Cold and Flu Essentials To Help Your Baby Feel Better

By Published On: November 7th, 2022

We hope that you won’t need them, but it’s good to keep your home stocked for the season.

Of course, the dream would be to make it through cold and flu season without your babe getting a single sniffle, but when vulnerable immune systems are exposed to germs at daycare and beyond, a common cold or two is likely inevitable. Practicing good hygiene establishes a strong offense for your family and can put you in the best position possible for the fall and winter months. You and your child must wash your hands regularly, stay up to date on immunizations, and attend all well visits. Should your little one come down with something, these products, along with appropriate medications (we will leave those recommendations up to your child’s pediatrician), will help them get well soon.

App-Connected Thermometer

You’ve got enough on your mind when caring for a sick kiddo. With the Kinsa Smart Thermometer, you don’t have to keep all those numbers in your head. The app will track your little one’s fever, play Sesame Street to keep them still while you take their temp (from their mouth, armpit, or tush), send reminders for when to give them more meds, and give you an idea of when a temp can be treated at home or when you should get a doctor involved—but, of course, when in doubt, trust your parenting instincts and give the pediatrician a call.

Touchless Thermometer

If you want to go the forehead or ear route, the Fridababy 3-in-1 Ear and Forehead Infrared Thermometer lets you do just that. So what’s the third function? FridaBaby says you can also use the touchless function to take the temperature of baby’s bottle or nursery. Along with an optional sound alert, the green digital screen will change to yellow or red to indicate low- or high-grade fevers. Plus, the system can store up to 40 previous readings. Remember that you should not use an ear thermometer until your baby is six months old.

Nontoxic Chest Rub

Zarbee’s, the natural remedy brand trusted by pediatricians and known for its signature over-the-counter cough syrup, has produced a Baby Soothing Chest Rub with Eucalyptus & Lavender that is safe for babies (2 months and up) and their sensitive skin. Simply massage the balm onto your infant’s chest, neck, or back to help relieve congestion. We love that the chemical-free rub is formulated with beeswax and shea butter, and scented with eucalyptus and lavender oils. Though your babe might end up needing something stronger than a chest rub, it’s good to keep this in your medicine cabinet for minor congestion.

A Soothing Hug

We are obsessed with the Warmies line of cute and cuddly heating pads. Simply pop it in the microwave to warm up the lavender-scented stuffed animal that can comfort an under-the-weather little one. There are a plethora of animal options, but we love that your kiddo can snuggle up with Gray Penguin Warmies just like penguin families huddle up to stay warm. You can also stash this in the freezer (don’t worry, this little bird is used to the cold) to soothe any aches or pains. It’s safe for all ages, so you may even find yourself reaching for this from time to time—we know we have! Just remember that to reduce the risk of SIDS, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies under 12 months do not sleep with stuffed animals, Warmies, or otherwise.

Saline-Powered Wipes

Boogie Wipes were invented by moms to, well, wipe away boogies. The saline wipes help break down mucus and make cleaning babies’ noses easier. We know it sounds gross, but they really do make a difference. Not only does it make sweeping up snot simple, but the moisturized wipes also make the experience of wiping a runny nose (or dried-up formula or breast milk) more comfortable and soothing for your babe. (Bonus: These wipes clean dried, crusty food on your highchair like a boss.)

Saline Mist

While you’re in the boogie aisle, you might want to pick up the Boogie Micro-Mist Inhaler. Instead of trying to stick the tip of a saline nose spray up your little’s stuffy nose like with traditional saline drops, you can hold the inhaler’s mask over their face. As they breathe in through their nose and mouth, saline is distributed throughout their upper respiratory tract to clear their sinuses. When finished, run the nozzle and mask through the dishwasher.

Bulb Syringe

The tip of the hospital-recommended Safety 1st Nasal Aspirator is small, soft, and flexible, giving you better access to tiny nostrils than most traditional suction bulbs. Gently place into baby’s nostril and simply squeeze the bulb to suction out nasal mucus. Again, not the most pleasant-sounding process, but clear nasal passages will help baby breathe (and feel!) better. What’s more, it’s top-rack dishwasher safe!

Battery-Powered Aspirator

Pediatric ENT Dr. Steven Goudy designed the nosepiece for the high-tech NozeBot Baby Nasal Aspirator. The nosepiece can be held in place with two fingers (use the other fingers and hand to hold your child), and the cordless, rechargeable system features three levels of hospital-grade suction that clear up passageways with varying levels of pressure. The nosepiece and tubing are top-rack dishwasher safe, and the filters are disposable.

All-in-One Kit

Complete with a nasal aspirator, medicine syringe, snot wipes, and chest rub, the FridaBaby Sick Day Prep Kit has a lot of what you’ll need when your cutie has cold symptoms. It’s perfect to get you through an under-the-weather weekend, or, at the very least, it will tide you over until your next trip to the pharmacy.

