Top 10 Tips for Coughs & Colds

Leyton’s Mumma Says…. (with advice of other Mumma’s!)


  • 1. Raise your child’s cot or bed at their head end to ease coughs – I put a thick book under the 2 cot legs (and moses basket legs when he was in one) on his head end, and when he’s really chesty I put a pillow under his mattress where his head is. Sometimes this makes no difference as he rolls around but most the time it helps. Obviously it’s dangerous to put pillows directly under babies heads (and increases the risk of SIDs) so this is why I put the pillow Under the mattress (Spacebabies actually do Spacebabies Baby Bed Blockswhich do the same thing but pricier than my book idea, available at Amazon) cotbed


  • 3. Colds and blocked noses are often helped with saline nose drops – the little ones aren’t a big fan but a couple of drops in each nostril before a drink can really help clear the hard boogers…. we do it at bedtime when Leyton has a cold to give him a good shot at sleep! We got it free as it was prescribed by the doctor when he had a bad cold. Boots also do a spray which I’ve heard is good.

4. A room vapour can really help too – for tiny babies Baby Nose Clear drops from Boots ( are great in a bowl of hot water, slightly older ones (3 months +) can have Baby Olbas Oil which is a bit stronger and more effective I feel (personal opinion). Other Mumma’s I’ve spoken too found the Calpol room vapour plug in worked wonders too. We also put a wet towel/ flannel on the radiator to give steam into the room, obviously your heating needs to be on for this to work. No harm putting some room vapour or Snuffle Babe on the wet towel too 

  • 5. Vaseline under the nose seems to work at any age, and we found a dab at night time or before going outside in the cold helped soothe that Rudolf nose. I also found Vaseline under his nose meant Leyton’s nose dripped less (if it was runny rather than blocked) but this may have just been coincidence… Obviously babies can’t wipe their own nose so you may need to help in thsi area too. never shove cotton wool buds or anything similar up a baby’s nose, but I have often found a little wipe of a cotton wool ball far more effective than those


  • 6. Warm drinks are soothing to sore throats, and generally comforting. There’s some talk of too much dairy making you phlegmy but I don’t know if that’s just an old wives tale. Warm water and apple juice can be nice for little ones 6 months + or for 1 year olds + some honey, warm water and lemon juice or apple juice seems to go down well too.


  • 7. Regular fluids and water is really important to keep your little one hydrated. However they are fed it will be a a good idea to temporarily up the feeds, and you may find your baby struggles to drink for long if their nose is blocked or they stop to cough. Leyton’s never really drank much water even as he got older, so we found the best way of getting fluids in is extra milk and then decrease again once they’re fighting fit.

Drinks are so important! And food to keep their energy up…

  • 8. There are cough syrups out there for when your baby is a few months old (nothing for newborns unfortunately) but in all honesty they don’t seem to do much, and doctors openly admitted this to me too. We’ve tried the Tixxylix and Benylin ones for babies and toddlers which are mainly Glycerin so coats the throat a little (but no active healing ingredients) if your baby has been coughing away for a while… but we found they don’t have a long lasting effect. I still use them occasionally though to soothe a little, and feel like I’m doing something!


  • 9. Painrelief is good to have to hand more importantly…. paracetamol based products like Calpol (or we buy Boots or Tesco’s own brand previously, they have the exact same ingredients!) are good for bringing down any temperatures and easing any headaches that may come with a cough or cold as their main aim is being a painkiller. Ibuprofen products like Nurofen are good too but normally target muscular issues as they are anti-infamatory, but obviously work on colds and headaches too, I just don’t find them as effective as paracetamol. So it does come down to preference and your own educated opinion after a bit of online research


  • 10. If in doubt – seek advice. A lot of things mask themselves in cold type symptoms – fevers and pains can be a sign of an infection elsewhere so it is always wise to keep an eye on how your little one is progressing, any new symptoms and the time scales. Likewise, a cough can be a chest infection or something else which may need anti-biotics, so if you have any doubts over your childs health you should always seek medical advice. Many times I’ve spoken to a pharmacist, phoned 111 (UK only) or gone to the doctors because I haven’t been happy with Leyton’s cough lasting 3+ weeks and not improving. Sometimes I think it’s been teething. One time I got antibiotics for a chest infection. And one doctor gave me an inhaler to ease his airways, although couldn’t diagnose it as ashthma until he is older. But the fact is, every time, I was glad I took him because I don’t have a medical degree and you can’t be too careful with your child’d health!!


We hope this quick fire list helps, and if you have any other tips or hints feel free to share below!!

And remember – we are not medical professionals so we can only offer this as advice from personal experiences. Always read and follow the labels on all medicines.

Helpful Websites

Mums' Days

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  1. Pingback: Top Toys for Toddlers – not to be missed! | Mumma Says

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