Watching your infant struggle with a cold is just the worst. They're congested and miserable and can't even blow their nose, let alone communicate how they're feeling. And as if baby's first cold wasn't stressful enough, living through a pandemic means that every cough, sniffle or sneeze can send you doom-spiraling. (On the bright side, COVID vaccines are now available for babies 6 months and up.)

According to the AAP, most children get eight to 10 colds before they turn 2. Unfortunately, no matter how many precautions you take, they're bound to come down with a cold sooner or later.

How to tell if your baby has a cold

Your little one will likely still have good energy and appetite but may present with any combination of the following:

Symptoms may include:

  • Cough
  • Congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Possible low-grade fever

Baby's first cold can be rough—both on baby and on you! It's less than fun to see your little one in distress, even when it's simply from the common cold. But not to worry. In most cases, colds run their course in a matter of days without progressing to anything worse, and we're here to help you soothe those sniffles and bust that fuss with our favorite products to help ease baby's first cold. Though we can't promise a magical fix, we can promise that these items will help soothe and comfort your babe when they're not feeling their best.

Related: Why the AAP wants kids to get a flu shot before Halloween this year

Here are the 11 best products to have on hand for baby's first cold. Best of luck, mama!

Our favorite products for baby's first cold



Smart Thermometer

We know that fevers (especially baby’s first fever) can be incredibly scary for everyone, but let’s take a deep breath and remember: fever is the body’s natural response to infection. It’s definitely not fun, but generally no cause for worry. That said, always reach out to your child’s pediatrician with questions or if something feels off to you. (We love the Parents’ Guide to Fevers infographic from the Cleveland Clinic for a quick and easy reference for all things fever, btw.)

Now that that’s out of the way… you’re going to need an accurate way to take baby’s temperature. Ear, forehead, and oral thermometers are great for older kiddos, but for little ones under a year, a rectal thermometer is the best and most accurate choice. (Momlife is endlessly glamorous, isn’t it?)

We’re smitten with this digital, smartphone-compatible option—it’s accurate + easy to use, FDA-cleared, affordable, and best of all keeps a record of its readouts and offers guidance on what to do next. (And when they’re older and more reluctant, the app includes a bubble game and Sesame Street mode to keep them happily distracted.)

Earth Mama


Calming Lavender Baby Lotion

When high temps hit your little one, reach for the Earth Mama calming lavender baby lotion to put them at ease. Made of a pure essential oil blend of organic vanilla and lavender, this lotion not only moisturizes babies of all ages, but it also aids in lulling them to sleep.



The Medicator

The medicator dispenses liquid medicine at a safe flow rate for baby that minimizes choking and coughing. The design bypasses taste buds so the chances of spitting are lessened for medicine that goes down easily. It also comes in a variety of colors, so you’re sure to find something that pleases your picky toddler.

Little Dreams by Canopy



Humidifier & Diffuser

A humidifier that actually looks chic? We never thought we’d see the day. And one that’s dubbed the “world’s cleanest humidifier” at that! The no-mist design puts out filtered, hydrated air to moisturize skin and soothe baby’s breathing while the built-in diffuser fills the nursery with calming scents thanks to pure essential oil blends. (Their Rise scent is a blend of cool eucalyptus and sweet orange that’s perfect for cold and flu season!) Proprietary technology which uses a paper-based filter and embedded UV lights make it the only anti-mold humidifier on the market—talk about breathing easier, right? Additionally, the unit is quite easy to clean and even dishwasher safe. (#Blessed)

Need more options? Check out our best baby humidifiers round-up!



All Natural Baby Chest Rub

For babies three months and older, an aromatic vapor rub like this one can be a soothing addition to a bedtime routine when your little one is fighting a cold. Made with eucalyptus to help clear breathing and organic lavender and chamomile oils to help soothe + calm, we can’t (and won’t) claim any real science here, but anecdotally speaking we can say that this is by far our favorite rub for both its great smell and its all-natural ingredients.

We recommend rubbing a bit on your little one’s chest and on the bottoms of their feet right before bed. You may even want to steal some for yourself the next time you’re sick—it truly smells divine!



TheraBurpee Colic & Fever Rescue Kit

When your little one isn’t feeling well, they usually want all the snuggles. Munchkin’s Colic + Fever Rescue Kit makes snuggling even more therapeutic with hot and cold therapy burp cloths. Each kit comes with two cozy double-layer cotton burp cloths, two hot and cold gel packs, two essential oil sprays and two aroma pads. Just slip the gel packs and aroma pads inside, toss over your shoulder and hold your little one close. When they’re feverish and congested, the chilly pack and sniffle-relieving wellness blend can offer a bit of loving relief. (And bonus! They’re also great for nursing mamas as they can help ease clogged milk ducts or engorgement!)

Little Remedies


Saline Mist

Odds are, you’re not going to want to wrangle a baby and a traditional nasal passage irrigation system. (We know—that just sounds complicated!) Skip the mess and reach for this Sterile Saline Mist from Little Remedies. This gentle spray moisturizes dry or crusty nasal passages and flushes out excess mucus causing those sad little sniffles, all without any alcohol or harsh chemicals.

Pro Tip: Use this spray before attempting to remove mucus—the whole process will go much smoother.




We’d love it if every infant came equipped with the ability to blow their own nose, but alas, that duty is still left up to us. When your little one has the sniffles, ditch the outdated bulb syringe and opt for the award-winning NoseFrida, proudly referred to as The Snotsucker. The mechanics seem a little gross at first (yes, you are actually sucking the snot out of that little nose!), but trust us, it’s worth it.



Vapor Bubble Bath

A warm bath is already one of the best ways to soothe a fussy, sick kid, but Babyganics Vapor Bubble Bath steps up the nurturing a notch by infusing their bubbles with natural menthol, eucalyptus and rosemary. And the non-allergenic formula won’t irritate sensitive skin, so it’s the perfect way to comfort littles with a cold.


Boogie Wipes

You’re going to be wiping a lot of runny noses over the coming years, mama. I know what you’re thinking… “Can’t I just use regular baby wipes for this?” And, yes, sure, you can. But these wipes are just better for runny noses.

Boogie Wipes contain saline, which naturally helps to clean and dissolve boogers. They’re extra soft, moisturized with aloe and other natural ingredients to soothe skin, and come in a cute little resealable pouch that’s easy to throw into your diaper bag or purse. Watch out, boogers, here we come…


Pedialyte Freezer Pops

The last must-have on our list is better suited for older babies and toddlers, and can be a lifesaver when your little one is too sick to feel like eating or drinking very much. (Or in the case of the equally dreadful stomach flu.)

These freezer pops are formulated with the optimal balance of sugar and electrolytes needed to help the body replenish fluids and minerals lost through dehydration. They’re way better than giving your kiddo juice or sports drinks, which are usually too high in sugar and too low in sodium. And best of all—your toddler will think they’re a treat! (And yes, you could also just freeze regular Pedialyte into popsicle molds yourself, but this way you can stash a few and always have them ready to go!)

Whether you're expecting in months or mere days, let Motherly guide you with our registry featuring curated collections of essentials for you and baby. Click here to check out Motherly's essential registry guide. 

A version of this story was published December 1, 2021. It has been updated.