Baby & Toddler Chest Rub for Cold +6M

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This cold and flu season has been nasty, way stronger than last year from what I remember. When I hear the first sneeze in the house I start getting ready with all my homemade remedies, from recipes to syrups to…chest balms. With the years I’ve been fine tuning my mix of β€œpotions” as my hubby calls them πŸ™‚ to both boost the immune system and alleviate the cold/cough symptoms.

I really do my best to take care of the kids and myself with natural remedies. From eating healthy to natural medications. That being said, when the symptoms do not improve or the fever goes above an acceptable level, I am in favor of traditional medicine and I always consult my pediatrician.

If you follow BuonaPappa you might already have seen my favorite homemade natural remedies for seasonal sickness like:

And today I would like to share another remedy that really helped me a lot when my kids were babies and that I still use for them and for us adults when we are congested. 

It’s a homemade chest rub made with natural ingredients (bees wax + shea butter + coconut oil) and three essential oils. It’s safe for babies too. I started using the rub when my little ones were 6 months of age. I didn’t try it before as I didn’t find any evidence that was safe doing it.

I used to apply a tiny quantity of rub (1/4 tsp) to my baby’s chest and back and kindly massage it with a circular movement for one minute or so. Since when my kids were toddlers I also added the feet part: rubbing a tiny amount under the feet before bed. Be prepared: it’s extremely ticklish and the kids will kick and laugh πŸ™‚

I always found that this remedy done right at bedtime helped them falling asleep more relaxed and sleeping with more comfort.

I use the same rub for myself and hubby too πŸ™‚

The chest rub is basically composed by two elements: a balm and the essential oils. The balm in contact with the warm skin acts like a carrier, allows the essential oils to do their job and also dilutes their power making them safer for little ones too.  When used properly and in moderation essential oils are safe for babies too (over 6 months).


The literature about essential oils is impressive and I noticed through the years that everyone has very personal opinions both about essential oils in general and about particular brands. This is not the purpose of this post. It’s not a sponsored one and you will notice that I didn’t show any brand in the video. I just wanted to share with you a trusted recipe that worked for my family through the years and I feel confident suggesting to you my friends.

With essential oils is all about quality, dilution and safety. I will be happy to share with you the two brands of essential oil I’ve been using for years (Do-Terra and Young Living) but at the same time I encourage you to do your research about essential oils brands so that you will be able to decide which one works better for you and your family.


For little ones I only use a mix of Eucalyptus, Tea Tree and Lavender.

Eucalyptus (Radiata). A natural expectorant that can help with congestion.

Tee Trea. A natural antimicrobial, disinfectant and antifungal. Helps congestion too.

Lavender. A lovely calming and sedative flower. Perfect to relax and help with the sleep.


Even if Peppermint is a great cold relief for adults I would not suggest to use it as essential oil for babies and toddlers. It contains menthol, too strong for young children.

That’s how simple is to prepare the chest rub πŸ™‚

Take two pots, one that can be contained in the other. 

Add 2 cups of water in the bigger pot and place the second smaller pot inside. The smaller pot should not touch the bottom of the bigger one. 

Bring the water to delicate boil. 

Add the beeswax in the smaller pot and let it melt.

Add shea butter, let it melt. 

Remove from the heat.

Add coconut oil and essential oils.


Pour into a glade container or mason jar with a lid.

Let it cool down, it will transform in a solid cream.

Store at room temperature for 1.5 yrs.

Are you interested in the products I used to prepare the balm? You can find them here:

Eucalyptus DoTerra Oil

Tea Tree DoTerra Oil

Lavender Young Living Oil


Shea Butter

5 from 1 vote
Baby & Toddler Chest Rub – 6M cold remedy
  • 4 tsp beeswax
  • 7 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 Tbsp shea butter
  • 10 drops eucalyptus oil
  • 15 drops tea tree oil
  • 5 drops lavender oil
  1. Take two pots, one that can be contained in the other.Β 

  2. Add 2 cups of water in the bigger pot and place the second smaller pot inside. The smaller pot should not touch the bottom of the bigger one.Β 

  3. Bring the water to delicate boil.Β Add the beeswax in the smaller pot and let it melt.

  4. Add shea butter, let it melt.Β Remove from the heat.

  5. Add coconut oil and essential oils. Mix.

  6. Pour into a glass container or mason jar with a lid.

    Let it cool down, it will transform in a solid cream.

    Store at room temperature for 1.5 yrs.


Did you make this recipe? Share the love, tag @buonapappa on Instagram and hashtag it #buonapappa I would love to see your creations!

  • Reply
    Kayla Elizabeth Martin
    October 28, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    I didnt think eucalyptus was safe for kids under 3 or even 5 yrs?

    • User Avatar
      Barbara Lamperti
      October 30, 2020 at 10:25 pm

      Eucalyptus can be used with moderation. Peppermint is the one not suggested for little ones: in some cases can even worsen the symptoms. That being said, essential oils have been largely used for years but still do not have a lot of scientific research behind. I’ve been reading through the years what I could find and also experienced on my kids. If you found any interesting study, please share, I’m learning new things every day πŸ™‚ Thank you!!! Ciao, b

      • Reply
        March 11, 2023 at 1:00 am

        Yes, I believe eucalyptus radiata is the safe one for kids as opposed to eucalyptus globulus. You mentioned it in the text, but maybe it could be repeated in the recipe for people like me who skip to it lol. Thank you for the recipe!

        • User Avatar
          Barbara Lamperti
          June 6, 2023 at 12:35 am

          Good point, I will try to edit the video. Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    June 3, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    Hi im motivated to try making one for my toddler. Would like to make it in stick roller balm form. Will shea butter nog suitable for adding into stick roller as it may not harden? πŸ™‚

    • User Avatar
      Barbara Lamperti
      June 14, 2021 at 5:23 pm

      Hi Jen!
      The stick roller is a brilliant idea, I never tried it! The final mix should harden enough for the stick. You might want to add a bit more beeswax to get a more solid final result. I would double the quantity (8 tsp) and test it out. I’m so curious about this idea, let me know how it goes!! Thank you!! B

    • Reply
      August 16, 2021 at 8:02 am

      Thanks for recipe? Do you know is shea butter can be swapped for olive oil? Or more cocnut butter for instance? Thanks in anticipation

      • User Avatar
        Barbara Lamperti
        January 6, 2022 at 3:33 am

        Hi! Mhhh, it might get you the same texture but the final scent will be very different, way stronger. Instead of shea butter you can use avocado butter. Ciao! B

  • Reply
    October 15, 2021 at 12:05 pm

    Can we leave out the beeswax? Or substitute with something else. Don’t have any on me and need to make some today.

    • User Avatar
      Barbara Lamperti
      December 30, 2021 at 3:18 am

      Hi! Sorry for the late reply. Yes, you can skip beeswax, the final result will be softer. The beeswax gives body to the balm and thickness. Ciao! b

  • Reply
    June 11, 2022 at 2:09 am

    Could you swap coconut oil or another carrier say olive or almond?

    • User Avatar
      Barbara Lamperti
      June 6, 2023 at 1:09 am

      Very good question! Substitute for coconut oil. Olive oil is good but also has a very strong scent that you might or not like. I would also suggest Argan, Avocado and Jojoba oils. Ciao, B

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