Tips for Combating Baby’s Cold All Winter Long

Colds are common in babies – babies will have an average of 5 colds in their first year. But just because they’re common doesn’t mean you want your little one to suffer the dreary cold symptoms. Here’s a collection of tips for combating baby’s cold all winter long!

Combating Baby's Cold Symptoms All Winter Long #coldseason #sickbaby #babycold #motherhood #coldandfluseason #momblog #coldcures

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We are in the thick of cold season. It seems like Camden has battled one cold after another since November – he’s the perfect age to get all the runny-nosed, stuffed-up cold germs he can inhale. None of it is cause for a trip to the pediatrician – no fever, just cold symptoms. But they certainly make a recipe for a baby who wakes up A LOT all night long, because he’s miserable. They certainly work hard to ruin a baby’s sleep schedule

In fact, Camden woke up with another croup-y cough this morning; honey water to the rescue! (See that tip below – one of my favorites!)

So I have become an expert on how to combat colds and germs for little ones throughout this season.


Steamy Showers

Before baby’s bedtime, start the shower and turn it on HOT. Let it steam up the bathroom for 10 minutes or so. Then just hang out in the bathroom (NOT in the hot shower!) with baby and let him play. The steam will help drain and clear his sinuses so he can go to bed with a clear head.



ALWAYS, always run a humidifier in baby’s room. We keep one going every night in Camden’s room, whether he’s stuffy or not. It just helps add moisture to the air, which can help sooth coughing and congestion. We use this one, because it has an optional soft glow night light and it’s very quiet.



Nose Frida

People swear by this thing! And it’s no wonder why. When baby is super stuffed up, you use this to suck the snot out of her nose (there’s a filter to make sure you don’t suck it into your mouth!!) and clear her up.

We have found that even if you do it right before Camden goes to bed, when he is really congested, he’ll wake up in the middle of the night and we have to suck it again. But it definitely works!










Zarbee’s All-Natural Chest Rub

It’s like Vick’s Vapor Rub, but doesn’t contain menthol so it doesn’t have the strong. cloying smell. It smells almost like wintergreen (it’s got eucalyptus and lavender in it). And pro tip – apply it to the bottom of baby’s feet (instead of his chest) and cover them with footed pajamas or socks before putting him to bed. Research shows that it absorbs better through the bottom of their feet.


Honey Water (Only for Babies 1+ Years)

Heat up 1 oz of water for 15-20 seconds. Stir in a teaspoon of honey and let baby drink it. Honey is proven to help with coughing and sore throats associated with colds. Cough syrup isn’t safe for babies (and there’s nothing to support them being effective, anyway). Honey is the only known effective cough-helper for babies.


Elevate Baby’s Bed

Put a rolled towel under the crib mattress to elevate baby’s head just a little. This especially helps with the little ones who sleep on their backs and still don’t move much while sleeping. Make sure you’re elevating from under the crib mattress; you don’t want to put towels or blankets in baby’s crib, because it’s a SIDS risk. 


Keep on Top of Cleaning and Disinfecting

Plain wet wipes are not enough to disinfect and get rid of germs. Wash and change crib sheets daily to help with germs.

Wipe toys down daily with baby-safe disinfecting wipes (these wipes by Babyganics are my favorite), especially if he’s putting them in his mouth. Lots of toys can also be put in the dishwasher.

Send pacifiers through the sanitize cycle in the dishwasher or boil them.

When you take baby out, put a shopping cart cover or blanket in the cart and high chairs. Wipe carts and high chairs down before putting baby in them.


If all else fails:

When Camden is the most congested and wakes up miserable and crying in the middle of the night, we let him get up and play for a little bit. Babies are still usually in good moods when they just have a cold (as opposed to the flu), so he’ll probably be able to wake up and play a bit. We do this just to let him move around, stand up and hopefully let some congestion drain out of his head. He usually has a much easier time settling back to sleep then.


And please, remember: If your baby has a fever or seems sick (more than a cold), of if you’re concerned, always default to calling your pediatrician. They’ll have the best advice for you – I’m just giving suggestions for a true cold. 



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  1. Modern Moms Club

    I swear by my nose frida and shower steam! These are great tips! I am not a big medicine giver, so other methods are my go-to.

    1. Lisa

      Yes! Those are both great tools!

  2. Ann

    Very useful info! I hate when my little guy gets sick!

    1. Lisa

      I know – it’s terrible when they’re sick!

  3. Cendu

    These are awesome tips mama! It’s so hard to watch when they’re sick, they’re so helpless and want you to make it better. Now I’ve got myself a few hacks to try the next time. I’m gonna try the honey water as babe is past 1 now and i really don’t want to use cough medicine.

    1. Lisa

      Our pediatrician and another doctor friend confirmed that cough medicines don’t work! Honey is the only proven thing that helps with a cough – so go for it! And yeah, it is soooo hard when they’re sick and you can’t just instantly make it all better!

  4. thomasfamforever

    Yes! I think a lot of people forget that cleaning helps keep the cold away! Especially using disinfectant when you have little ones.

    1. Lisa

      Yes! I see so many people think baby wipes, like water Wipes, are enough. But they’re NOT disinfectant!

  5. Kristie | Girl Mom Chaos

    It’s so hard when a baby is sick because there is so little they can take medicine-wise to help relieve symptoms so this list is great! I actually never thought of elevating their crib mattress but it makes so much sense. Thank you for sharing these tips.

    1. Lisa

      We elevated Camden’s mattress last winter, when he was just a few months old and have to sleep on his back. It helped a lot!

  6. Sam

    Our toddler is in daycare and it’s been constant sickness this winter season. It’s driving us crazy, especially because we have a newborn in the house, too. I’ve been trying to disinfect the best I can and we started both the kids on probiotics at our doctor’s suggestion.

    1. Lisa

      I’ve debated probiotics, but I haven’t tried them. I bet that would make a difference too!

  7. thediynuts

    The Nosa Frida is a lifesaver! I didn’t have one with my first, but am so happy I ended up getting one this time around.

    1. Lisa

      Yes! I was too grossed out last winter when Camden was really little, but this winter I’ve gotten desperate and I’m amazed by it!

  8. Shelby Shidler

    Steamy showers are a staple in our house for sick kids! I’ve always been so freaked out by the Nose Frieda that I’ve avoided it at all costs. Props to you!

    1. Lisa

      Haha – that’s how I felt about the Nose Frida for a long time. It sat in our cabinet all last winter. But I got desperate this winter!

  9. Amanda

    I hate cold season! I get four congested noses to battle. Thanks for the tips!

  10. heymamajess

    Nose frida and humidifier saves our lives!! These are wonderful tips!

  11. Anh

    Perfect tips! So far, we have been so good with no sickness this winter!

  12. Main Mom

    Oh, I haven’t seen the Zarbee’s rub before. I’ll have to try that out next time! Thanks!

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