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Natural Remedies To Relieve Your Baby’s Cold and Flu Symptoms

In this post you’ll find Natural Remedies to Relieve Your Baby’s First Cold without using synthetic medications. There are plenty of safe home remedies that really work without side effects which are safe for small babies and infants.

It's very common for babies to get colds or flu. And there are several natural remedies parents can use to help their babies feel better when a cold or flu strikes. Here’s what you can do to ease infant cold symptoms like runny nose, cough and fever, naturally at home.

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Natural Remedies For Cold & Flu For Babies

Having a sick baby can be incredibly scary for first time parents, because infants are so small and sensitive. That’s why natural home remedies for cold and flu for babies and infants are considered the most reliable.

Synthetic Medication Is Not An Answer

The younger a baby is, the less developed its organs and the elimination pathways are, so we don’t want to use synthetic drugs to treat the baby’s cold. This can create havoc with the health of their little body with unknown consequences later in life.

Over the last 20-30 years, conventional cold and cough medicine can easily be found in grocery stores. With all that, more and more studies are warning about the danger of using medications in infants and babies under 4 years old.

One of the most popular – acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol – is responsible for nearly half of all acute liver failure cases in the US [1].

Cold and cough OTC medications won’t prevent a cold or shorten its duration, they just mask the symptoms and most have some side effects.

Cold and flu aren’t caused by bacterial infections and can’t be treated with antibiotics either. The best thing you can do is help your baby feel comfortable while fighting the illness.

Natural Remedies For Cold & Flu For Babies Under 12 Months

When your infant or baby shows signs of a cold or flu, you’ll try anything to alleviate their symptoms. The good thing is now more and more parents are turning to natural, alternative remedies for treating their baby’s cold and flu symptoms.

Although they may not shorten much the illness (which usually takes about 7 -10 days to run its course), but they help their tiny bodies fight the virus gentler. 

Here are the best natural remedies for cold and flu in babies under 12 months that can truly help:

Breastfeed Often

Breast-milk is perhaps the best natural remedy for your baby’s cold. It is rich in antibodies specific to baby’s environment, and this is why breastfed infants have fewer infections than those formula fed.

Natural home remedies for cold and flu for babies and infants, breastfeed often

A recent discovery states that once your breastfed infant does get sick, the saliva actually influences the content of your breast milk [2]. He will transfer this organism through his saliva to the breast, then developed antibodies are sent back to the baby through the milk to help him fight the disease.

It is also essential the baby to be hydrated. You may need to nurse more often than usual, because the baby may not get as much at each feeding as the nose is congested and it’s difficult for them to breathe while nursing. Water or tea for babies younger than 6 months is not considered necessary.

Relieve Baby’s Nasal Congestion

Because babies are nose breathers, it is very important to help them clear their airways. One of the best ways to relieve nasal congestion in babies is with steam by using a humidifier or your shower.

Run a hot shower then sit in the steamy room with your baby for a few minutes. The steam works to clean their nose by thinning out the mucus thus easing congestion.

If you are using a humidifier, choose an ultrasonic humidifier with cool mist, they are quieter, easier to operate and clean. Since mold and bacteria can accumulate inside it, you have to clean and dry it every day.

Also saline drops can help because salt loosens the mucus and clear it out of your baby’s nose.

Clear Your Baby’s Nose

saline drops infant nose decongestant

Gently clear their nasal passages using a nasal suction aspirator that does not go inside the nostril as it can hurt the delicate linings of your baby’s nose. I’ve used the NoseFrida many times and is extremely gentle on the baby’s nose, easy to disinfect.

You can squirt some saline drops or breast milk into baby’s nose to help loosen up the mucus before sucking it out. Over the counter nasal decongestant are not suitable for babies or children under six years.

Change Your Diet

Eliminate your intake of grains, dairy and sugars, especially fructose. Usually these elevate your insulin and leptin levels mainly through causing the body to be resistant to them, resulting in increased inflammation in the body.

Since everything most of the time ends up in the breast milk this change will help in speeding up the healing process of your baby.

Managing Your Baby’s Fever

A risen temperature it’s the body’s natural way of fighting, it is trying to get rid of the pathogen becoming an unsuitable environment for some viruses/bacteria to stick around.

Many babies can have a fever and aren’t bothered by it. In that case, I wouldn’t bother trying to reduce it. Since the body is already fighting on it’s own, it would be more effective to harmonize this process with some natural alternatives that have no harsh interference or side effects like synthetic fever reducers have.

