How to treat baby colds and congestion

Published by 
Jess Miller
Last updated: 
March 22, 2023
baby holding a towel

Not all of your baby's milestones are going to be experiences you will cherish for the rest of your life. Your baby's first cold is one milestone that will definitely not make you grab the camera.

How to tell if your infant has a cold?

The most common signs that your baby has a cold are:

  • Congested (stuffy) or runny nose
  • Snot is may be clear at first but becomes thicker and the color can change to green or yellow.

Other symptoms can include:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Reduced appetite
  • Irritability

So now that you know the warning signs to look for, let us take a look at what you should do if your infant has a cold.

How to treat babies with colds

The main cure for baby colds and congestion is time. However, there are a few home remedies you can use to ease your baby's cold more tolerable while waiting for it to pass.

Baby Nasal Aspirators

The problem with your baby having a stuffy nose is that you can't simply place a tissue to your little one's nose and have him blow all the mucous and snot out.

One way you can help relieve your infant with a stuffy nose is by sucking the snot right out of his nasal cavity. I know it sounds like a horrifying procedure but the nasal aspirator makes the process incredibly easy.

Nasal aspirators are either replaced on or in your baby's nose. Through either a pump or your own lungs, the snot gets sucked out of your baby's nose providing instant relief. Nasal aspirators are best for those of you with strong stomachs as all that snot is definitely not a pretty sight.

There are many different nasal aspirators on the market. In my opinion, the best nasal aspirator for babies is the one pictured above. Easy to use, easy to clean and a 100% money back congestion free guarantee (which I didn't use because it worked so well). Check the price and reviews here.


A humidifier is an electric device that produces steam, essentially adding moisture to the air. If you have ever placed your baby with a stuffy nose in a steamy bathroom to help empty a congested nose then you will know exactly how effective moisture is at relieving cold symptoms. If your baby is congested then a humidifier can work wonders.

Simply set the humidifier up next to your baby's bed before he goes to sleep and the moist air will help keep your baby's nasal passages clear through the night. Add a couple of drops of tea tree oil (for antibacterial properties) and rosemary oil (helps keep sinus passages clear) for an effective and natural remedy for congestion.

Humidifiers come in all shapes and sizes. When choosing a humidifier for your baby, avoid the novelty animal shaped humidifiers. While they may look cute, they add no extra benefit other than making your baby want to play with the humidifier. The Frida Baby Humidifier, pictured above, is a favorite amongst many mothers. Check the price and reviews here.

Vapor Bath

Due to your baby's delicate skin, you will be unable to place him in a bath that is hot enough to produce steam. Fortunately, thanks to vapor bath products, you can clean your baby and relieve his stuffy nose in one sitting.

Simply add the vapor bath mixture to your baby's bath and the infusion of menthol, rosemary, and eucalyptus will help unblock even the most stubborn of congested noses.

If there is one thing that gets an infant in a bathtub without argument it's bubbles. The vapor bath foams nicely and, as an extra bonus, won't sting your baby's eyes if it comes into contact.Check the price and reviews here.

Related Post: Vaporizers vs. Humidifiers

Boogie wipes

If your infant has used the back of his hand to spread a thick smear of snot across his face then you will know exactly how hard it can be to remove. Any attempt to remove the snot with a tissue leaves your baby's skin red and dry.

Boogie wipes are saline towelettes that are enriched with vitamin E, chamomile, and aloe to prevent skin irritation that can be caused by constantly wiping snot from your baby's upper lip. The boogie wipes are particularly effective for babies that do not like their nose wiped with a tissue and come in a variety of different scents (or unscented if you prefer). Check the price and reviews here.

What you baby needs most

While your baby is looking at you with those eyes that simply beg the question "why is my nose stuffy?" there is one thing your baby needs more than all the above baby congestion fighters.


He needs you

While your baby is suffering from a cold he will need to be reassured and comforted. It's difficult to tell a baby that a cold is a normal part of life but you just being there and providing reassurance will make the process that much easier.

So now it's your turn to share, How do you win the snotty baby fight at your house?

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