A Feel Better Burp Cloth

The versatile Munchkin TheraBurpee Colic & Fever Rescue Kit contains two burp cloths with built-in pockets that can hold either hot or cold gel packs. Simply warm the two gel packs in the microwave or pop them in the freezer depending on how your babe needs to be comforted. The cold packs are especially useful during cold and flu season, as they can help reduce fevers. Year-round, the cold can also target inflammation and teething pain, and the hot packs can ease colic and upset tummies. The cloths can be draped over your little one when they no longer need burping, and breastfeeding parents can even use a cold cloth to help soothe nursing pains or relieve a clogged milk duct.

Cooling Gel Pads

BeKoool Soft Gel Sheets are another fever-reducing solution. With their sticky backings, these disposable cooling pads stay in place on the foreheads of young children who don’t want to move from their snuggly setup or who are prone to fidgeting. The gel can stay cold for up to eight hours, and when the fever breaks, the disposable product is easy to remove (nothing like ripping a Band-Aid).

Beneficial Bubble Bath

Once again, we can’t stress the power of vapor products. We love that beyond working like a chest rub, the Babyganics Soothing Vapor Bubble Bath is both useful and playful for a kiddo that could probably use a little bit of fun right now. Squeeze some of this bubble bath into warm water during a nighttime cleanse, and let the decongestant work its magic. “It all but guarantees a smoother overnight when [my baby is] stuffy,” says one Amazon reviewer.

Super Cool Soap

Let’s keep the good times rolling! Handwashing is of the utmost importance at all times, but especially during flu season or when a cold virus is making its way through the classroom. Kids can draw or write on their hands with SOAPEN Hand Soap Pen for Kids, making hygiene an activity worth looking forward to. Plus, the fun colors make it easy for your young artiste to see if they’ve gotten soap all over their hands and if they’ve washed it all away.

Popping Bubble Soap

Make handwashing fun with this naturally fun hand soap that looks and feels like bubbles until they burst in your hand. Each bubble of SPLATZ Natural and Fun Kids Hand Soap contains the perfect amount of soap to clean your little’s hands of dirt, germs, and viruses when mixed with warm water. Plus, every purchase made supports the kids’ mental health nonprofit, YourMomCares.

Quick-Drying Hand Sanitizer

When you’re on the go, or when your kiddo sneezes into their hand yet again, you’ll want easy access to a dollop of hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer is not a replacement for frequent handwashing, but it is an effective way to kill germs. The plant-based California Baby Super Sensitive Hand Sanitizer is quick-drying, an added safety bonus since you don’t want hands wet with sanitizer getting near your child’s mouth or eyes.

App-controlled Humidifier

Humidifiers are critical in making baby’s nursery comfortable by clearing any nasal congestion caused by dry air. This LEVOIT Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is super quiet, making it perfect for light sleepers. With the app, you can set the preferred humidity level and schedule a timer right from your phone. The system will automatically turn off when the water runs out, and the cool mist keeps wandering hands burn-free. And we love supporting women-owned businesses.

Replacement Toothbrushes

One of the last things you may think of when your sick child is finally on the mend is replacing their toothbrush. You don’t want to risk reinfection from any of the germs that may be lingering on the original brush. We love these Brush Buddies because of their encouraging smile and suction cup feet. When possible, you want to keep your children’s toothbrushes away from each other (read: not in a shared toothbrush holder) to avoid spreading germs.

Hydrating Popsicles

Just like handwashing, staying hydrated is important all the time. Fluids are extra vital when your little one is sick, especially if they have a sore throat. A common concern among pediatricians is that kids will get dehydrated as they turn away foods and drinks that hurt to swallow, so go for Pedialyte Freezer Pops that soothe their throats while rehydrating. This No. 1 pediatrician-recommended brand does sell its electrolyte formula as a drink, but the fun of a popsicle may be a more enticing treat for a sick kiddo.

Tried-and-True Honey

A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, and a spoonful of honey helps a sore throat feel better. Seriously, this home remedy is a natural throat soother for kids ages 1 and up, so give a little Pure Clover Honey to your Pooh Bear, and wait for their sigh of relief. (Note: Honey is dangerous for babies under 12 months because of an increased risk of botulism.)

Medicine Dispenser

Pediatricians designed the pacifier-like Munchkin The Medicator Liquid Medicine Dispenser to give babies liquid medicine at an appropriate flow rate. Slowing down the flow of liquid medicines like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and cold medicines is not only safer, but it helps to reduce gagging and spit-up. The nipple can be placed in the top rack of the dishwasher, boiled, or steam-sterilized.

Comforting Candy

Once your preschooler can handle a lollipop (wait until they are at least 3 years old), you can reach for Lolleez Children’s Organic Throat Soothing Pops. These flat lollipops are less of a choking hazard than spherical ones and are made with organic ingredients that make scratchy throats feel better. Available in watermelon, strawberry, and orange mango.

Beyond the medicine cabinet, reach for whatever cold remedies that will keep your cutie comfortable during this not-so-fun time. There’s no need to follow screen time rules to a T or hide the sweet tooth snacks (although, you know what they say about apples … ) if that’s what keeps their spirits high. Here’s to wishing you and yours a quick (and hopefully pain-free) cold and flu season! If it’s any consolation, just know that we’re in the snot-filled trenches with you.

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