Cold Remedies for Toddlers

P is officially over the virus funk she had a couple of weeks ago, and has been back to her spunky self.

toddler cold remedies

Having a virus is the worst, even as an adult, so I always feel terrible when the girls are sick. We spend a lot of time snuggling and taking it easy until they’re feeling better. P wanted to be held nonstop, which I love, but since she’s almost 30 lbs, my right bicep is bulging. We don’t have much furniture in her room (changing table + crib) since we’re moving so soon. So, I rock her while holding her. On one particular rough night, I sat on the floor with her and let her sleep in my arms, trying to will myself not to cry because she’s our last baby, and is already getting so big.

She’s completely back to herself, thank goodness, but I thought it would be interesting to chat about remedies and some of the things that have helped you and your family.

Toddler Cold Remedies That Worked for Livi

-Lukewarm tea or chicken broth in her sippy cup. She LOVED these and it was a great way for her to get in extra fluids

-Stick with bland foods, like rice, soup, and toast, and bananas

-SOUP. Thankfully, both of the girls love soup, so this is an easy “fight the sickies” meal

-Tylenol if she seemed like she was really uncomfortable

-Cold mist humidifier. Does anyone have an easy awesome way to keep these clean?

As Liv has gotten older, we started giving her elderberry, vitamins, and probiotics. Obviously since she can talk, it makes it a lot easier because she tells us exactly what’s wrong and how she’s feeling.

Now that I’ve learned more about probiotics, I picked some up for P, especially since she has always had problems with dairy. (Side note: I order pretty much all of our vitamins and pantry essentials from Thrive Market and

Toddler Cold Remedies that P Prefers

-For example, she hates chicken broth, so I’ll either do the room temperature tea in her sippy cup, or water with a squeeze of lemon

-Lavender in the oil diffuser

-Honey (for kiddos > 1 year old)

-The Nose Frida. Liv was not a fan of that thing.. and P loves it haha. She’ll grab it and put it into her nose, and make a sniff sound until I come over to do it for her. Tom can’t even look at the Nose Frida without gagging.
So I thought I’d ask my mama friends out there what you do to help your kiddos for seasonal colds or stomach bugs?

Anything random that you’ve found to be really effective? Any random remedies you’ve heard of that don’t work?

This has nothing to do with cold or flu season, I’ll always remember my great-grandmother pressing a penny on my head when I had a bloody nose.



PS for all of my non-kiddo friends out there (aka if you’re reading this post haha) this wellness shot is still working wonders. I took it twice a day while P was sick and I’m convinced it helped to protect me from getting it!

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  1. Bethany @ Dose of Discovery on February 13, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    The reviews and questions on amazon for the fridababy thing are hilarious!

    • Fitnessista on February 13, 2017 at 1:08 pm

      hahah i haven’t read them!! off to do it LOL

  2. Amie on February 13, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    When my kids are sick I do extra vitamin C (in the form of raw acerola cherry powder, vitamin d, probiotic, kids echinacea (by herb pharm), vital kids berry well supplement, honey or zarbees for cough, and zinc supplement. The vitamin d and berry well supplement I do throughout the winter as preventative!! Also, I’ve heard that activated charcoal helps with stomach bugs, but haven’t tried it yet.

  3. Brittany on February 13, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    I also have a dairy allergy baby (she just turned 1 year). I’d love to see a post on things you have supplemented with her!

  4. Bethany on February 13, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    I started my little on a powder probiotics from Klaire Labs. We’ve been toying with EOs. I just ordered a kids starter kit from Planet Therapy. I’ve researched for a couple months and finally decided to jump on that hippie train as well. We do lots of nasal suctioning and little remedies nasal spray. I also add more liver and oysters to his diet for good nutrition support. It is tough seeing them sick. My LO is currently in daycare so the struggle is real!

  5. Cassie on February 13, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    What brands do you use for probiotics and vitamins for the kiddos?

  6. Mary Carter on February 14, 2017 at 6:16 am

    Rest, fluids, Puffs Plus and humidity. I think store-bought and home remedies can make the symptoms more bearable, but I don’t think anything wards off a virus or makes it go away faster.

  7. Amanda on February 14, 2017 at 6:20 am

    This is how I clean my humidifier…it’s easy, but takes 10 minutes. I would clean it on a weekly basis. Easiest to do in the kitchen sink or bathtub. Mine had three basic parts — the water tank, the base, and the filter. Pour 2C white vinegar in the base and let it soak. Pour 1/4 c bleach in the water tank with some water. (I just used what water remained from the previous night.) Screw on the lid and shake it. While that sits, go back to the base. Scrub any rings with a rag and then pour out the vinegar and rinse the whole thing with hot water. Return to the water tank, pour out the bleach water, rinse the entire thing with hot water. Then refill like usual (cool distilled water) and reassemble. (You can go to the manufacturer’s website or Google for more precise instructions ;))
    Another tip I learned the hard way is to use bottled distilled water for the humidifier, not tap water.

    • Fitnessista on February 14, 2017 at 12:54 pm

      yes, tap water makes it so gross!

  8. Elizabeth on February 14, 2017 at 7:04 am

    omg I clicked on the NoseFrida link. I have never heard of such a thing (I obviously don’t have kids)!

