Parenting Tips

10 All Natural Cold Remedies For Your Toddler


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I’m pretty sure it breaks your heart (as it does mine) when your little one is coughing with a stuffy runny nose and not feeling well. And if you’re like me you just googled thousands of remedies and ways to help them feel better. I’m not completely against modern medicine, but when it comes to a baby under 2 years old I’m a tad bit cautious. Automatically medicating might not be the answer, especially if all your kiddo has is a common cold. Of course, I’m not a doctor so always check with your pediatrician first, especially if he’s running a fever. In the meantime, here are some all natural remedies as well as some mommy live saver products to get you and your little one through cold season.

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1. Manuka Honey (UMF 10+)

I’m super grateful for a pediatrician who recommends all natural remedies in addition to and even sometimes in place of modern medicine, and this is one she raves about! Manuka honey has antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. UMF (Unique Manuca Factor) of 10 or greater is recommended or else it won’t do much. Give your child** 1 flat teaspoon 3x/day by mouth to help get rid of a cold or ear infection.

**DO NOT GIVE TO AN INFANT UNDER 1 YEAR OLD. Honey is not safe for young infants as they can develop infant botulism.

Manuka Honey

2. Saline solution

To help break up your child’s congestion you can pick up a bottle of saline solution and follow the dosage instructions to put in your child’s nostrils. I promise you they will hate it no matter what brand you get, but it definitely works!

Saline Solution Nasal Spray

3. Fluids

Lots and lots of fluids will help to break up mucus and flush out unwanted bacteria.  Being hydrated will increase the effectiveness of your child’s immune system, helping it to fight off germs faster.

4. Elevated mattress

To help relieve the discomfort of a stuffy nose, elevate your child’s mattress by placing some rolled up towels underneath the head of the crib mattress.

5. Chicken soup

Old fashioned chicken soup may actually help lessen the symptoms of upper respiratory colds. And it actually doesn’t have to be only chicken soup. Warm soups help to break up mucus while also providing important nutrients. My son LOVES this butternut squash soup! (I just use less cayenne pepper so it’s not too spicy for him, and I add a teaspoon or two of minced ginger)

Chicken Soup
Photo by Henrique Félix on Unsplash

6. Shower Steam/Humidifier

When my son is sick, I take a hot shower with the doors closed to trap the steam and then I bring him in the room to let him breathe in the steam. It helps relieve a stuffy nose and break up mucus. Since you can’t be taking hot showers 24/7, a cool mist humidifier is also a good idea to have, especially at bedtime.

Crane USA Filter-Free Cool Mist Humidifier
Cool Mist Humidifier

7. Onion Cough Syrup

Yup. That’s right. A cough syrup made from leaving raw onions and sugar in a jar over several hours. Here’s the recipe I used.

Onion Cough Syrup
My own personal concoction of onion cough syrup!

8. Raw Garlic

If onion syrup wasn’t potent enough for you, here’s some raw garlic. It is antibiotic, antiviral, antimicrobial and has antioxidants that help boost the immune system. Your child is most likely not going to like the taste of raw garlic so just mince a tiny bit into some cooked pasta and add a little olive oil and Parmesan cheese or pasta sauce to hide the strong flavor. You can also take a clove of garlic, crush it and have your child smell it. Crushing it releases the chemical Allicin that is antibacterial, and smelling it releases those chemicals into the nasal passages to help fight off the cold.

Raw Garlic
Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

9. Homemade Vaporub with Essential Oils

Vick’s vaporub was always a go to for me until I realized all the chemicals in it weren’t safe for babies. So I found an all natural recipe made with beeswax, olive oil, and these three essential oils: peppermint, eucalyptus, and rosemary. This recipe from Crunchy Betty is awesome! My son loves it! And side note: it also makes a great lip balm!

Homemade Vaporub
My very own homemade vaporub.

10. Child Life First Defense

My Newlymoms counterpart, Niki, raves about this stuff! I wish I heard of it before my son got sick. But now that I know about it, I’ll add it into our daily routine to help build his immune system.

Child Life First Defense

Bonus Remedy:

Make your kid laugh!

 “A cheerful heart is good medicine…”

Proverbs 17:22

Other Essentials for When Your Kiddo is Sick:

1. Nasal Aspirator AKA Snot Sucker

Nose Frida or BabyComfy Nasal Aspirator are recommended as they do a much better job of getting all the mucus out than a traditional bulb aspirator. I have both but I use the BabyComfy Nasal Aspirator, as the tip is much softer than the Nose Frida.

BabyComfy Nasal Aspirator

2. Kinsa Smart Ear Thermometer

My Newlymom counterpart also raves about the Kinsa. And she does her research, so you know it’s got to be good. Many of the instant read thermometers are not that accurate, but this one is right on target! If you want to be absolutely sure though, you can go with a traditional thermometer.

Kinsa Smart Ear Thermometer

Hoping your little one has a speedy recovery!

Right there with ya!

Christine from,

The Newlymoms

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