10 Mom-Approved Infant Flu Home Remedies That Kick Butt

When I was a new mom, nothing could put me in panic mode quicker than the flu and a common cold. I’m not kidding. I automatically thought of nursery rhymes like John Brown’s Baby and Solomon Grundy. Now (a battle-hardened mom of two), it seems like we’re dealing with some kind of new illness every month.  At this point, I can’t drown them in cough and cold medications all the time.  Ergo, infant flu home remedies.

If you’ve floated around my website at all, you know that I’m a huge fan of using natural home remedies to cure my babies’ various ailments. In this post, we’re going to explore some easy, safe, and highly-effective ways to naturally relieve your baby’s cough or cold symptoms. Watching your baby suffer from an endlessly runny nose and rattling cough is agonizing. Let’s help them get better quick!

What to do When Your Baby Has the Flu - 10 Infant Flu Home Remedies


This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of the links I will make a small commission at no charge to you. I only recommend what I trust. Blunders in Babyland does not diagnose, treat, or give out any professional advice for any medical conditions. 

10 Infant Home Remedies for Cold and Flu Symptoms

1: Keep Breastfeeding

If you’re introducing solids to your baby during the flu season, reconsider. The antibodies in your milk are crucial to your baby’s immune system. Exclusively breastfeeding (EBF) for at least 6 months has huge benefits. One study estimated that babies EBF for 4-6 months were 4 times more likely to develop an upper respiratory infection than babies EBF for at least 6 months. 4 TIMES. Even a month or two makes a huge difference.

Now, having said that, if your baby is not breastfed, don’t despair. Below I list a few of my favorite techniques to bolster your little one’s immune system and keep them hydrated.

Related Post: How You Can Have Amazing Sleep with a Breastfed Baby

2: Honey Water

If you have children older than 1 year, you can offer them some honey water. This is a cup of comfortably warm water mixed with about a teaspoon of honey.  I love this little remedy because it tastes yummy and, according to scientific studies, helps with nocturnal cough and sleep quality. 

Honey also provides other fun benefits, like antibacterial properties, soothes sore throats, and boosts the immune system (preventing more serious illness in the future!)

Just please, please, do not give honey to children younger than a year old. Honey may contain a bacteria that can be very dangerous to smaller babies.

3: Saline Mist

Since your baby can’t blow their nose, you may need to help loosen the mucus.

You’ve probably seen other websites recommend the saline drops. I say, go with the saline mist. It’s much kicker than the drops and doesn’t drown your newborn in saline. It’s also very helpful with wiggly toddlers.

There’s a little controversy surrounding using saline now, however, our family is a fan of it. My pediatrician recommended flushing out my little one’s nose before every single feeding.

Think about when you have a runny nose. Do you feel like eating? Do you sleep very well? Our babies don’t either. Flush her nose out before every feeding to keep her appetite up and ensure her caloric intake.

4: Remove Mucus and Clear Airways

One of the more undignified moments of motherhood was when I sucked the snot out of my baby’s nose. Literally.

A bulb syringe might work for a newborn, but it’s not going to help 1 year old’s stuffy nose. You need something much more powerful.

Like a NoseFrida Snotsucker

This handy invention actually came recommended by my pediatrician and several other moms. I was so excited to throw out the stupid blue aspirator that I didn’t even know what I purchased until after I opened the package.

You want me to do what now?

But seriously, the snot sucker is one of the most effective infant flu home remedies out there. It consists of a blue pen-shaped tube that you stick at the entrance of your baby’s nostril. There’s another tube connected to a mouth piece that allows you to literally suck the snot out of your baby’s nose. Don’t worry, there’s a hygienic filter that prevents you from eating any boogers.

Suck with all your might and…bye bye nasal mucus. It’s gross, but highly effective. Give your child the gift of a clear airway 🙂

5: Use a Humidifier

The instant my baby starts coughing, I whip out the humidifier. A humidifier helps loosen the congestion in your baby’s chest and thin the mucus in their nose.

 Experts recommend using a cold air humidifier. A cold air is safer for mobile babies and less like to raise the room’s temperature. Trust me, this is the best investment you will ever make. My daughter is now a toddler and we use it almost every night through the winter. Her nose runs like a river but at least she doesn’t have that heart-wrenching cough.

6. Diffuse Essential Oils

Best Essential Oils for Baby Cold and Cough (1)

If your baby is over 6 months, you can try adding an essential oil diffuser. Essential oils such as lemon, lavender, and frankincense (in very, very small amounts), can help break up congestion and relieve insomnia.

Look, I don’t want to get into a debate about whether or not essential oils are safe for babies. According to some pediatricians, you can begin using select essential oils when your baby is over three months old. However, many moms don’t like to use them on babies younger than 6 months.

Personally, I love essential oils and write about them a lot on this blog. Lavender is a favorite among parents. It contains anti-inflammatory properties (great for relieving sore throats and inflamed bronchial tubes) and studies have  shown that it helps infants sleep.

However, my daughters’ favorite essential oil is The Unicorn Blend from Simply Earth. It’s a blend of Grapefruit, Lemon, Orange, and Jasmine. Simply Earth is A-Mazing. Their essential oil prices are 1/4 of the price as other manufacturers and their standards are top quality. 

RELATED POST: The Unicorn Bundle From Simply Earth

7: Natural Vapor Rub

My mom has been slapping Vicks VapoRub on my chest since I can remember (of course, she’s stopped that by now…).

