Vapor rub on the back of the hand helps congested thumb-suckers breathe easier at night

Amazon: Little Remedies Little Colds Baby Rub- 1.76 ozJen's cold-and-flu hack, just for thumb-suckers:

My son hates the "hot" feeling of menthol rub although it does help with his stuffy nose. Since he still sucks his thumb when he sleeps (and that seems to be when he gets most congested) I found that putting a small amount of vapor rub on the back of his hand works great and he's less sensitive to the menthol sensation there.

My (Asha's) only concern would be if he rubs his nose or eyes during the night.

Thoughts? Do you use menthol rub on your kids? How old are they? Where do you put the rub? Do you have a favorite brand?

RelatedPlug-in vapor thingies help congested kids breathe at night

AlsoVaporub-covered panty liner under the crib sheet eases nighttime congestion


  1. says

    I guess I should add that my boys are 10 and 7 and I have used Vicks Baby Rub on both of them since they were about a year old.

  2. Brenda says

    My favorite is Arbonne Herbal Vapor rub. I used it on my kids even when they were babies. Doesn’t have the medicine smell or the stinging, hot feeling and it works great.

  3. Johnna says

    I have a 3 year old, and we live by the hack I saw on here where we put generic Vicks Vaporub on a pantyliner and put it under her sheet. It has helped her out a lot!

  4. aprilshowers says

    I also put it on the bottom of the feet with socks over. I was using a “natural” version but ran out and now just go with Vicks for my 2 & 5 year olds. My 2yo is also a thumb sucker and I’d be too nervous about it getting in her mouth if it were anywhere on her hand.

  5. Lomere says

    We use Vicks at home on my 3 year old, on his chest (under his PJs), and also on his feet when it’s really bad.

  6. Bon says

    We swear by it here, better than any oral medication, helps with allergy symptoms too. We slather it on the bottoms of feet and cover with cozy socks, use it on chests, backs throats, around ears, and (carefully) temples and a dab under noses. Good on temples and forehead for headaches too. That after a warm bath with eucalyptus infused epsom salts or the baby vapor bubble bath, and a good nights sleep is assured!

  7. Bon says

    I should add my kids are now 11, 8 and 5, but we’ve always used it. We did have a milder cream type made for babies and toddlers when they were tiny, but always used the rub on their feet. We like Vicks and Watkins brands. Vicks used to make a lotion that was great for the younger ones, not as messy, but I haven’t seen it here in years.

  8. says

    Many on Facebook are also saying put the rub on their feet. I’ve never thought of that!

    btw, grew up with my mom putting vapor rub on me. When I was little used to say bedtime prayers (which is funny, because we weren’t religious). One night I had a cold, and ended my prayer with “God bless Mommy, God bless Daddy…and God bless Vicks!”

  9. says

    Our pharamacist recommended putting it on a onsie or t-shirt. That way its right there under their nose and on their chest, but not on their skin. They you can up the PJ’s on top and there’s not a whole big mess to clean up! It seems to work for us.

  10. says

    I have always used vicks on all of my children when they have had colds. When ever it was really bad we would also put it on something under the cot and on all the toys hanging down off of the cot mobile, seemed to be in the air from all ways then……

  11. amy says

    I would not put it on hands of a child.. it should not be ingested or get near their eyes. This seems like a bad idea all around. It says for external use only, to call poison control if ingested, and to keep away from eyes.

    Feet under socks is great. I have also used the Vicks Plug In thing.

    I’m also curious to know where the original hack submitter was putting it before the hand? Nose?

  12. Tracy says

    Many years ago I sent a message off to Vicks asking why they didn’t put vicks into a tube (like chapstick)… as we would always put some right under our nose to help clear them out. They were very clear that vicks wasn’t to be used on the face area and that a “chapstick like tube” would only cause confusion amongst customers (and possible ingestion by children not realizing it wasn’t chapstick). I’ve always thought they should make it easier to apply – – gee if they can make icy hot product in a deodarant type container, why not Vicks !?!?!

  13. Tracy says

    but we’re the ones that apply it :( i just think it would be so much more convenient to have in a stick format (and way less messy). just my opinion.

  14. Deb says

    I love Vaporub! I take medication that doesn’t mix with OTC cough and cold remedies, so it’s really the only thing I can use. Sure, it smells horrible, but it really works for me and I sleep much better when I use it. Thanks for telling us about Arbonne, Brenda.

  15. Bharathy says

    I have a 2.5 year old and I use vicks on her feet with socks too and it works. I use just a dab on each feet.
    When she was younger (until just a few months back when I discovered the vicks trick) I used to put a few drops of eucalyptus oil on her pillow or bed spread near her head. You will get this is most pharmacies or any Indian store. Use 1-2 drops max and not on the skin.