How to Treat Colds in Babies & Toddlers

Treating a sick kid? Yup, it’s that awesome time of year again! No, no, just just that time of year when you spend 50+ hours in the kitchen and another 50+ trying to figure out new locations for your Elf on a Shelf. It’s sick season for anyone who has kids! Because, ya know, kids.



There is a lot of touching of noses and mouths, licking of common objects and hugging of friends who are drippy and sneezy. There is also the stomach bug, the flu, and the couch that never ends – oh the fun!

First of all, do yourself a favor and get a flu shot – and have everyone in your house get one too (including your babysitters, grandma, au pairs, whoever!).

If you don’t already have an arsenal of sick remedies in your cabinet, get up to par so you don’t have to make Walgreens runs in the middle of the night. Some suggestions on what you need to stock-up on below:


Ear infections, fevers – sometimes you just need some drugs. Infants’ Tylenol Acetaminophen Liquid Medicine and Infant Motrin should be in your (locked) cabinet for just the right time. Like, the middle of the night because that is always when it hits, amiright?

Note: Avoid combination medicines (like “Tylenol Cold”) — they have more than one medicine in them, and kids can have more (severe) side effects than adults.

A Thermometer

Baby Forehead Thermometer is best. It doesn’t always get the most precise reading but if your kids are anything like mine, an actual thermometer is literally impossible. This one actually has an ear function and claims to take temperatures just by pressing a key and giving you a reading in 1 second! A blacklight also means you can read temperature easier in darkness (like, ya know, sleeping/sleepy children). 

A Nose Frida 

Did you ever think you were going to love someone enough to suck the snot out of their nostrils with your mouth? I certainly never thought about that as a possibility in love. But the Nose Frida is a popular parent item for just that! With disposable filters to prevent the transfer of mucus or bacterial germs to the snot sucker when clearing stuffy noses, the NoseFrida creates a seal with the outside of the baby’s nostril for “gentle snotsucking”. Yum. No alcohol, medicine or other additives and most importantly, dishwasher safe. Most importantly, it really does work to help clear your baby’s nose. And that’s what life is all about. 

Electric Nose Sucker

For a little quicker, but more invasive method try an electronic sucker (this is actually my preference 100x over the Frida but other people truly love the Frida!). Try the OCCObaby Baby Nasal Aspirator for a safe, hygienic and battery operated nose cleaner. It even comes with 3 sizes of nose tips – how delightfully helpful. 

The Classic Bulb

You probably got one in the hospital. And then threw it out. But having a bulb you can clean at home is key. Check out the Innovo Hospital Grade Silicone Twister Bulb Baby Nasal Aspirator and Ear Syringe – AKA: “Bulb Snot Sucker and Mucus Sucker.” Non-toxic, cleanable and re-usable. Made of 100% SILICONE that is hypoallergenic and naturally resistant to the growth of bacteria, molds and fungus. BPA, Phthalate & Latex free. 

Little Remedies Saline Spray and Drops

Sometimes you need the saline spray, as much as they don’t want it. I wrestled my children into this one, and it has been well worth it. Little Remedies is my go to as it is the top pediatrician recommended brand for this. Saline helps relieves runny, stuffy, dry, or crusty noses, flushes and removes mucus from little noses to help little ones breathe easy. Saline is non-medicated – which is great. 

A Humidifier

I was never a humidifier kind of person until I had a child. Who got sick. And wouldn’t sleep. And my poor baby…. And also, I miss sleeping. Check out the Homech Cool Mist Humidifier, Quiet Ultrasonic Humidifier with an auto-shutoff. The product touts “360° degree humidity coverage” with their rotating nozzle of cool mist humidifier at a height of up to 24 inches. It comes with an auto shut-off when the water drained or when water tank lifted (for dry burn protection), and a dustproof sponge prevents dust from entering via the base for a humidifier with a lengthy life span and ensure a safe environment. Humidifiers help you breathe easier, or so they say. The purpose of them is to help moisturize your nasal, throat, and lung passages, making it easier for air to pass through – like – when your sick. I’ll take anything when my kids won’t sleep, give me all the humidifiers! 

Soothing Check Rub: Zarbee’s

I am really into the chest rub for anyone in my house who is sick. It kind of brings me back to my own childhood, and, I think it really helps. I am a huge fan of Zarbee’s for this one. The rub is petroleum-free for babies features a blend of eucalyptus & lavender oils in a beeswax & shea butter balm. Zarbee’s is made without harsh chemicals or toxins and formulated for infants 2 months & older in mind. Simply massage it onto the chest, neck and bottom of the feet. It also smells delicious. 

Boogie Wipes

Who doesn’t hate it when a runny nose leads to a dry, painful nose? Boogie wipes help solve that one. They are made with natural saline that helps clean and dissolve snot and boogers. They also claim to soothe and moisturizes with aloe, chamomile, and vitamin E and are extra soft, safe, hypoallergenic and gentle for all ages. Get rid of rough tissue and check out some boogie wipes – if nothing else – for the name! 

Breathe Easy Kit Sick Day Essentials

A whole kit!? Three sick day essentials to tackle snot and congestion so baby can breathe easy. Done! 

A Cozy Hot Water Bottle

For those tummy aches and cold nights with the chills – give your child a hot water bottle for their troubles. I like this Premium Classic Rubber Hot Water Bottle with a cute knit fox cover or this HomeTop Premium Classic Rubber Hot (ask a monkey!). Both products retains heat for an extra long time. Hot water bottle can be used alone as a remedy for aches, pains and injuries and can often also be used for cold purposes (by filling of cold water and crushed ice!). 

Air Purifier

Coughs, red eyes, and other symptoms can come from pollutants in the area. If you baby is already sick, allergies and dust can make things worse. If you need it, consider an air purifier. This Dyson Pure Cool is the Ferrari of air purifiers. We happen to have (and like) the Levoit Air Purifier for Home

Note: Cough medicines are not recommended for children under 6 years old. Always talk to your child’s doctor before starting medications. Follow instructions precisely and write it all down so you don’t forget who gave who what and when!