Vicks On Baby Feet For Stuffy Nose: Does It Work? (Is It Safe?)

  • Some say that rubbing Vicks on the feet helps clear stuffy nose 
  • Find out if there is any truth behind this alternative cure 
  • Plus more safe and effective ways to treat a baby’s stuffy nose 
  • Bonus video: See what happens when a mom rubs Vicks on her baby

Is your baby suffering from a stuffy nose?

Have you heard about people applying Vicks on baby’s feet to help take care of a stuffy nose?

Are you looking for more information to know whether or not you too can do this safely for your baby?

If these are the questions running through your mind and if this is the information you need, you can take a look at the article shared here. We will try and take a look at whether or not this is really an effective and safe way of treating your baby’s stuffy nose, and also where and when this belief originated. We also take a look at the age around which you can try this out for your baby or whether you need to avoid it completely.

Is there really a belief that rubbing Vicks on a baby’s feet can help with stuffy nose?

Yes, a lot of parents believe that if you rub Vicks on your baby’s feet and put on a pair of socks, it can help to relieve baby’s nasal congestion and also help to open up the blocked nose.

Where did this belief come from?

It is not clear where this belief has originated from, but a lot of parents think about trying out Vicks for their children if they are suffering from a stuffy chest or nasal congestion.

vicks baby rub on newborn
  • Actually, the entire theory of rubbing Vicks on your baby’s feet may be stemming from the fact that massaging your baby’s feet could make them feel calm and comfortable.
  • When you massage your baby’s feet, it will help to soothe them, and as a result, may also help them to sleep a little better, especially if they have a cold or a congested or stuffy nose that makes it difficult for them to sleep.
  • The relief that the baby gets will be mainly due to the massage effect, and not specifically because of using Vicks. You could actually try doing the same with any warm oil, and your baby will most likely get the same effect and comfort.

How is it supposedly done?

If you are really trying to use Vicks to take clear of the stuffy nose and want to apply it on your baby’s feet, you can try doing it in the following way:

vicks baby rub
  • 1
    First, clear up the area where you are going to place your baby for the massage.
  • 2
    Before you begin the process, make sure to keep everything around you at arm’s reach, so that you do not have to get up in the middle and leave your baby unattended.
  • 3
    Time the massage in such a way that it does not coincide with your baby’s feed time, or is not directly after the feed. If you are planning to feed your baby soon, you can first do the massage and then feed your baby. Or, if you have already fed your baby, you should try and wait for at least about 30 to 40 minutes and then do the massage.
  • 4
    Place your baby on a clean and sturdy surface. Now take the natural ingredient or product and gently apply a layer of it on the soles of your baby’s feet.
  • 5
    You can now start massaging your baby’s feet gently with long relaxing motions.
  • 6
    Keep doing this over and over again, till you feel that the soles of your baby’s feet are becoming warm.
  • 7
    You can keep rubbing your palm directly on the soles of your baby’s feet till you feel it all nice and warm.
  • 8
    Once done, you can also gently massage your baby’s legs and knees in a soothing manner.
  • 9
    Put on a pair of socks on your baby’s feet to keep them warm and snug.

Is there any truth to this belief? Does rubbing Vicks on a baby’s feet help with stuffy nose?

Apparently, one of the spokesperson for Vicks VapoRub had mentioned that even though parents feel it is okay to do so, you should not apply it only as per the instructions mentioned on the package. According to the package instructions, you should only apply the Vicks in a thick layer on your baby’s feet or chest, but do remember that the package clearly says that you should not do it for children who are less than 2 years old.

  • Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP), do not back the theory of applying Vicks for your baby for any reason.
  • According to them, you should not apply any such thing on your baby, including Vicks, for the purpose of relieving a cold or cough for any child who is less than six years of age.
  • When you apply Vicks as a topical treatment, that is, on the skin, it may not directly go in your baby’s mouth, and thus may not enter your baby’s blood stream or system. However, some research says that in some cases, especially in the case of infants and very young babies, it may increase the amount of mucous that is produced in the throat area.
  • Also, if you apply this to an infant, a newborn or a very young baby, there are higher chances of any skin irritation that may develop.

Is this belief backed by science at all? Why or how does it work?

There is no science backed theory that says that rubbing Vicks on your baby’s feet will help to take care of the congestion. In fact, you should refrain from using this on your young baby, and definitely not if your baby is less than 6 years of age, even though some sites say you can use it once your baby is 3 months old.

  • The reason that some people feel this works is because it helps to boost the blood circulation, which also boosts the flow of oxygen in the system.
  • Also, when you use ingredients such as olive oil, rosemary oil, lavender and so on to massage, it gives a soothing feeling and helps relax the mind.
  • However, before using any of these ingredients, you always need to first check with your baby’s paediatrician.
vicks baby rub on newborn

Safe and effective ways to treat stuffy nose in babies

If your baby has a stuffy nose, you can alternatively try using these safer methods that are effective and will not cause any side effects:

vicks baby rub uses
  • Use a humidifier or vapourizer in the room.
  • Run a warm bath and sit in it with your baby.
  • Gently massage your baby’s nose.
  • Keep feeding baby at regular intervals and keep baby hydrated.
  • Check with baby’s paediatrician about using a saline drop or spray.

Can this be done with babies of any age? Or is it not safe for very young children?

If you are specifically going to use Vicks for using on your infant, newborn or young baby, please refrain from doing so, or at least first check this with your baby’s paediatrician. If you are an adult or want to use this for an adult, you can go ahead and apply it on the soles of the feet or on the chest to help take care of any congestion.