Eucalyptus Oil in Shower? - for Baby with CROUP

Updated on February 09, 2011
J.N. asks from Walnut Creek, CA
13 answers

Hi Moms -

My 10 month old has Croup right now (the seal barking cough). I've already called Dr for advice and I'm doing all the at home stuff - Walks in the cold night air to help the swelling of vocal cords, humidifier in the room, and then hot steam in shower (no, I'm not putting the baby in the water, just holding him for the steam). He has low grade fever, so they're not too concerned at the moment and feel it will take a couple days. Ok - so I'm cool with that.

(FYI - I guess croup is a big sickness right now in CA cause we haven't has steady weather in our area - super super cold then very warm - totally inconsistent)

Anyhow - whenever my first son has cough/congestion I used these Menthol Shower Soother tablets that dissolve in the shower and it totally helped with the congestion and cough. I had one left and used it on my 10 mo old today and it really helped, didn't cough at all during nap. But the manufacturer has discontinued the product. I've searched everywhere.

***So my question is - Can I use something like Eucalyptus oil drops in a hot steam shower to create a "decongestant" like effect?? If not Eucalyptus, then what else??


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answers from San Francisco on

I know it sounds strange but vicks on the bottom (a nice thick layer) of the feet and then some socks works wonders with cough.

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answers from Chicago on

Yes since you are not putting it directly on him it shouldn't hurt....

Also there are Vicks plug-ins for the wall...You can plug those in by his bed.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Hi Mama
I find eucalyptus oil great as a decongestant. I use it anytime my son has a cold,also when he had croup. I burn it in an oil burner for an hour before he goes to bed. Its fine to use it in your childs bath.
Eucalyptus is a very prue oil and its much better than alabus oil when using it for children.
Also I agree with Lucky ,it should not be put directly on the skin.
Hope your baby gets better soon

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I know it sounds strange but vicks on the bottom (a nice thick layer) of the feet and then some socks works wonders with cough.



answers from San Francisco on

I second the vicks on the feet covered with socks - it has worked for me and my 3 year old!



answers from Harrisburg on

Yes you can. I've used it alot for congestion..



answers from Chicago on

i put a few drops in the humidifier or vaporizer over night - some times in the water or if it has one in the vapor tray. Usually clears up the lungs in a few nights



answers from San Francisco on

Hi J., My now 4 year old had croup maybe about 9 month ago and we had to take him into the ER it was that bad. What worked best for the nap and sleeping time was the cold mist humidifier. I built a little tend in his bed where his head was and had the cold air blow right in the tent. He was sleeping really great, no cough at all but you can imagine everything got soaking wet after a while. So I changed the best to inbetween and dried him off but he was always warm but the concentracted cold mist did wonders for him.
Good luck for you and your Baby,


answers from San Francisco on

Hi J.,
Try rubbing Vick's vapo rub on the bottom of the baby's feet and cover with socks. This will probably help.



answers from San Francisco on

I was at CVS last week looking for Vick's vapor rub . I noticed menthol shower tablets on the same shelf. I think they were either a Vick's product or a CVS brand. Good luck.



answers from Dallas on

Hi J.,

I hope your baby is doing better. here are some links with good info. I found these a couple of years ago....

cypress --cough, edema (soak your ankles and feet w/ cypress & epson salt) bronchitis, calming --very powerful against bronchitis!!!

cedarwood atlas
cough, calmin, anti-inflamatory, bronchitis, antibacterial, good for skin - renewing skin

eucalyptus smithy -- safe for 2yrs and older -- smells like valerian. great preventative. kills airborn cold and flu viruses

eucalyptus globulus - most popular - antiviral, antibacterial. too powerful - NOT FOR KIDS, not for frail/elderly people.

eucalyptus radiata - good expectorant. pulls things out of skin... like splinters, etc.

eucalyptus citradora (eucalyptus lemon) it is not 2 oils mixed! very powerful antimicrobial
very good bug repellant. very powerful antiviral/antibacterial.




answers from San Francisco on

This is not really answering your question, because I'm unsure about the oil, but I thought I could be helpful in giving you some insight to croup. Starting on my son's 1st b'day, he had croup about twice a year every year until he was 5. (Weather change related as opposed to virus)

Some advice: The shower steam worked almost every time, but the MAIN thing is to keep the child calm. The more your son gets upset, the worse the croup is. Sit an comfort him and stay calm yourself (it's hard!)

There was only one time I had to bring my son to the hospital. We had tried bringing him outside (did nothing) and then did the steam bathroom for a long time. My son was perfectly calm, but his breathing was still labored. I called the on-call dr. and they listened over the phone and told me to take him to the ER. Of course it was 2:00 in the morning!

I brought him in and they used a nebulizer (sp?) to start out. He was fair, but they decided to give him a shot of steroids in the thigh. This (of course) made him scream and the croup got way worse. This is my proof that keeping them calm is the key!

One other insight which you may already know. As they get older, the croup manifests in different ways. My son is now 7 and hasn't had a problem in about 2 years. When he has a "croup" issue now, he gets very hoarse instead of the scary cough. It will get better!

Hope this helps!


answers from Sacramento on

You could try the Eucalyptus oil, but be aware that some people have allergic reactions to it. I would probably choose some Vicks Vaporub instead. If you have a steam humidifier, there is probably a little 'cup' in the top that's designed for you to put some Vicks in so that it will be distributed throughout the room with the steam too.



answers from Colorado Springs on

We use eucalyptus oil for croup. It is the best thing for croup. Also, you can add a few drops to a Tbsp of almond oil and rub it on his chest and back. This will also help. It sounds like you are doing a great job! If he starts having serious breathing issues, don't hesitate to take him to the er.

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