Written by: Jessie

Is your baby having sniffles and runny nose lately? It could be due to common …

A parent’s guide to home remedies for a cold

Is your baby having sniffles and runny nose lately? It could be due to common cold if your child is still able to play around and stay active. I will be sharing you a parent’s guide to home remedies for a cold and they are meant for children under 2 years old.

Common cold is caused by viral infection of the nose and throat, usually babies are very susceptible in getting the common cold especially they have started nursery. If your baby has symptoms such as fever, runny nose, loss of appetite, red eyes and restlessness due to stuffy nose, she may already get a common cold.

A parent’s guide to home remedies for a cold.

A parent's guide to home remedies for a cold

It takes time for a baby cold to heal and go away on its own without taking any medication. However, if your baby is below than 3 months old, having high fever above 38degree Celsius and having difficulty breathing, you need to bring the baby to see a doctor immediately.

This is a guideline for treating common cold at home for baby under 2 years old which I think it works for my child to ease her discomfort during this period.

NO.1 Nasal saline drops / spray

If your baby is having a stuffy nose, nasal saline drop or nasal saline spray (without decongestants) shall be used for infants to help unblock the airways. Baby cannot blow his/her nose to clear the mucus so apply nasal saline drop / spray will help to thin the mucus, move the mucus to the front of the nose and make it easier to remove it using an aspirator. Daily use of saline drop/spray will keep your baby nasal passage clear and moisturized.

A parent's guide to home remedies for a cold

Saline is a buffered solution which is safe to be used for infants and it does not irritate the nasal membranes. Normal nasal saline drop for infants does not contain decongestants, a drug to help to narrow the blood vessel, reduce swollen that causes congestion to the nose and open the airways.

Here is how you apply saline drop/ spray on your child:

  1. Lay your child on the back.
  2. Place a rolled towel on his/her shoulder so that the head is lower than the chest.
  3. Place 2-3 drops of saline drops or spray gently into each nostril
  4. Then hold your baby’s head downwards to let the mucus to flow out.
  5. Use aspirator to help remove the rest of the mucus but do not force in.
  6. Wipe clean

Shop for nasal saline drops online here.

NO.2 Humidifier

In Malaysia, due to the hot and humid environment, most of the family will keep the air conditioning system on for most of the time during the night in our bedroom. Air conditioning system will dry up the air and can stuff up baby’s nose. An air humidifier is adding moisture to the air with cold mist. Therefore, it will help moisturize your baby’s nasal, throat and lung passage so that air can pass through.

A parent's guide to home remedies for a cold

You need to clean the filter and the water tank after some time to avoid the bacteria / fungus growth.

NO.3 Steam vaporiser

Steam vaporiser is also one of the equipment that disperse moisture to the air just like a humidifier does. But, steam vaporiser is dispersing hot air mist and humidifier is dispersing cold mist. Both are equally effective in humidifying the air and have same function as to ease congestion due to cold.

You need to be cautious as not to place steam vaporiser too close to the child as it emits hot air vapor. May burn your child if he/she gets too close to the hot air valve.

I have written about a review previously about Euky Bear Steam Vaporiser, click on the link to get access to it if you are interested to read on.

NO.4 Vapor rub

Another thing you can do to help your baby to sleep well when she/he gets a common cold, is to apply vapor rub which contain eucalyptus oil. Eucalyptus oil can help loosen up mucus and help you baby to expel out from the chest when she/he coughs. By breathing the eucalyptus oil can help ease his/her breathing.

This has been a practice since our childhood too, vapor rub is applied to our chest and throat to clear the stuffy nose. However, I find out sometimes we need to reapply many times especially at night as it is not as efficient as the function of humidifier and/ or steam vaporiser.

NO.5 Warm baby bath

If you have a baby who is having a stuffy nose, what you can do is giving her a warm bath before sleep. Breathing in steam can help loosen block airways and relieve congestion. How about sitting in a steam bathroom for couple of minutes while holding your baby and see can help her feeling better?

A parent's guide to home remedies for a cold

NO.6. Stay away from sick people

You can try to keep your child away from people who are having bad cough or common cold. Do not bring your little one to public areas where there are lots of people who may be infected with disease. Your baby immune system is not mature enough to fight for disease. Protecting them from getting the sickness is the best prevention.

When to see a doctor?

If your baby has a cold with no other medical issues, it should be resolved on its own within two weeks time. If your child is younger than 3 months old, visit your doctor to seek for her/his advice as sometimes common cold can develop other medical problem such as pneumonia due to delay treatment.

If your child is not only having cold but also come with persistent cough, wheezing, difficulty breathing and vomiting. Please consult your doctor immediately without delay.


This is a parent’s guide to home remedies for a cold for babies. The above methods are what I have practiced so far and I find them useful to ensure my child can sleep and feed well when she has a common cold.

Breastfeeding your baby and passing your antibodies to your baby to increase his/her immunity is what you can do. Not that breastfeeding your child will prevent them from getting the cold but with stronger immune system, he/she will get better faster.

Is your child having a cold and have difficulty in feeding and sleeping. Well, try these steps mentioned above. Share with me the outcome in the comment box below.

Happy reading.


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