HAPPILY EVA ANSWERS: Dealing with Toddler Colds

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Eva Amurri answers questions in her Happily Eva Answers column

This blog post was originally published on April 1st, 2016. It’s been updated to include new formatting, images, and links.

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Hi Eva,


My daughter is 16 months old and it feels like she has been fighting off a cold more often than not this season. I think we’re up to cold #5 due to the combination of starting daycare in addition to just seasonal germs. Has Marlowe survived her first cold yet? I would love to hear your tips and tricks and how you make your little one feel better while fending off the slimy boogers.


Ps. Love your blog, love Marlowe’s sweet style.




The Boogey Mama

Eva Amurri answers a reader question about how to handle toddler colds

Dear Boogey Mama,

Your poor girl, and you poor Mama!  I know firsthand how helpless you feel as a Mom when your baby is unwell, and how much the discomfort of a cold can throw your toddler out of whack. It really is the saddest thing to see little babes suffering through Cold Season. (Mateo can’t even really figure out how to blow his nose yet, which makes the whole situation seem even more pathetic…snot dripping down…gahh!) This question is actually coming at the perfect time, since schools are beginning to reopen, and we’re all about to get hit with Cold Season! Even with all the religious hand washing that our Daycare providers exercise now with COVID!

It’s super important to me not to give my kids any serious medicines or chemical-laden products when she’s sick if I can help it–and colds are so tricky because you really need to just boost the immune system and deal with any discomfort that arises. Because of this, I’ve researched and found a lot of great all-natural solutions for keeping colds at bay and boosting their immune system after the fact to keep them away! I’ll split this answer into two branches: Cold Remedies and Immunity Boosting.

(I’m obviously not a Doctor, so take all this advice with that in mind–please visit your doctor if your child is very sick, has a high fever, or is not responding to over-the-counter medicines!)

Eva Amurri answers a reader question about how to handle toddler colds





Hyland's Baby Tiny Cold Tablets


I love Homeopathy so much, and have used it on myself for decades. It’s an all-natural but targeted style of medicine to treat a great range of symptoms. There are doctors who only specialize in Homeopathy (a really cool experience if you are ever inclined to check one out for a chronic ailment) and who trust in this brand of medicine to treat almost anything. I’ve used Homeopathic medicines for my kids for teething, and recently started with colds as well!  If you go to a Natural Store such as Whole Foods, they can help you search for what you’re looking for. I like to start in the children’s aisle and find homeopathic blends that are pre-made for common baby and toddler ailments. Hyland’s makes Cold Tablets that are awesome and really shorten all my kid’s colds!

Vitamin C! 

Emergen-C 1000mg Vitamin C Powder


The second my kids’ start to show symptoms of a cold, I load them up with Vitamin C. They love clementines, and so I give them one or two a day. I also dissolve about a third of an Emergen-C packet in a few inches of water and have them drink it down once a day.



I make sure the kids drink extra water when they’re sick to really flush everything out.

Coconut Oil!  

Island Fresh Superior Organic Virgin Coconut Oil


The kids’ noses tend to get sore and red from my constant wiping when they’re sick. In between wipes, I like to rub a bit of Extra Virgin Coconut oil all around their nostrils and on their lips to keep everything soothed and healing. Bonus Tip: Coconut oil is antiviral and antimicrobial!


Lalo x Canopy Humidifier Set


I love this humidifier from Lalo! They’ve partnered with Canopy, a brand that makes some of the cleanest humidifiers on the market, and this one is no different. It is SO easy to clean, and it comes with an essential oils kit!

Saline Spray! 

Little Remedies Little Noses Saline Spray + Drops


I love this saline spray, and use it on the kids three times a day when they’re stuffy. I just tilt their heads back and drop about 4-5 drops into each nostril. It helps flush out the nose and get rid of the virus!

The Nose Frieda! 

The Nose Frieda


This thing is a total lifesaver. Before your child is old enough to blow their nose, you can help dislodge the mucus blockages by using the power of your breath to suck them out! This contraption works like a charm, and don’t worry you don’t even come close to getting any mucus in your mouth.  I use some saline spray in their nose first, wait about thirty seconds, and then suck that gunk right out! I recommend doing this 2-4 times a day, with the last time right before bed for a peaceful night’s rest.

