Vicks Plug in Baby: Usage and Safety, A Descriptive Guide

The use of Vicks products for alleviating symptoms of cold and congestion is well-known, but when it comes to infants, the approach needs to be different.

This article delves into the specific concerns surrounding the use of “Vicks Plug in Baby” products.

While Vicks plug-ins are popular among adults for their convenience in releasing medicated vapors into the air, their safety and efficacy for babies are not as straightforward.

With major ingredients like menthol, camphor, and eucalyptus oil, these plug-ins work effectively for adults by releasing vapors through an electric outlet.

However, the implications of using such devices around babies are a subject of debate.

The article explores various aspects of this issue, including studies conducted, myths among parents, and the potential side effects on infants.

It also discusses alternative remedies that might be safer for babies.

With a focus on informed and cautious use, this piece aims to guide parents in making the best decision for their little ones, especially when considering using Vicks plug-in products for babies,

Vicks Plug in Baby: Description & Use

Vicks plug-ins are basically the same Vicks product used to relieve coughing but with a plug-in so that you can release it into the air.

Its major ingredients include menthol, camphor, and eucalyptus oil.

The only difference is instead of using it as an ointment and rubbing it on the chest, you plug it into an electric outlet and let it release the vapors into the air.

This is one of the easiest ways to clear up the congestion and cold.

They work even when you are asleep as they pass through your nostrils and help you fight off the cold and be fresh and light by the morning.

Is Vicks Plug-In Safe for Babies?


Vicks plug is safe for adults because a lot of people use it. It is quite common and has been on the market for several years.

But when it comes to talking about Vicks’s plug-in baby, there is hardly any valid evidence to explain that.

There has not been much research on whether it is safe or harmful for babies, that is, we do not enough data to prove either of these possibilities.

Although it is great for giving your baby a sound sleep, it is suggested not to use it on babies under 2 years.

We will tell you why, according to a study conducted in 2010, Vicks plug-ins are a good remedy, and they act almost instantly on your child’s cold symptoms.

However, this study was only meant for kids above 2 years of age and not below that.

This study says nothing about the use of Vicks plug-in for babies.

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However, there is another study based in the UK on the same subject where it is suggested that using Vicks plug-in for babies is harmful because it contains menthol.

Babies have very narrow airways, and if their body recognizes menthols as an irritant, then it will cause severe damage to their respiratory system.

But again, the authenticity of this study is not very clear.

So, whether it is safe to use Vicks plug-in for babies directly is still not clear.

However, when you are dealing with infants, it is always better to be on the safe side.

There are also a few myths regarding using Vicks plug-in for babies, let us check what they are.

Myths Around the Usage of Vicks Plug-in For Babies

Using the Vicks Plug-In in A Different Room

Blocked Baby's Nose

A lot of parents believe this, and it is not just in the case of Vicks plug-in but for most things that if their child is not coming in direct contact with something, then they are safe from it.

That is not the case with Vicks plug-in; after all, the medication is released into the air, and you cannot control air, can you?

So, if you think that you will put the Vicks plug in a room and make your baby sleep in a different room so that the light dose of the medication can reach your baby through the air and help them sleep peacefully, then you are wrong.

Even a small dose of menthol Is enough to irritate your baby’s respiratory tract and can cause a lot of damage.

Some parents you know might claim to have used this technique with their child and did not face any adverse effects.

Well, let us just say they got lucky, and the menthol did not irritate their baby’s body.

However, when dealing with babies, we do not think this is a chance you should take.

Using Plug-In Only For Limited Hours

Another popular belief many parents have is that if they use it only for a couple of hours and put the device in the adjacent room, it will not harm their baby.

This too is a very wrong notion, even if it is for a couple of hours, babies and their respiratory tracts are not strong enough to bear the menthol and peppermint.

These ingredients do not suit their body, so whether it is for the whole night or a few hours and whether the plug-in is right in their room or a different room- it does not matter because even a little dose of menthol is not good for your baby’s health.

Now, many of you might still want to try it based on hearing the stories of a few parents you know who have already used this method, but let us be clear here.

If the dose is not strong enough to harm your baby and your baby’s respiratory system, then it is also not strong enough to treat their cold.

In that case, your Vicks plug-in not doing any good, it is simply going to waste.

Do not expose your baby to these medications even for a short duration of time; it will have a bad impact on them in the long run and can also lead to increased production of mucus.

Side Effects of Using Vicks Plug-In on Babies

Mom and Baby

Now that we know why we should not use Vicks plug-in babies, let us dig a little deeper into this and find out what the possible side effects that Vicks plug-in has on babies:

  • Increases Mucus: As we already discussed before, instead of relieving your baby of the cold and mucus, Vicks plug-in can increase mucus production and hence cause more discomfort to your baby.
  • Inflamed Nostril: If a certain element is recognized as an irritant by your baby’s body, then your baby’s body will automatically prepare itself to repel it, and that is why if your baby inhales the menthol or the peppermint in the Vicks plug-in there are high chances that your baby’s nostril will constrict itself to narrow the airway. This can also lead to inflamed nostrils, which will only worsen the symptoms of a cold your baby was already having.
  • Difficulty in Breathing: With excess mucus and narrow and constricted nostrils (Along with inflammation), it will be difficult for that little, tiny being to breathe. The oxygen flow will be reduced, resulting in your baby facing severe respiratory problems that might require immediate medical attention.

Other Options to Use Instead of a Vicks Plug-In


Suppose your baby has a cold, and you have consulted a doctor.

In that case, the doctor has prescribed some medicine to cure it, so basically, you are looking for extra help to ensure that your baby sleeps peacefully; in that case, using a humidifier is a great option.

Humidifiers add moisture to the air, which helps in melting away the excess mucus, clogging your baby’s nose and making it difficult for them to breathe.

After that, you will have to keep a tissue ready to wipe off the snot from your baby’s nose, which will be flowing out quite frequently due to the humidifier, but at least your baby will be able to sleep and breathe peacefully.

Saline Drops

These are another great option to remove excess mucus from your baby’s nose.

Just put one or two drops of this in your baby’s nose and very soon you will the mucus flowing out of your baby’s nose in the form of snot.

This process might look messy, but it is a great way to unclog an infant’s blocked nose and help them sleep peacefully.


Instead of using Vicks plug-in babies, use Vicks Vaporub. The main problem with the Vicks plug-in is that it contains menthol.

This is one ingredient that irritates your baby’s respiratory tract. Unlike the Vicks plug-in, Vicks Vaporub does not contain menthol petroleum jelly.

It contains essential oils like lavender and rosemary and is made for infants to relieve them from clogged noses and help them sleep better.

So, this was all you needed to know about Vicks plug-in and if you should use Vicks plug-in for babies.

Make sure that whatever option you choose, it should not be a replacement for a doctor’s advice.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article and that it satisfies your needs.

However, if you have any further queries, feel free to get in touch in the comment section below!

Juliana Chen

Juliana Chen, with a Doctor of Medicine degree from Johns Hopkins University, has dedicated 16 years to advancing health education and wellness strategies. She joined our team as a freelancer in 2021, bringing her extensive knowledge in preventive medicine and healthy living. In her writing, she has also shared her expertise in nutrition, mental health, and disease prevention. Juliana’s prior roles include practicing physician and public health researcher. She is a certified yoga instructor and advocates for holistic health approaches in her spare time.

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