10 home remedies for Cold and Flu in children and toddlers

Cold and Flu are infections caused by viruses. Children under age 6 can’t given over counter cold and flu medication which is why alternate medication in form of home remedies to be used to alleviate cold and flu symptoms in children and babies. Before you start with list of home remedies its advised not to try all remedies once or simultaneously and you must take care of your child doesn’t turn allergic to any ingredient. Consult pediatrician before trying remedies and remember to keep baby’s age in mind before trying any remedies out.

The remedies listed in this article work well on children with the following symptoms:

  • Mildly running nose
  • Mild cough
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy or blocked nose
  • Loss or decrease in appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Fever

Inorder to treat cold in babies its important that parents try to first comfort them so they might feel better. Fever causes dehydration and baby might always feel thirsty or comfortable drinking. Its essential you encourage him to consume more fluids.

There are some signs of dehydration in babies who are under 3 months:

  • Crying without shedding tears
  • Chapped lips
  • Sunken soft spots on the skin
  • Decreased in the activity level of the baby
  • Frequent urination (3 to 4 times in 24 hours)

If you are breastfeeding to try to feed baby more frequently that you do. Baby might not be keen to feed due to sickness so that you want to breastfeed him at several sessions. This ensures that your baby has enough fluid intakes. If your doctor advises you then give baby oral rehydration solution (pedialyte).

For older children, there are various options for hydration. Just make your child fresh fruit juice, soup and more. For a baby above age 12 months you can feed him 2 to 5 ml a couple times a day. This will help in loosen his or her cough. Make sure your baby get adequate rest for proper recovery.

Home Remedies

Cold and Flu in Babies and Kids

These home remedies for toddler’s cold are safe, effective and gentle in helping baby feel better. Here they are:

1. Breast Milk

Breast milk has antibodies make body immune to various kinds of viruses and germs including cold and flu virus. With this, breast milk provides hydration. This is one of the best natural remedies for inflants.

What You Can Do

Breast milk can able to fed to babies under 6 months and not require any other medication.


Avoid drinking caffeine that can affect babys sleep.

2. Garlic and Ajwain Pouch

Garlic and ajwain are powerful cures for cold and cough as they contain anti-viral properties and anti-bacterial. This mixture is one of the best remedies for cold in children.

What You Can Do

Take 2 garlic cloves and 1 spoon of ajwan and dry roast them. Once cooled up put them in muslin cloth and tie it tight. Place this pouch near baby’s cot so that oils smells and provide comfort to baby. Pouch help clear any blockage the baby might have owing to cold.


The pouch not kept too close to baby as might prove to be choking hazard. You can now rub this pouch on soles of baby’s feet to achieve results.

3. Panikoora

This relieves babies from cough and cold as it expel sputum from infant’s air pipe.

What You Can Do

Panikoora is a perennial plant is found in southern part of India. This has aromatic leaves you can now heat and shrivel on stove top. Once cooled and shriveled as you can place on babys forhead. The leave lose moisture and dry which make it ready to absorb moisture from baby’s body and help to get rid of cold and cough.


There are no known side effects using Painkoora plant.

4. Mustard Oil Infused With Garlic and Carom Seeds

Mustard oil, garlic and ajwain who have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. They have a soothing effect on the baby as they ease congestion.

What You Can Do

Heat 1/4th cup mustard oil and add 2 cloves crushed garlic and carom seeds to it. Once turn brown as they take it off stove. Massage this oil on baby’s chest and under his feet.


You must be cautious not allow baby to consume oil as it may cause stomach problems.

5. Kesar Tilak

This paste helps to absorb water from baby’s forehead and provide relief.

What You Can Do

Make saffron paste and apply on soles of babys feet on forehead as a tilak.


Though Kesar is safe consumption, infants adverse reactions such as nausea, headaches, allergic reactions. Make sure your child is not allergic and avoid getting on to your baby’s mouth while applying.

6. Dry Roasted Turmeric Rub

Turmeric can help in relieving cold symptoms as it has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.

What You Can Do

A dry turmeric stick on a stove and then paste is made. Paste is applied on bridge of baby’s nose which can provide relief.


Just avoid smearing the turmeric paste inside the baby’s nose which may cause suffocation.

7. Carrot Juice

Carrot has lots of nutrients and vitamins which helps to boost immune system. This is one of the best medicines for toddler’s cold

What You Can Do

Fresh carrot juice diluted with room temperature water which can be given for babies aged 6 months and above.


Just ensure that your baby not allergic to carrots.

Ensure that your baby is not allergic to carrots.

8. Mustard Oil Infused With Rock Salt

Warmth mustard oil helps to relieve congestion of throat.

What You Can Do

Warm some mustard oil and combine one tbsp of rock salt to it. Massage the oil gently on baby’s chest and back and cover with cotton cloth to provide warmth.


Make sure that oil is not hot.

9. Saline Drops

Nasal or saline drops are safe and quick option to provide your baby some relief from congestion.

What You Can Do

Once you use a dropper to administer saline drops.


In case baby’s nose is filled with snot then you can use nasal suction bulb to remove away congestion.

10. Use a Humidifier

This help to draw help relief from cough and cold by moistening dry air.

What You Can Do

Humidifier can be used in baby’s room when he is asleep.


Humidifiers need to be cleaned regularly or begin to house mold and bacteria can affect your child’s health.

General Precautions:

Avoid trying any home remedies that involves consumption of any oil or herb or medicine for babies below 6 months of age.

Ensure baby get 18 hours sleep and toddlers or kids for a minimum of 8 hours sleep when they have a cough and cold.

Don’t use honey for children less than 1 year old. This could lead to a disorder called infant botulism.

Kids must be encouraged to use handkerchief and wash hands to avoid infection.

Make sure your child not allergic to any ingredient you will be using in your home remedy.

Breastfeed as much as you can. Breast milk has a lots of antibodies that build immunity.

Don’t force to give food to your baby. Loss appetite is common during flu and colds.

Babys clothing during cold and flu are in accordance with weather. Keep baby warm by clothing him in layers.

Keep your child away from daycare or school when he is unwell, especially if he or she has a fever.

Use only cooled and boiled or distilled water to prevent any infections in baby.

Try the recipes on yourself before using on the baby.

Wash your and your baby’s hands well during this time to avoid infections. 80% infections are spread through touch.

Keep your house clean so no one else falls ill. Its good idea to disinfect objects is used frequently.

Try to feed baby warm fluids which will help in flushing out mucus which will hydrate baby and bring him relief.

When to Call a Doctor?

When using home remedies must also observe your child for following symptoms:

Runny nose and cough with thick, yellowish and greenish secretion.

Sore throat and difficulty swallowing

Inflamed tonsils

Increased respiratory rate

Fever greater than 101 or 104 degrees for more than 2 days.

It has high fever (100.4 degrees or higher) and is less than 3 months old

It has a fever that does not subside after taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen

Extremely drowsy or fatigued

Refuses to eat or drink

This has issues with breathing or is wheezing

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