won’t do with my daughter.

    1. Jordan F, MSN, FNP-BC

      Thank you for pointing this out. You’re absolutely correct, that it’s unsafe to have an incline more than 10 degrees. I will update my post to include this important note.

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