How to Treat Your Baby’s Cold, Cough and Fever Naturally

How to Treat Your Baby’s Cold, Cough and Fever Naturally
It's always worrisome when your little one suddenly catches cold and becomes listless, uncomfortable and clingy.  It's normal to want to jump right into action to reduce the fever and relieve the suffering, but what's the safest way to treat your baby's cold, cough and fever naturally?

I wear quite a few hats in my life, but one of my favorites is supporting my family and friends during times of illness. So a couple of weeks ago, my friend Julie dialed her personal Ask-a-Nurse hotline (a.k.a. my cell phone) when her 4 month old baby woke up with a heavy duty cold.  I got busy doing my geeky research thing and found plenty of natural remedies to boost her immune system and comfort her achy little body.

How to Handle Your Baby's Fever Naturally

The fever your baby has may be the cause of discomfort, but it's actually beneficial – a positive sign that her immune system is working. With Tylenol's latest – and very scary – warning, it's even more important than ever to skip the treatment most often used by parents to reduce fever.

Here's how we should be handling fevers instead:

Natural Remedies to Ease Stuffy Noses and Coughing (While Fighting Bacteria + Viruses)

Over the years, I've witnessed the power of how simple elements found in nature can work wonders in my own kids.  We very rarely visit the doctor for anything that doesn't require serious medical intervention anymore.

Here are my favorite ways to ease cold symptoms naturally:

  1. Diffuse essential oils in a pot of boiling water or with a warm steam humidifier. Some essential oils that are generally considered safe for babies 6+ months and are great for loosening congestion and fighting the cold itself are cedarwood, sandalwood, cinnamon leafthyme, lemon and ginger. *NOTE: Be sure to use certified organic essential oils when available to make sure you're not absorbing or inhaling concentrated amounts of harmful chemicals or pesticides used during the growing process.
  2. Add some lavender to the humidifier to help your baby relax.
  3. Use Badger Balm Aromatic Chest Rub or make your own using 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil with 10 drops each of eucalyptus (eucalyptus radiata for children under 6 years of age) and oregano essential oils.  Remember to never use any essential oils directly on baby without proper dilution with a carrier oil, and be sure to choose only those that are known to be safe for children.
  4. Place a few drops of preservative free Nasal Saline drops in baby’s nose and gently suction with the amazingly effective Nosefrida (see our how-to video here).
  5. Give her Hyland's Baby Tiny Cold homeopathic tablets.

A few notes on essential oils safety:NEVER apply the potent undiluted oil directly to the skin.Choose 100% pure essential oils and be sure to use certified organic when available to make sure you’re not absorbing or inhaling extremely concentrated amounts of harmful chemicals or pesticides used during the growing process.

ALWAYS keep essential oils out of reach of children. Use only eucalyptus radiata for children under 6, or substitute lemon or oregano essential oils in its place.

For more information, please see this helpful article on safe essential oils for babies and children.

P.S. Be sure to check out our DIY thieves oil and DIY vapor chest rub too.

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27 Responses to How to Treat Your Baby’s Cold, Cough and Fever Naturally

  1. kalonzo March 8, 2014 at 11:26 pm #

    Quick question – I’m new to this whole essential oil thing… can you put all of the above together in a humidifier? Or are certain ones better together but not with others? Thanks so much for your help!

  2. Erin Parry Smith October 29, 2014 at 10:56 pm #

    My little man recently started getting congested. Unfortunately he got it from me. 🙁 he woke up at 4 am and couldn’t breathe very well cause his nose was so stuffed. I saw sat up in bed and put him on my chest and he went right back to sleep.

    I recently read that you could put garlic on their feet?? Haven’t tried it yet.

  3. Tiffany Torres January 12, 2015 at 5:56 pm #

    My 6 month old has the flu! I took my son Sunday afternoon to an urgent care clinic, he wasnt acting himself his temp was 102 they gave him Tylenol and told me to continue it till the fever went down.I didn’t likethe idea but I went along with it because I hate seeing him sick.I gave him the Tylenol every 4 hours the temp stood the same I read this article and decided to no give him anymore and just let his body fight it. any other pointers?

    • The Soft Landing Sisters
      The Soft Landing Sisters January 14, 2015 at 7:09 pm #

      Oh no Tiffany, sorry your little guy is sick! I’m glad you decided to move away from Tylenol. Besides the tips we’ve listed above, you may be able to help reduce the fever slightly by sponging/bathing with tepid water (never cold water), placing a cool cloth on the forehead, keeping him hydrated with at least 4oz of water or bone broth each hour. We also like to brew Organic Heartburn Tea from Earth Mama and make popsicles out of it so that the babies stay hydrated and also benefit from the healing herbs (http://bit.ly/HeartburnTea). Once last thing you might try is the Magic Sock treatment (http://www.sustaincreateandflow.com/magic-socks-a-natural-remedy-for-cold-and-flu). Hope he gets better soon! ~Alicia

  4. Jana March 6, 2015 at 6:46 pm #

    You mentioned the Badger Balm Aromatic Chest Rub above. Is this safe for an 18month old. I have read conflicting information about whether eucalyptus, peppermint, and Rosemary were safe for children under 6 years.

