5 Home Remedies for Babies with Flu and Colds

Posted on Oct 11 2013 - 11:08pm by Ave

As the winter approaches, the weather gets colder and we tend to stay indoors more often. Staying indoors means dry air and not much of air circulation, which gives us more possibilities to be exposed to viruses. Babies stay indoors a lot of time during winter and because of their immature immune system, colds and flu are really common during the first years of baby’s life.

Five Home Remedies for Babies with Flu

Influenza, or flu, is a respiratory illness that is caused by a virus. Flu is highly contagious and is usually spread by the coughs and sneezes of a person who is infected (MNT).

The easiest way to fight with colds and flu is to prevent it. Wash your hands regularly, air the rooms and keep your baby away from sick people. If the cold or flu already got your baby, there are some great home remedies that help lessen the general discomfort produced by the viruses.

1. Garlic

Garlic is a super food, it’s inexpensive, effective and completely safe for your baby (7 months and up). Thanks to its antiviral, antibiotic and antioxidant properties,  garlic helps to protect the immune system and boost your baby’s resistance. Its oil is great as decongestant, helping to keep respiratory passages open.

To take advantage of garlic’s health benefits, it is best to consume it raw. For babies, it is better to add it to their food and not to consume it directly.

2. Pepper

Pepper has antioxidant and antibacterial properties. It is also an irritant, helping to stimulate the flow of mucus. Eating or smelling pepper helps to eliminate the germs in the nasal passages and break up congestion as well. Add a little bit freshly grounded pepper to your baby’s food to see the results.

3. Keep your baby hydrated

Babies have small fluid reserves and can get dehydrated very quickly. It’s important to keep your baby hydrated while they are sick as liquid helps body to function normally and also thins mucus.

The best way to hydrate your baby is to increase breastfeeding. From 6 months and up, water, diluted fruit juices, broth and electrolyte liquids may be given, to replenish minerals that your baby has lost.

4. Saline nasal drops + bulb syringe

This combo is the best way to fight congestion. Babies don’t know how to blow their nose, so it’s hard to get the mucus out. Buy saline nasal drops ay chemist store or you can make saline water at home too.  Use saline drops to thin mucus and then use bulb syringe to suck out the boogies.

Do this before feeding and don’t use saline water more than couple days in a row, as it might dry out baby’s nose. Also, using bulb syringe too often can irritate the lining of the nose.

 5. Elevate your baby’s head

Elevating your baby’s head while sleeping improves drainage as mucus drains downward, helps them breathe better and they feel more comfortable.

One way to improve drainage is to put your baby to sleep in her car seat in semi-upright position. You can also use a slim pillow, towels or a wedge to elevate your baby’s head if they are sleeping in a crib. Always place the soft bedding between a mattress and floor board because of the risk of SIDS.

How do you help your kids and baby when they have colds and flu?


Disclaimer: This article is for information only. Consult a doctor for more information. See our disclosure here.

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  • Elizabeth Towns

    Three of these are remedies I’ve never tried. I’m sharing them with my nieces who have infants and toddlers. Natural remedies are always the best kind in my book. Great post.

  • Katherine Bartlett

    These are such good tips! I grew up thinking that medcine was the way to go but it’s not!

  • Danielle

    Love this post for sure! We do all these and a bunch more. We add vitamin D3, cinnamon, garlic oil drops, local honey, oil of oregano, etc. We also do regular adjustments at our chiro/holistic dr to boost the immune. Works wonders!

  • Sherry Belk Fowler

    thanks so much; I have a 7 month old in my house and these tips will hopefully help me keep the baby from getting sick

  • Helga

    Thank you for these valuable tips!

  • tammy saylor

    Wow thanks for the great tip and I would think this would help everyone.

  • Love these suggestions, I love trying home remedies that are natural like these. I once tried garlic and honey to reduce a sore throat and it really worked for me!

  • MrsDiamondiva

    Thanks for all the great tips… My nephew went to the hospital this weekend and has the flu I will pass this along…

    • Ave T

      Hope he feels better soon!

  • Shauna Torres

    Great tips, I hate when little ones are sick, we used to have a humidifier in the room too…

    • Ave T

      Humidifier is a great idea, Shauna!

  • dreammua

    I don’t have children but I know someone who just had a baby so I’ll share this on my FB wall


  • Jenny

    Thanks for the tips! It’s so hard when a little one is not feeling well.

  • Wendy Kaufman

    I agree with the saline spray the most! Never fails us (it was a lifesaver when I was pregnant, too) Humidifier is great too. Thanks for the info!

  • Pam W

    We used the saline spray, mist and elevation when my kids were babies and they really did work!

  • Jennifer B

    Great home remedies! We prefer to use home remedies whenever possible before heading to see a doc!

  • I guess it is true that you learn something new everyday. I would have never thought to turn to garlic.

  • Helene Cohen Bludman

    I love trying something natural first and these are great ideas. The saline drops and bulb syringe got a lot of use when my kids were babies.

  • Francine Morrell

    I swear by garlic for myself but I have never given it to my babies. Thanks for the tips

  • Cynthia L

    Great tips for Moms. It is so hard to see a little one sick and it is nice to have some healthy ways to help them feel better.

  • Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell

    I’ve never heard the first two tips, but the last three I am very well aware of. Thanks for the heads up on the others!

  • TheNewClassy

    It’s been a long time since I have had to deal with a poor little sick baby, but when any of us get sick, I swear by hot tea. 🙂

  • Danyelle

    When my babies would get sick we used the saline spray and bulb then put a wedge under their mattresses to keep their heads elevated. Vicks on the feet with socks helped with congestion. I never used garlic but will start!

  • Mommy2Jam

    Wow thank you for sharing. I just book marked your page to come back and visit again and again. With three boys and their nasty germs during flu season this is always good to have handy. thank you!

  • malia p

    I hate it when my babies get sick. Thanks for sharing these tips

  • Milena Milani Barrett

    I haven’t heard of pepper or garlic. I wonder how that would have gone over with kids. I’m thinking not so good. Interesting though-Hmmm.

  • Virginia @thatbaldchick

    We used saline drops with our littles. Now that they are older, I make a honey/garlic/onion cough syrup for them. It works wonders.

  • brett

    we do saline drops and humidifier for the kids. interesting about garlic and pepper- i’m not sure my kids would have gone for that but you never know!

  • Shanna

    My daughter has a cold right now. The humidifier always helps so much!

  • jordyn @ Almost Supermom

    These are great tips! I love that they don’t involve medication. I always try to use a natural approach to my kids illness.

  • Good article! Thanks for the information. =)

  • Bree Stegman

    thank god you had sensible natural advice

  • veronicalee

    I didn’t know about the pepper and garlic! These are really great tips!

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