She’d be happy to know that I’ve carried on that tradition to my husband, and eventually, Baby C. Vicks VapoRub isn’t some hookey old wives’ tale. It really does work! However, I wouldn’t add the adult Vicks VapoRub to your infant flu home remedies list just yet.

The adult version can have the opposite effect on children under two and actually cause mucus to thicken. However, Zarbees makes a natural chest rub for babies over 2 months old. 

My daughters love this stuff. It contains eucalyptus, lavender, and bees wax.

8: Chicken Noodle Soup

So simple, yet so affective. 

If your baby is eating solids, a bowl of chicken soup could be just the thing they need to relieve some of that congestion. Generally, Campbell’s is a little high on  sodium content. However, you can whip up a bowl of homemade soup with plenty of cooked veggies and nutrients in about a half hour. 

9: Pedialyte

It is critical to keep your baby hydrated while they’re suffering from the cold or flu, especially if diarrhea is present. Remain vigilant about counting your baby’s diapers. If you don’t think that baby is producing enough wet diapers, it might be a good idea to give him some Pedialyte.

Speak to your pediatrician or the nurse line for recommended amounts. When I called our nurse line, they told me to give her just a few sips or use a baby dropper. My daughter was 3.5 months at the time.

RELATED POST: How to Find an Amazing Pediatrician

10: Vitamin D

Taking vitamin D can increase your immune system’s response to viruses and, if taken before regularly, can help prevent you from getting sick at all.

Researchers believe that there’s a correlation between the lack of vitamin D caused by winter’s dreary days, and the increase in flu cases.

Breastfeeding mommies, take your vitamin D. This increases your chances of getting the necessary amount. Whether you’re bottle feeding or breastfeeding, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends giving your baby vitamin D. I’m a big fan of the Mommy’s Bliss Organic Vitamin D Drops. It’s pretty easy to administer it. Just add a drop to either your nipple or the bottle’s and let your baby do the rest.

Another fantastic product is the Culturelle Baby Immune & Digestive Support Probiotic & Vitamin D drops. I like this particular brand because, in addition to the recommended amount of Vitamin D, Culturelle added the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG to the drops.

Lactobacillus helps your baby’s gut produce “good” bacteria, which prevents bad bacteria from colonizing on the lining of their stomach. Studies also show that lactobacillus can help reduce the duration of respiratory infections. Sweet!

You can purchase these drops directly from Culturelle. Use the code babyland20 for 20% off.

Baby Fever Remedies - Baby Cold and Flu Remedies - Infant Cold Remedies

How to Treat the Flu in Babies

This year’s flu strain is no joke. It may not be at pandemic proportions yet, but it is particularly severe and uniquely widespread. Not only that, as I’m writing this post, this year’s vaccine only has an estimated 10% efficacy rate. For the mother of a baby under a year old, these facts are disconcerting.

First things first. Know thy enemy. This strain’s symptoms are severe, but very common. Your child may have the flu if she displays these symptoms:

  • Runny nose
  • High Fever
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Upper Respiratory Infection
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Cough

If you notice these symptoms and suspect that your baby has the flu, give your pediatrician a call. Since this year’s strain is so nasty, he may want to prescribe Tamiflu.

Tamiflu can help your infant recover from the virus much quicker, but it only has a 24-72 hour window to be effective. The best bet you have of helping your baby with a speedy recovery is treating his symptoms. The  remedies in this post focus on the worst symptoms of the flu, such as preventing a serious respiratory infection and dehydration.

What to Give Baby for Cold

If your baby is over 12 months, and you’d like to try over-the-counter cough and cold medicine, I recommend checking out Zarbee’s Cough Syrup. I use this brand because it’s made of all-natural ingredients (honey and zinc), and my daughters love the flavor. 

Infant Flu Home Remedies Conclusion

The flu season sucks. It truly does. It seems like you can sequester yourself and your child from the entire population and yet somehow still get it. If you’re prone to over-dramatic episodes like me, don’t entertain thoughts of hospitalizations; serious flu situations are rare and in the long run, your baby will be better off with these new antibodies.

Keep your cool and implement a few infant flu home remedies. Treat his symptoms, ensure that he’s getting plenty of fluids and rest, and help him bolster his immune system. As always, keep an eye out for the serious symptoms, and never be shy about contacting your pediatrician.

Okay, mama…those are the infant flu home remedies that helped me through my baby’s mini crisis. Do you have any good ones? Let me know in the comments below!

By the way, if you love essential oils and are looking for some more natural cold and flu home remedies, you might love the post below.


Cold and Cough Home Remedies for Babies (1)

Similar Posts


  1. Hi therе! This is kind of ⲟff tοрic bսt I neeԁ some
    advice from an established blog. Is it very hard to sеt up your own blog?
    I’m not ѵery techincal but I can fiցure things out pretty quick.

    I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where t᧐ begіn. Ꭰo you
    have any ideas or suggestions? Thank you

    1. Hi Angeline!
      Starting a blog is so, so easy! My two favorite resources has been Startamomblog.com and twinsmommy.com (here’s a link to her “start a blog” post https://twinsmommy.com/start-a-blog-for-beginner/). Both of these websites have free intro courses to get your feet wet. I ended up purchasing the startamomblog course (because Suzi basically held my hand through the whole start a blog process lol), but Elna Cain’s website (Twins Mommy) is excellent as well. So many great resources to get you started!
      I hope this helps you!
      P.S. I’m not technical at all either. So if I can do it, you can definitely do it too!

  2. Wonderful post

Comments are closed.