9 Natural Cold Remedies for Kids

Is your kid sick? You can treat those symptoms (and even your own symptoms, too) naturally with these remedies!

Related: 5 Home Remedies to Soothe Your Cold Symptoms

When your child is sick, all you want to do is make him comfortable so that he can sleep and feel better, right? Store-bought remedies can be tempting, but they’re often made with artificial flavors and chemical fillers. Plus, many children’s medications are for kids that are at least one year old. These home remedies are alternative treatments to help keep your little one comfortable when he or she gets sick.

Some of these home remedies were suggested to me by my doctor, and others I have used on my six-month-old son. The rest are suggestions from friends who have older kids. Those remedies are ones that have consistently worked for their families.

I am not a doctor; I’m a mom sharing my experiences and those of other moms that I know well. If you’re not sure about any of these remedies, don’t hesitate to ask your pediatrician. You may not even have to have an office visit — just give a him or her a call and ask if the home remedies you want to try sound good to your doctor. I’m that mom that calls the pediatrician about everything, and I don’t think caution is anything to be embarrassed about!

Natural Home Remedies for Colds

I use home remedies #1-4 on this list when my infant son gets sick. He is six months old and has already brought two nasty colds home from daycare. This 4-part combo of home remedies makes a big difference in how fussy he is and how well he sleeps.

1. DIY Vapor Rub

You can buy vapor rub for kids and for infants, but it’s made with petroleum jelly, a by-product of fossil fuel production. Gross! This vapor rub recipe that I made for my son did wonders for him. He loved when I rubbed it onto his chest and back.

2. Nasal Saline Rinse

When my baby has a cold — he’s had two icky ones since starting preschool – saline rinse is a day saver. Really, a night saver. Combined with the vapor rub and a couple of other natural remedies, it made him comfortable enough to sleep through the night. When you go to buy saline rinse, you’ll see two different sorts. This article explains which one you want. Getting the right kind is important!

3. Nose Frieda

If your child is too little to blow his nose, a Nose Frieda can help clear those nasal passages right out. I use the Nose Frieda at night before doing the saline rinse. My son hates it, but afterwards, his nose is clear, and he can fall asleep. The Nose Frieda might seem weird and gross at first, but it is so much better than those bulbs for clearing out a stuffy nose.

4. Humidifier

Dry air makes mouth breathing and a congested nose so much more uncomfortable. Run the humidifier for about 30 minutes before bedtime, so the room is nice and swampy all night. You can add eucalyptus oil to it, if you want, though adding essential oils to a humidifier can gunk it up, so do this at your own risk.

One of my girlfriends also has a six-month-old, and because he was a preemie, when he gets sick, he gets very sick. She said that for very bad congestion, you can hold the baby over the humidifier, so he can breathe in that steamy air.

Next: On the next page are the home remedies that other moms I know swear by for their families. Since most of these are for kids older than my son, I haven’t tried them yet.

Home Remedies Elderberry Syrup

Elderberries Cook Down into a Soothing Syrup

Natural Home Remedies for Colds

For each of the home remedies on this page, I’m including age recommendations. Like I said previously: if you’re not sure, give your pediatrician a call and ask. There’s no shame in being cautious when it comes to your child! I’d love to hear your own experiences with these or other home remedies, so please share your favorite natural cold treatments in the comments!

5. Elderberry Syrup

Packed with vitamins and antioxidants, elderberry syrup can help reduce the severity of symptoms. Since this recipe contains honey and berries, it’s for children ages one and up.

6. Goot

Stephanie at Mama & Baby Love says that this recipe is safe for children at any age. You don’t feed this garlicky blend to your kiddo – you slather it on his feet, then cover them up with socks. She recommends socks that you’re not going to wear again, because the garlic smell is hard to get out of them.

7. Ginger and Tulsi Tea

This ayurvedic tea uses warming herbs to create a natural expectorant. She does not list ages for this tea, so ask your pediatrician before giving this to your child if he is under two.

8. Ginger Lemon Tea

Can’t find tulsi? This ginger lemon tea recipe from Good Girl Gone Green uses easy-to-find ingredients. Just like with the ginger tulsi tea, talk to your pediatrician if your child is under two. Children under age one should not eat honey, so definitely do not give this to a child under one year.

9. Asian Pear and Honey Cough Remedy

This is not a tea, so your child needs to be eating solid foods for this home remedy. Since it contains honey, you also don’t want to give it to babies under 12 months old.

Do you have any favorite home remedies that have worked for your child? Let’s talk alternative treatments in the comments!

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Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson2 years ago

awesome. thanks

Rhonda Bird
Rhonda B.2 years ago


Rhonda Bird
Rhonda B.2 years ago


Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra2 years ago

Thank you Becky, for Sharing this!

Carole R.
Carole R.2 years ago

Good tips

Edgar Zuim
Edgar Zuim2 years ago

Thanks. Good info.

Jess No Fwd Plz K.
Jessica K.2 years ago

Sounds like great advice for adults, too, especially the humidifier.

Val M.
Val M.2 years ago


Judy Apelis
Judy Apelis2 years ago

Thank you!!

sandra j.
sandra j.2 years ago