cold remedies for kids

This post is sponsored by Dr. Brown’s. 

Sniffles. Runny nose. Sad little barking cough. Tiny stuffed up noses with congestion. When your baby or child has a cold, your heart breaks for them. As a parent, all you want to do is take the discomfort away, but with a cold, you cannot simply give your child medicine and make them feel better.

Tip: Do not give your baby or toddler cough or cold medicine; it has not been proven effective in treating the symptoms of the common cold, and in fact, can be fatal.

While you can’t cure the common cold, there are certainly things you can do to alleviate the symptoms that are safe and effective for the whole family.

These work great for everything from ear infections and pneumonia to strep throat and the flu to manage symptoms.

Cold remedies that work for kids

Hydration is key: what did your mom always say when you were sick? Rest and have plenty of fluids. Momma was right. For babies, if you’re nursing or bottle feeding, keep that up – your baby may want to nurse or have a bottle more for hydration and comfort when they’re not feeling well. For kids, push water and make sure not to share cups.

Use a humidifier: keep a humidifier running in your child’s room, especially during nap times and at night. It’s always on my kids’ discharge papers after the doctor to keep a cold mist humidifier going. Don’t use a warm mist humidifier though – we use Dr. Brown’s cold mist humidifiers. We have them in each bedroom, and there’s even a little spot to dispense essential oils – this is one of my favorite features.

Bedroom humidifier Humidifier

Rest up: As Daniel Tiger says, “When you’re sick, rest is best, rest is best.” We all know our bodies need rest to heal – if your kid is resistant, put on the Daniel Tiger episode, Daniel Gets a Cold, and watch the magic happen.

Create a steam room: close your bathroom door and run your shower on hot, letting the room steam up. Sit in there with your child for about 15 minutes; the warm vapors will help loosen mucus in the nose and chest.

Breastfeeding? Use breastmilk! The magic uses for breastmilk are endless; put a couple drops of breastmilk in your child’s nose. You can put it in a medicine dropper or use a slow-drip nipple.

Clear the nose: Use a few drops of saline before clearing the nose with a ‘nose hose’ or bulb, especially before feedings if your child cannot breathe comfortably. Caution: do not use a bulb on a newborn; this will irritate and inflame their nasal passage, making it more difficult to breathe.

Sip warm liquids: Give your child warm liquids to sip with a spoon or straw – just make sure it’s not hot. Try broth, tea, or warm apple juice.

Moisturize the nose: if you’re constantly wiping your child’s nose, chances are it is getting sore and raw from irritation. Create a protective barrier with an ointment or coconut oil. There are natural alternatives to Vaseline as well.

Elevate head: in babies over 6 months, you can elevate their head while sleeping to help drain the congestion at night and for naps.

Remember to always practice good hand washing as a family and keep items clean in your house – I can’t be the only one whose baby sucks on remote controls, books, toys, phones…oh, and don’t forget lots of extra snuggles and love – we might call it the “common cold,” but there is nothing common about how miserable and lousy you feel when you’re sick with it.

What are your favorite home remedies for a cold?