Diffuse Essential Oils! 

VIVITEST Ceramic Diffuser


If you don’t already own an essential oil diffuser, I highly recommend them!  I could go on for hours about all the amazing benefits of incorporating essential oils into your family’s life (this book is great if you’re interested) but for now, I will just say that they are a great way of bringing comfort to your child when he or she is sick– and you disinfect the air while you’re at it!  I like to use a mix of two drops of lavender oil and two drops of lemon oil in my diffuser. Both Lavender and Lemon essential oils are extremely purifying, detoxifying, and antibacterial–as well as soothing and calming. If one of my kids happens to have a bad cough as well, I add one drop of Eucalyptus to the mix. I use my diffuser in the kitchen or family room area where we will be hanging together (resting and watching movies!) so that they get all the benefits.

Eva Amurri answers a reader question about how to handle toddler colds



Disinfect the House Naturally! 

DIY Chemical-Free Cleaning Products

Happily Eva After

I love making my own chemical-free cleaning products that use essential oils to be super disinfecting!

Build Immunity with Essential Oil Rubs! 

doTERRA On Guard Essential Oil Protective Blend


Every day before Daycare, I rub a mix of 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, and 1-2 drops of DoTerra’s ‘On Guard’ to create a salve. Then I rub it on her back under her shirt and on the bottoms of her feet before putting on her socks. ‘On Guard’ is a mixture of essential oils that is great for immunity boosting! You can put this in a diffuser as well!


Culturelle Kids Chewable Daily Probiotic 


Probiotics are “good” bacteria and yeast (found in live active cultures) in foods such as yogurts and fermented vegetables. Probiotics are an excellent way to boost the immune system and protect against tummy bugs. You can buy probiotic smoothie packs specifically for kids at the grocery store and they come in lots of yummy flavors.

Try Organic!  

Organic Products

Eating organic really helps kids boost their immune systems. No yuckies in their foods mean less for their bodies to fight with, resulting in healthier kids! If you don’t have the budget to do an overhaul, I recommend starting with the foods your kids eat the most–specifically Wheat and Dairy! Try Organic bread, cereals, waffles, yogurts, milk, and cheeses first.  You can always build from there.

Remove Chemicals from their Routine! 

Babo Botanicals Sensitive Baby 2-in-1 Shampoo & Wash


Chemicals in our daily products have been proven to disrupt the hormone balance of the body, as well as lowering our immune response to diseases and the aging of the body. Try subbing out your normal baby products with natural ones that don’t contain chemicals, so you can give your baby’s immune system the best shot! I love the entire Babo Botanicals line!

I hope these little tips and tricks inspire you in your own routine–and help your little one along the path to great health!

Does anyone else have any excellent all-natural cold remedies? Please share in the comments below!




Eva Amurri answers a reader question about how to handle toddler colds

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Photographs by Julia Dags | Copyright © 2016 Happily Eva After, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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  1. This seriously couldn’t have come at a better time for us either. We’re fighting our first big cold/sickness with our little one right now. She’s not in daycare (we do a nanny share), so luckily we haven’t had to deal with this yet and she’s almost one. That said, now I’m completely clueless! Thanks for sharing!

    Erin, Attention to Darling

    04.01.16 Reply
    • Erin,
      I’m so sorry to hear that! It’s the worst :(( Hopefully your girl is feeling better by now!! The good news is colds get more manageable and less scary each time for both Mama and Baby. Just think that every little bug she gets is strengthening her immune system! Thumbs up 🙂


      04.06.16 Reply
  2. Mariya says:

    Hi Eva,
    Is it ok to use humidifier (water only ) together with diffuser during the night ?

    Thank you !

    12.19.16 Reply
    • Hi Mariya! Well, I do it! The diffuser only lasts for so long anyway. I put the diffuser further away from the bed so it’s not overwhelming, and then place the humidifier where you normally would. Make sure you’re changing out the water in your humidifier daily, and disinfecting it with vinegar once a week!


      12.20.16 Reply
  3. Such a very informative post, I agree, those features really helps in dealing with toddler colds. Thanks for sharing this post!

    11.29.21 Reply
  4. I had a great time reading your article and found it to be extremely helpful.

    01.30.23 Reply