15 Home Remedies for Baby Cold that Will Always Work

crying baby held by the mother

When your little ones are not feeling good it adds a great deal of stress to anyone’s day. Having a cold is a normal part of human life, even for babies; fortunately, there are plenty of home remedies for baby cold that will always work. Here are 15 that are safe and effective for a child of five years and under.

Please note that though these remedies are effective for treating symptoms, they are not all-inclusive cures. In many severe cases, it is still best to consult a healthcare professional for advice and treatment over using home remedies.

1. Chicken Soup

Chicken soup is always the best place to start whenever you are talking about home remedies for cold relief. A baby’s cold can be treated with this remedy as well, provided your baby is weaned and eating. Chicken soup contains a number of nutrients which help speed antioxidants to your child’s immune system as well as help relieve congestion.

What to do:

  • Make chicken soup from a whole chicken with the bone in the broth.
  • Add in vegetables like carrots, beets, and spinach to give it a little more nutritional kick.
  • If your baby isn’t eating solid food, he or she can still take advantage of the nutrients by drinking the broth.
  • Feed this to your baby a couple of times a day for a few days.

2. Ginger

One of the most effective natural home remedies for baby colds is ginger. Because ginger lists anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral and anti-tussive (cough suppressant) properties, it will help battle the worst symptoms and allow your baby to rest quieter. It can also help to sweat out a mild fever and bring it to an end.

What to do:

  • Boil 6 cups of water and add in ½ cup of thinly sliced ginger and a couple of cinnamon sticks.
  • Turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Allow the tea to cool and strain out the ginger and cinnamon.
  • Add honey, (Do NOT use honey if your child is under 1 year) sugar or maple syrup to sweeten.
  • Give this to your child to drink several times daily.
  • You can dilute the solution with water if it is a little too strong.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another home remedy to keep in mind when treating your baby’s cold. Because of its detoxifying and acidic nature, it helps to draw heat out of the body through the skin, which lowers fever.

What to do:

  • Make a mixture of 1 part raw, unfiltered ACV to 2 parts of cool water.
  • Soak 2 clean washcloths in the solution, wring out the excess liquid.
  • Place one washcloth on the forehead and the other on the stomach.
  • Leave them in place for 10 minutes before resoaking each of the clothes and replacing it.
  • Toddlers can soak in warm bathwater with ½ cup of raw, unfiltered ACV added in for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Repeat this whenever necessary to reduce fever.

4. Carom Seeds

Carom seeds are another effective home remedy that can be used in the treatment of baby colds. Not only do carom seeds help to reduce congestion and make mucus easier to expel, but its antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties will also help relieve overall symptoms and boost your baby’s immunity.

What to do:

  • Place ½ tsp of carom seeds in a cup of water and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Strain out the seeds and allow the tea to cool.
  • Serve it to your baby several times a day to help relieve cold symptoms.
  • Another way to use carom seeds is to dry roast 2 peeled and chopped garlic cloves along with 1 Tbsp of carom seeds.
  • Place the mixture in a clean muslin cloth, seal it with a rubber band and hang it in your baby’s crib or cradle while he or she sleeps.

5. Breast Milk

If your baby is still being breastfed, there is really no better remedy to help treat your baby’s cold. Breast milk has the best balance of nutrients for immunity boosting and fighting infection over any other home remedy.

What to do:

  • Clean out your baby’s nasal passages with a nasal aspirator and hold your baby upright in order to encourage nursing.
  • You may need to switch positions several times to encourage nursing when your baby is sick.

clean water

6. Hydration

One of the two main pillars of getting over any cold is to consume plenty of liquids. The same is true when it comes to treating baby colds. Being well hydrated not only helps reduce congestion, but it also helps your child’s body to expel the germs that are making him or her sick.

What to do:

  • Chicken broth, as mentioned earlier, is one effective means of hydration.
  • Serve plenty of warm teas, fruit juice, and other clear liquids as well.
  • Milk, not breast milk, tends to add to the buildup of mucus, so avoid milky liquids.

7. Room Humidifier

One general home remedy for all colds that should be considered, at any age, is a room humidifier. A room humidifier helps to loosen mucus and tends to promote relaxation as well, both of which will help relieve your baby’s cold and keep him or her breathing easier.

What to do:

  • Place a cool-mist vaporizer in the room where your child sleeps at night, while napping or whenever he or she is playing.
  • Add a few drops of eucalyptus, mint or lavender essential oil to the vaporizer to help with relaxation as well.

8. Sponge Bath

Reducing fever is an important part of treating a baby’s cold one way to do that is to give your baby a sponge bath. The cool water on their skin evaporates and helps to reduce overall body temperature.

What to do:

  • Fill a pan or bowl with cool, but not cold water.
  • Place your child on a thick towel or in an empty baby’s tub.
  • Saturate a sponge or a washcloth in the cool water and use it to bathe the armpits, feet, hands and groin area.
  • Repeat this home remedy as often as necessary to bring down the temperature.

