DIY Baby Cold and Congestion Reliever

Faye has been sick for six days. It started off with a fever and cough. With tons of rest, her fever broke within 36 hrs, but that cough continued to get worse and worse. On Saturday night, she sounded pretty bad so we decided to bring her in the bathroom for a steam bath with essential oils before shelling some $$$ out for a vaporizer. (She has a cold mist humidifier, but it wasn’t doing enough to abate her hack.)

Faye enjoying her reflection during a steam bath.

Faye enjoying her reflection during a steam bath.

The lavender and chamomile essential oils–funny enough–aren’t essential, but they definitely sped up her recovery. Plus, they make your house smell amazing. The guy who delivered our bahn mi sandwiches from Ha Noi commented on how wonderful our house smelled while he was at our door. On top of it, these are two oils that are used in almost every single DIY natural product for babies as they have fantastic qualities from anti-fungal to anti-inflammatory (lavender oil benefits, chamomile benefits). Make sure to get high quality oils ** as you want them to be as pure as possible.

The first two times, she wore a diaper. Now, we strip her down to her ‘lady’ and ‘everybody’ parts and put a pre-fold cloth diaper under her. We put her in our makeshift steam room for 10-15 minutes at least 4 times a day (upon waking from any sleep, before bedtime, if she is having a hard time breathing). That coupled with putting some rolled up towels under the head of her mattress to create an incline while she sleeps has helped immensely in loosening up her phlegm and nasal passages.

Steam Bath A



  1. Go into your bathroom. Place your Nose Frida and tissues in easy reach. Hang up your baby towel. If you have a tub, close off the drain. (The tub will collect the hot water and create more steam than a straight shower.) Put the shower on as high and as hot as it will go. Leave the room for a minute, closing the door behind you.
  2. Strip down to your underwear. Strip your baby down naked and put her on top of that pre-fold and into a baby seat located just outside the bathroom door. Lock her into the seat.
  3. Quickly go back into the bathroom, closing the door behind you. Add in 5 drops of lavender oil and 2 drops of chamomile oil into the water that has accumulated at the base of the tub. (It’s important to wait until there is water in the tub to add the oil, otherwise, the steam becomes too overpowering with the oils for an infant.)
  4. Go get your baby and the prefold. Bring her into the bathroom, closing the door behind you. Stand with her in your arms for 10-15 minutes. (It is important to keep her higher in the room than in a bouncy chair on the floor as steam rises. She will get warmer and moister air if held in your arms.) Every few minutes, pat her strongly on the back and then on her front with an open palm to loosen the mucus in her chest. At the end of the session, drain her nose with the Nose Frida and wipe the mucus away with tissues.
  5. Turn the water off. Over the course of the next five minutes, slowly open the door to the bathroom to allow for the air to gradually change temperature. Put your baby in her towel when it starts to get colder.
  6. Repeat this as often as you would like, but don’t go crazy with the Nose Frida. According to our pediatrician, you cannot over use a steam bath when a baby is congested, but you can overuse a Nose Frida causing the delicate nasal tissue to become inflamed!

**Mountain Rose Herbs has a great reputation for high quality oils. I also really like NOW essential oils which can be found on Amazon and at Whole Foods.

NOTE: Nobody has paid me in any way, shape, or form for an endorsement on this site. If I mention it in a positive way, it’s because I like it!

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