    • Fitnessista on February 14, 2017 at 12:54 pm


  9. Lindsay on February 14, 2017 at 7:09 am

    Love the idea of warm tea or chicken broth in the sippy – will have to try that next time for my cold-prone baby! Like Amanda, I learned the hard way about using distilled water in the humidifier, too… that’s the only way to avoid the gross pink mold that grows everywhere otherwise! I use white vinegar in the base and in the tank to clean every so often, and scrub around all the little parts with an old toothbrush to get any build-up scrubbed off.

  10. Christina @ on February 14, 2017 at 7:27 am

    Thanks for this helpful post! We just had our first baby and he hasn’t gotten sick yet (knock on wood!), but I’m definitely going to bookmark this for later!

  11. Kelli @ Hungry Hobby on February 14, 2017 at 9:00 am

    awww thanks! Glad she is feeling better! I recently got that megafood priobiotic (adult version) it seems great!

    • Fitnessista on February 14, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      i love that one, too!

  12. Taryn on February 14, 2017 at 9:10 am

    We do garlic drops and a hot water bottle for ear aches. Saline spray for runny noses. And we recently cured our son’s UTI (or what presented like that) by taking him to the kinesiologist for muscle testing and Echinacea tincture in orange juice. Worked like a charm!

    • Fitnessista on February 14, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      that is amazing!

  13. Julie on February 14, 2017 at 10:25 am

    I just read about elderberry syrup this winter & started taking it daily as a preventative measure. It’s hard to “prove” whether or not something is working when the “proof” is the absence of something, but EVERYONE around me has been sick this winter, & I haven’t gotten it (knock on wood). My niece hacked all over me on Xmas, & I didn’t get it!

    • Fitnessista on February 14, 2017 at 12:52 pm

      elderberry is magical!

  14. Allison on February 14, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    I agree with the elderberry syrup! I make a big batch and give it out to friends and family. It lasts about 2 months or so then I make another batch. Tastes so much better (and less expensive) than store bought!!

    One thing I heard recently for viruses going around-cut an onion in half and place it in a bowl in the kids room or wherever throughout the house. The onion sucks up all the icky germs (although not sure if it would make your house smell like onions!!).

    My son (5 1/2) just had his first ear infection and I did “onion earmuffs”-you cut an onion in half, cook until warm and have the child lay on their side and place the onion on the ear that is up while rubbing behind the ear and down the neck to promote drainage of Eustachian tubes. You’ll have the hold the onion until its cool enough to place on their ear, then let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Same thing on the other side. It sounds crazy but after doing this one time, my son didn’t have any pain or need any medication! We did it a few times just to make sure it was gone, but I was amazed at how much better he felt right away. The onion has antibacterial and antiviral properties and the warmth is soothing. Just a little tip if anyone has to deal with an ear infection!!

    • Fitnessista on February 15, 2017 at 10:25 am

      this is BRILLIANT. i’ve had fluid trapped behind my eardrum from descending so fast during the nightmare plane ride last week. i did alka seltzer, afrin, and claritin because i was so desperate to get it out. next time i’m going for the onion first!

  15. Julia on February 14, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Nose Frida for the win. My infant daughter would have a sinus infection by now were it not for that thing and saline. I’ve had great success with Sprouts kids clear ear oil (garlic oil) for clearing or preventing ear infections. I have yet to find a natural solution to prevent allergies that really works for us. I think allergies are the devil – once allergies start if we’re not vigilant with ear drops, saline, etc. pink eye and ear infections are sure to follow. 🙁

    Activated Charcoal is OK for stomach stuff, kind of. Everything I know of it is that you really shouldn’t use is past two or three days, or it could start sucking nutrients from kids, not just toxins. That turned me off to it. But it whitens teeth, so there’s that!

    • Fitnessista on February 14, 2017 at 9:01 pm

      oh i will check that out- thank you!!
      and yes, allergies are the worst. good to know about the activated charcoal, too!

  16. Katie @ Live Half Full on February 14, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    We struggle with keeping our humidifier clean too!

    • Fitnessista on February 14, 2017 at 9:00 pm

      it just always feels kind of icky, even when i’ve cleaned it!

  17. Kathy on February 14, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    I have a friend who’s baby hated that Frida thing so much she felt too mean using it so she…..wait…..sucked the gunk out of the baby’s nose with her mouth!! I’m still traumatized.

    • Fitnessista on February 14, 2017 at 8:59 pm

      STOPPPPP. no way!!

  18. Anna Becker on February 16, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Been using essential oils for respiratory issues with very good results.

  19. Lindsay on February 17, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    Please come back and share if you get any answers to your humidifier question. Gah it is THE WORST!!!! I can’t deal with that whole soak for hours in vinegar bit.

  20. Erika S. on February 17, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    So I used to get a bloody nose all the time when I was small…and my great aunt did the penny thing too. I also wore one around my neck while I would lay down during the bleeding. Old wives tales…hahahaha!

  21. Faith on February 21, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    In addition to the things you mentioned, I like to use a kid-safe chest rub at night on my son. He loves it! 🙂

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