Home Remedies for Runny Nose in Babies and Kids

Home Remedies for Runny Nose in Babies and Kids

A runny nose is a common problem in babies. Their immature immune system takes a toll on their health. And a baby’s constant urge to touch new things or put them in his mouth makes him more susceptible to catching infections. Where adults can simply pop in a pill and get over a bout of cold or flu, it may not be the same for babies. Over-the-counter medicines are not good for your munchkin because of their probable side effects. If you are searching for some effective home remedies for a runny nose for your baby, this is just the right post for you!

Video: Best Home Remedies for a Runny Nose in Babies and Kids

What Causes Runny Nose in a Child?

It is pretty usual for babies to have as many as 6 to 8 bouts of cold or flu in a year. As discussed above, this happens because of your baby’s weak immune system; however, this will get stronger as your baby grows up and starts following a good diet. Here are some common causes of a runny nose in babies.

  • If your baby is suffering from cold, your baby may have symptoms like chest congestionfevercough, sneezing and a runny nose. Sometimes your baby may have nasal congestion, but a runny nose may not follow it.
  • If your baby suffers from the flu, he may have a poor appetite, cough, and severe cold symptoms such as a runny nose.

These are some common reasons for a runny nose in babies; however, if you think none of the above reasons applies to your baby, rush to your doctor for further assistance.

How to Stop a Runny Nose in Babies?

Babies get very irritated and restless whenever they are unwell. A runny nose is something that may make your baby feel very uncomfortable. Here are some practical baby running nose home remedies.

1. Increase Your Baby’s Fluid Intake

A baby suffering from a runny nose may start breathing from his mouth. Breathing through the mouth causes breathing dehydration in babies. Therefore, it is important to increase your baby’s intake of breast milk or formula milk. If your baby is over six months old, you may also give water and other fluids. Ask your paediatrician what fluids you may give to your baby.

2. Suction Bulb and Secretions

A runny nose may cause a lot of mucous in your baby’s nose, which may hamper your baby’s breathing. A suction bulb can extract the mucous from the baby’s nose to help him breathe better. This bulb is easily available at any medical store and can be bought without a doctor’s prescription too. Make sure you clean the bulb before and after every use.

Suction Bulb and Secretions

3. Head Elevation

Elevating the baby’s head is an effective way to make your baby feel better. It helps improve mucous secretion and prevents it from seeping into the throat, which may usually result in coughing bouts. Take a towel or two and elevate your baby’s head up to 18 inches. Make sure your baby’s head is not raised to more than this height, as it may get very uncomfortable for him.

4. Petroleum Jelly

The constant wetness under the nose may make your baby’s nose sore and irritate sensitive skin. Apply a layer of petroleum jelly under the nose to protect the area. Refrain from putting vapour rub as it may cause irritation or respiratory distress in babies.

5. Steam Treatment

Steam can help loosen the mucus and relieve congestion in babies. Take your baby into a bathroom with a hot shower running, or use a humidifier in the room where they sleep. The moist air can help soothe the nasal passages and make breathing easier for the baby. Ensure your baby’s temperature and humidity levels are safe and comfortable.

6. Saline Nasal Drops

Saline nasal drops can help clear a baby’s stuffy or runny nose. They work by moisturizing the nasal passages and thinning the mucus, making breathing easier for the baby. You can use a dropper to put a few drops of saline solution into each nostril, then gently suctioning out the mucus with a bulb syringe or a nasal aspirator.

7. Breast Milk Drops

Some parents have reported that using a few drops of breast milk in the baby’s nose can help alleviate a runny nose. Breast milk contains antibodies and natural enzymes that may have antibacterial and antiviral properties, which could potentially help clear nasal congestion and reduce inflammation. Use a clean dropper to administer a couple of drops of breast milk into each nostril. However, it’s important to note that more research is needed to fully understand this method’s effectiveness.

These are some easy home remedies for running nose in kids.

Natural Remedies for Runny Nose in Toddlers and Older Children

Here are some natural home remedies for running nose in toddlers and older children.

  • Ginger and honey mix is excellent for dealing with running nose systems. Grate a piece of ginger root and squeeze its juice. Add honey to it and give this mixture to your kid two to three times a day.