9. Honey

As long as your baby is over 1 year old, you can utilize honey as a home remedy for baby colds. Because it has natural antibiotics, antioxidants and immunity boosting properties, honey can help get rid of sore throats, coughing and infection.

What to do:

  • Mix 2 tsp of honey with 1 tsp of freshly extracted lemon juice.
  • Have your child swallow this mixture several times per day to relieve symptoms.
  • It can be diluted with warm water or milk to make it easier to drink.
  • Add it as a sweetener to other remedies.
  • NEVER give honey to babies under 1 year of age, because you run the risk of giving your child infantile botulism.

10. Oranges

When your baby has a cold, they need all of the immunity boosting they can get. The vitamin C available in oranges is one of the best home remedies to help fight against your baby’s cold and help bring relief to coughing, sore throat, and runny nose as well.

What to do:

  • The best way to give vitamin C to your baby is to give them orange wedges to eat throughout the day.
  • If it is better for your baby to drink the juice, then squeeze it yourself and dilute it with water to serve in a bottle or sippy cup.
  • Do not use packaged orange juice, because of the added sugar and preservatives.

picture of ripe lemons

11. Lemons and Limes

Another good source of vitamin C, lemons and limes also help to cut through your baby’s cold symptoms as well. Like oranges lemons and limes have immunity boosters as well as antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties to help relieve symptoms as well.

What to do:

  • Cut two lemons or limes into quarters and put them in a pot along with 1 Tbsp of thinly sliced ginger.
  • Cover the ingredients with water, bring the water to a boil, reduce heat and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Strain the liquid from the pan and allow it to cool.
  • Pour the warm solution into a cup filling it halfway and add an equal amount of warm water.
  • Stir in honey, sugar or maple syrup to sweeten and serve this to your child several times during the day to relieve symptoms.

12. Rest

The second pillar for recovering from a cold is rest. When the body is fighting a cold, it drains energy. Better and faster healing for your baby’s cold will come if he or she gets plenty of rest.

What to do:

  • Sleep is one of the best home remedies so encourage as much of it as your baby can get.
  • When your baby is not sleeping, encourage quieter activities that keep them from becoming overactive and worsening symptoms, especially coughing and fever.

13. Vapor Rub

Cold sufferers always benefit from vapor rubs, especially when it comes time to encourage sleep. Your baby’s cold can also benefit from the cooling sensations of a vapor rub which helps to promote better breathing.

What to do:

  • Vapor rubs for baby’s 3 months and older can be purchased or you can make your own home remedy vapor rub.
  • Massage the gel into your baby’s chest, neck and back before bedtime.
  • DO NOT apply vapor rub around your child’s mouth, nose, eyes or anywhere else on the face.

14. Easy to Eat Foods

Because of the discomfort of scratchy, sore throats often associate with a baby’s cold a great way to encourage them to eat better and get the nutrition they need to fight off the infection is through giving them foods that are easy to eat and swallow.

What to do:

  • Soups and broths are easy to swallow and feel good going down.
  • Yogurt, applesauce, gelatin, pudding, ice cream and ice pops made of freshly squeezed juice are other options.
  • Try to consider what certain foods feel like when you have a sore throat and give easier swallowing foods to your baby as well.

15. Elevating the Head

When your head is level or lower than the rest of your body while you have a cold, it tends to make it more difficult to breathe and makes your nose stuffy. The same is true with a baby’s cold. Elevating your baby’s head is one home remedy which can help him or her rest better.

What to do:

  • When you put your baby down to sleep place a folded towel, blanket or pillow underneath the head of your baby’s mattress to give him or her a little bit of elevation while they sleep.

Tips for Caring for and Comforting Your Sick Baby

Caring for a sick baby requires the right tools, but it also requires the right ways of going about soothing and calming. If you are a new mother, it can be hard to know the best ways to be there for your sick tiny human. Here are some tips that will help you and your baby through this hard time that hopefully passes sooner rather than later.

Hold Your Baby

If you are a working parent, it is likely that you will need to take time off of work to stay at home with your sick baby. Unless you have a nanny or a relative watch your baby, this is almost always the necessary outcome. The truth is, it is likely that you will want to care for your baby yourself when they are sick. If you are with them, be prepared for some long days and night of cuddling, comforting, swaddling, and hugging. These things may also include rocking, holding nonstop, and walking around with your child in your hands. It’s just part of the game. Your baby will be extra clingy and needy in this time, especially if they are an infant. The best way to care for them is to embrace them and give them the human contact and comfort that only a parent can.

Gentle Interaction

Singing, massaging, reading, and bathing can all be simple ways to comfort your baby as they get through sickness. These are some ways that they will be able to tangibly feel your love and affection and it will help them to feel better instantly. Find the things that your baby responds to like warm baths or humming certain songs, and try to do these as much as possible through the sickness.


Watching your baby suffer from a cold is no picnic and adds quite a lot of stress to your days and nights. You can reduce your stress level by making use one or several of the 15 home remedies for baby cold we have just shown you. Questions, comments and additional home remedies can be added to the section below.

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