The best thing you can do to reduce fever and bring temperature to normal is give your baby a lukewarm bath.

Diffuse Essential Oils

Sinus tissue inflammation and bacteria are often the culprits of sinus congestion, the best way to use essential oils to relieve a stuffy nose is through inhalation.

Natural remedies for cold and flu for babies and infants: diffuse essential oil for baby flu and cold symptoms

This can be done by using an essential oil diffuser.

Each essential oil is different and only 100% pure essential oils should be used.

Some of the best and safe essential oils for infants and babies with cold and flu symptoms are: CedarwoodEucalyptus and Lemon, FrankincenseFir Needle, Clary Sage, not more than 3-4 drops at a time.

The diffused oils will end up in the air this way killing the airborne viruses, bacteria, fungus and mold which makes a really great preventive remedy.

This method helped me to prevent my baby getting sick (at 4 months) when my husband came home with a nasty flu. Eventually I got the flu too, even though I was nursing the whole time, my baby didn’t show any signs of illness.

Chest And Feet Rub With Essential Oils

Natural remedies for cold and flu for babies and infants: chest and feet rub with essential oils

Add one or two essential oils like Chamomile, Lavender,Frankincense, Pine to a carrier oil and massage on your baby’s feet, chest, back of the neck and behind ears.

Caution: neonatal skin does not mature until three months of age, it is more sensitive and more permeable to essential oils. The recommended dilution ratio for this age group is .25% (1 drop per 4 teaspoons carrier oil).

Sleep, Nurse And Carry Your Baby Upright

Keeping your baby upright can help mucus drain. Babies feel difficulty in sleeping when suffering from blocked nose & cold. Hold or wear your baby, or let her nap in her car seat or a swing.

Herbal Tea For The Mother

In order to stay hydrated the mother can consume extra fluids in the form of anti-inflammatory herbal tea. And if the baby is old enough (at least 6 months) chamomile, ginger, plantain and thyme tea highly diluted are the best, and of course make sure it is a high quality uncontaminated tea. Plantain and thyme teas are great for cough and phlegm within the lungs and also for lowering fevers.


Probiotics are boosting your baby’s immunity by creating balance in the digestive system. Nearly seventy percent of the human immune system is located in the digestive tract, therefore probiotics can significantly cut the duration and severity of illness.

It is recommend using probiotics every time a child is given antibiotics to restore the beneficial bacteria that was killed in the process and to control antibiotic-related diarrhea.

Having 5 billion to 10 billion CFUs of powdered probiotics, is most effective. This propiotic brand is specifically designed for infants, it doesn’t contain any milk, corn, soy, wheat, gluten, shellfish, eggs or fish. That’s what I used for my baby when it was necessary.

Keep The Germs Away

Change hand towels every day, give your bathrooms a quick cleaning after each use, change bedding sheets, wipe down all door handles and light switches with a sanitizing wipe regularly until your baby gets better, this way you will prevent spreading the flu to other family members.

So how can you tell if baby has a cold or flu? The flu typically comes with higher fevers, over 102 degrees F and your baby can also have other symptoms besides congestion and cough, like vomiting or diarrhea. 

You can generally handle a baby cold with the all natural home remedies, but sometimes she’ll need medical attention. Trouble breathing or violent coughing is some of the signs to look for.

Looking for cold and flu natural remedies for babies and infants? Having a sick baby can be incredibly scary for first time parents, because infants are so small and sensitive. Here are effective home remedies for cold and cough in babies and infants that you can use at home. Get rid of nasal congestion, cough and flu symptoms using only gentle natural home remedies.

This information is not intended to substitute medical advice. Readers are advised to do their own research and make decisions by consulting with their health care providers. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition or are taking any medication, please consult your physician. 

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Naina Koolwal

Monday 13th of November 2017

Providing a clean and hygienic environment to your baby should be your first and foremost responsibility. Keeps the germs and disease causing bacteria away. You mentioned some important points to do if the child is suffering from fever or cough including the kind of diet we should have. But what are home remedies if my 3 years old son is suffering from fever?


Wednesday 15th of November 2017

Fever lower than 100.4 F (38.0 C)just for a couple of days shouldn't be a concern especially if your child’s behavior is relatively normal. It means the immune system of your child is active and fighting a minor infection. The best thing you can you do is encourage rest and plenty of fluids. In all other cases you should see a doctor.