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Natural Cold Remedies for Babies & Kids

Updated: Feb 25, 2023

While it is good for kids to get colds and build their immune systems, let’s be real and admit that having a sick kid is the pits. They don’t know how to blow their noses so your entire house (and body) becomes their personal tissue. They get cranky and their sleep can be disturbed.

As we go into winter the “catch my cold” race throttles into full effect so this is a great time to stock up on natural remedies. The products we use on our son help shorten the duration of the cold and keep him happy and sleeping soundly (the most important part for kids and parents!). We’ve been sending my son to daycare for a little bit every week so colds have been an unwelcome semi-frequent visitor in our household.

I previously wrote a post on how I fight colds (Natural Remedies to Fight a Cold) and some of the information is the same but much of this is specific to kiddos. As with myself, I only use natural products and avoid over-the-counter. You can read here why you don’t ever want to buy Nyquill. Remember, whenever we are sick we don’t want to cover up symptoms but rather alleviate symptoms while simultaneously supporting the immune system.

Everything I use I have run by my Pediatrician and Chiropractor who specializes in kids. Of course, consult your doctor before giving your child new products. Almost everything is safe to use around 6 months but some stuff is okay to use earlier. Again if you have any questions on the recommended ages, ask your doctor. Hopefully they are cool and “with it” like ours and already know all my natural remedies when I bring them in.

1) Food

Feeding your baby fresh, real, nutrient-dense food is never more important than when they are sick. Let food by thy medicine! If you’re breastfeeding, your milk is extra magical and healing for babies so breastfeed as much as possible!

If your baby/child is eating solids:

Avoid: Sugar, dairy, and processed foods. These bad boys lower the immune system and cause considerable inflammation. Especially avoid dairy which is well known to cause congestion.

Bone Broth: We give about 1 cup of bone broth a day to my boy when sick. This is something you can give every day to your children to help keep them healthy. My favorite brand is only because I think it tastes the best. People worry about the salt content in which case you can dilute with some water but I don’t too much. I get Bonafide at Whole Foods or Jimbo’s. Most natural grocers carry bone broth. Always get frozen, not the boxed packaged kind on the shelf.

Juice – I share my favorite juice (Toxin Flush from Nekter) with the baby when he is sick and I’m being proactive to stay healthy. The toxin flush contains Parsley, spinach, apple, lemon, and ginger. Avoid juices that are mostly fruits. Lemon and ginger are the real stars as they are packed full of Vitamin C.

2) Supplements

Kid E Well – This is an herbal blend with echinacea, elderflower and peppermint that I like to give preventatively and throughout a cold. Our son loves the taste and happily takes it. I’ve only found this on Amazon.

Gaia Herbs KidsDefense – This tincture is mainly echinacea but has other immune supporting herbs as well. We give this almost daily during cold season and is great for kids in daycare or school.

Nordic Naturals DHA Infant with Vitamin D – I love this combo of fish oil and vitamin D to support immunity. This is something I give to Carter every day.

Elderberry Syrup Elderberries are great for colds and flus. I also take a spoonful a day whenever the little man is sick. This is also a great preventative medicine to take every day during cold & flu season. I give the syrup to my boy in a syringe but if your kid doesn’t like that, they make gummies. If you are a real overachiever (I am not) you can make your own Gummy Bears.

Hyland’s Tiny ColdsThese homeopathic tablets dissolve immediately on the tongue and they really seem to help with symptoms. Only downside is the high frequency in which you need to give them which is every hour.

Colloidal Silver – Colloidal silver is really potent and a little bit goes a long way. It is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and very effective in fighting against colds and flus. It’s very important to get true colloidal silver. There is a knock off version that can be controversial and sometimes gives the true colloidal silver a bad name. If you’d like to learn more you can read this article on it. It’s also important you take probiotics if you/your child take this for more than a few days as it’s very powerful and can mimic antibiotics and kill all gut flora, not just the bad kinds.

Zarbees CoughThis cough syrup works well. They have two versions, one for babies under a year that has no honey and one for babies over a year that can have honey

Probiotics – Probiotics are great to introduce to babies at any age and they are great to take regularly. When a child is sick, it’s especially important to support gut health. I like this powder that can mix into breastmilk, formula or be put into yogurt. If your child eats fermented food like pickles or sauerkraut, those count as a serving of probiotics.

Most of these are available at Whole Foods, Sprouts, Jimbos, and Rite Aid (has Zarbees). Kid-E-Well is only online. I highly recommend stocking up on these ahead of time. Depending where you live, you may not have a store that carries them and providing relief is top priority when your kid is sick.

3) Other Must Haves

Nose Frida – This is great to get snot out and is very good to do especially before naps and bedtime. There is a weird sense of satisfaction seeing the snot you just sucked out of your child’s nose. You can get this at Target or on Amazon.

Honest Chest Rub – Another good one to use before sleeping if the child is congested.

Humidifier – Air is very dry during the winter. Run a humidifier at night to bring moisture back into the air in the bedroom to help bring comfort to dry noses and skin. Plus, viruses and bacteria cannot spread as easily in moist air. Some humidifiers even let you add in essential oils to disperse into the air. Humidifiers are widely available and reasonably priced.

Diffuser – Use a diffuser to circulate immune boosting essential oils throughout the air in your home. As essential oils are not considered safe to put directly on a baby’s skin, this is a great way for them to reap the benefits of the oils. We run a diffuser in the nursery 24/7 when our son is sick. It’s not a bad idea to run one even when the household is healthy to help clean the air and support everyone’s immune system. There are so many great immunity oils you can use like eucalyptus, tea tree and oregano. I like Young Living’s Thieves which also has properties that cleanse the air.

I hope these recommendations help!

Feel free to email me at or leave a comment with any questions.

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