  5. Annie Marie April 3, 2015 at 6:48 am #

    Thank you, very informative, I have a question – has anyone tried shungite water? One of my friends advised me to try it, in his case it helped. If anybody faced this situation and tried it please advise.

    • The Soft Landing Sisters
      The Soft Landing Sisters April 3, 2015 at 1:13 pm #

      We haven’t tried it ourselves Annie Marie, so I’m afraid we can’t help. Hopefully one of our readers will be able to chime in with an opinion! ~Alicia

  6. Leia H December 3, 2015 at 10:05 am #

    My son is 9mos and has a really nasty cold/cough. No fever just runny nose and sinus drainage that is causing him to cough. His eyes are red and irritated from coughing so much. What do you recommend for helping ease his cough?

  7. The Soft Landing Sisters December 30, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

    Hi Stacy, Lavender seems to work wonders for young children and it’s safe for use in moderation with them. I’d suggest using a few drops at a time in your diffuser (and a drop or two of basil) to act as a passive breathing treatment. You can also give them green tea sweetened with raw honey and a dash of cinnamon for an added boost to their immune systems. Our kids love tea popsicles too! ~Laura

  8. Candace Tomczak February 10, 2016 at 2:50 am #

    I have a two month old that is currently sick.. She has a slightly stuffy nose, slight cough, and feels a little warm.. Are these methods considered safe for her? I’m wondering because I had noticed you said “oils approved for 6+ months”.. If not do you have any other suggestions? This is my first baby so I’m a little nervous but I know she isn’t sick enough to need a doctors visit yet.

    • The Soft Landing Sisters February 11, 2016 at 10:59 am #

      Hi Candace, babies that young are just so sensitive to things that we recommend waiting to use essential oils until 6 months+ of age. Our go-to methods for infants under 6 months is a plain water humidifier and the NoseFrida nasal aspirator (http://fridababy.com/product/nosefrida/). You’d be surprised at how well these two simple things work! ~Laura

    • Freddie N Lizette Alvia September 13, 2016 at 7:40 pm #

      Try Doterra oils .. Very effective I use it for my baby

  9. The Soft Landing Sisters February 11, 2016 at 4:25 pm #

    Hi Karen, thanks for jumping into the conversation! Would you please provide your sources for this information? Thanks!

  10. KATRINA SIKES September 4, 2016 at 9:33 am #

    What brand essential oils do you use? I ordered mines on amazon , but I’m worried because so many ppl make fake oils.
    Thanks

    • Suzie Fierke September 9, 2016 at 4:27 am #

      No! No! There can be many things in those. Please check out Young Living, they have a seed to seal process and I trust NO other oils for me and my family. I can discuss this in more detail if you wish?

  11. Heather Blunt October 15, 2016 at 10:57 am #

    Would be great to learn more about effects of every type of oil’s. And it’s also interstinf which brand do you exactly recommend?

    • The Soft Landing Sisters
      The Soft Landing Sisters December 5, 2016 at 5:13 pm #

      We always try to focus on buying certified organic oils (if possible) from reputable companies like Mountain Rose Herb and Aura Cacia.

  12. The Soft Landing Sisters
    The Soft Landing Sisters January 19, 2017 at 10:31 am #

    Thanks for your input, Jenny. While we believe the two oils can be used safely in small doses (externally), we went ahead and updated the information in our article to err on the side of caution.

  13. Leora A Clark February 18, 2017 at 1:31 am #

    My guy is 6 months just caught his first cold 1 week after i stopped nursing :'( his cough is horrible and he is caughing all night 🙁 help please ♡♡ love your advice and tips ♡♡

    • Laura February 20, 2017 at 11:28 am #

      That’s so hard, Leora! For babies, we use humidifiers and make sure they’re staying well hydrated. Plain water goes a long way in helping speed recover. In addition to the tips in our post, we also recommend Maty’s baby chest rub to ease cold symptoms in little bodies. Hope that helps! ~The Soft Landing Sisters

  14. Rita March 17, 2017 at 10:16 am #

    Can I use diluted Thieves for my eight month baby

    • Becky March 21, 2017 at 10:33 am #

      Certified aromatherapist do not recommend oils on children under 2. Thieves have many oils that are considered “hot oils” that may react to adults much less babies. You can go to plant therapy website for more information.not a mlm company so they are trying to get you to sign up or giving out wrong information from untrained reps

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