Natural Remedies for Runny Nose in Toddlers and Older Children

  • Mustard oil is great for battling a runny nose in kids. Warm-up mustard oil with some asafoetida, garlic cloves, and carom seeds. Massage your child’s back and chest with this oil. You may see your child’s symptoms improving after a couple of massages.
  • One of the most effective Indian home remedies for a runny nose in infants is coconut oil and camphor. Mix some camphor in coconut oil and warm it up. Apply this only gently on your baby’s chest, back, and neck. This may not only help in clearing the congestion and runny nose but may also help him sleep peacefully.
  • Jaiphal mixed with milk is a great home remedy for curing running nose. Take a few spoons milk and add a pinch of jaiphal to it. Give it a boil and bring it to room temperature before administering it your child. This is an excellent way of providing instant relief to your child.
  • Eucalyptus oil has decongestant and antimicrobial properties. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a bowl of hot water and have your child inhale the steam by leaning over the bowl (at a safe distance) with a towel covering their head. The inhalation of eucalyptus steam can help clear nasal passages and provide relief from a runny nose.
  • Nasal irrigation can help flush out excess mucus and relieve nasal congestion. You can prepare a saline solution by dissolving half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. Using a bulb syringe or a nasal irrigation kit designed for children, gently flush the nostrils with the saline solution. This can help alleviate a runny nose and reduce nasal congestion.
  • A warm compress to the child’s sinus area can relieve nasal congestion. Soak a clean washcloth in warm water, wring out the excess water, and place it over the child’s nose and sinus area. The warmth can help soothe the nasal passages and alleviate a runny nose.
  • While honey alone is not recommended for children under the age of one, for older children, you can mix a teaspoon of honey with a few drops of lemon juice. The mixture can help soothe a sore throat and relieve a runny nose. It’s important to note that honey should only be given to children over one-year-old due to the risk of infant botulism.
  • Another excellent herbal remedy for your child’s runny nose is holy basil. It has several antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties that can help fight the root cause of a runny nose. Depending on the child’s age, you can give him/her 2-3 basil leaves with/without jaggery to chew.
  • You can also prepare a warm drink using milk, honey, and cinnamon. Warm a cup of milk (dairy or plant-based) and stir in a teaspoon of honey and a pinch of cinnamon. Honey can help soothe the throat, while cinnamon has antimicrobial properties. This concoction can provide comfort and help reduce a runny nose.
  • Steam inhalation can help loosen mucus and alleviate nasal congestion. Add a few drops of child-safe essential oils such as lavender or chamomile to a bowl of hot water. Allow the child to inhale the steam by leaning over the bowl (at a safe distance) with a towel covering their head. These essential oils’ soothing properties can relieve a runny nose.


1. Is a Runny Nose Normal in Babies?

A runny nose is common in babies, especially during their first year. It can be caused by a variety of factors, such as irritants, allergies, colds, or viral infections. Babies have delicate nasal passages, and their immune systems are still developing, making them more susceptible to respiratory infections and nasal congestion.

2. How Long Does a Runny Nose Last in Babies?

The duration of a runny nose in babies can vary depending on the cause. If it’s due to a common cold or viral infection, it usually lasts 7 to 10 days but can sometimes persist for up to two weeks. Allergies or irritants may cause a more chronic runny nose. If your baby’s runny nose persists or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and guidance.

3. Is a Runny Nose a Symptom of Teething in Babies?

There is no direct causal relationship between teething and a runny nose. However, some parents have observed increased nasal congestion or runny nose during the teething process in their babies. The reason for this association is not fully understood, but it is believed that excessive drooling during teething can lead to increased mucus production, causing a runny nose. It’s important to note that other factors, such as exposure to cold viruses or seasonal allergies, can also contribute to a runny nose during teething. If you have concerns about your baby’s symptoms, it’s best to consult a paediatrician for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate management.

Apart from the remedies mentioned above, ensure your baby is fully clothed and wearing ample warm clothes in winter. Steam is another great way of easing your baby’s runny nose problems. Medical intervention may be required if your baby or toddler does not feel better using any of the home remedial measures mentioned above. We suggest that you seek your doctor’s help.


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2. Physician. A. F; Saline Nasal Irrigation for Upper Respiratory Conditions; PubMed Central; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2778074/; November 2009

3. Allan. G. M, Arroll. B; Prevention and treatment of the common cold: making sense of the evidence; PubMed Central; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3928210/; February 2014

4. Bhateja. S; Therapeutic benefits of holy basil; ResearchGate; https://www.researchgate.net/publication/263463997_Therapeutic_benefits_of_holy_basil; June 2014

5. Srivastava. J. K, Shankar. E, Gupta. S; Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future; PubMed Central; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/; February 2011

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Also Read:

Home Remedies for Loose Motion in Infant
Cold and Flu Home Remedies for Kids and Babies
Natural Remedies for Mouth Ulcers in Babies and Kids

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