How Can I Help My Baby With a Stuffy Nose?

Reviewed on 12/29/2020

How can I help my baby with a stuffy nose?

There are many things you can do to help your baby feel better when they have a stuffy nose.
There are many things you can do to help your baby feel better when they have a stuffy nose.

It is distressing to all mothers to see their little ones with a stuffy nose and a cold. When your baby is irritable and does not eat, it makes you and your whole family anxious.

Fortunately, there are various ways to help your baby with a stuffy nose

  • Steam inhalation: You may run a hot shower in your bathroom and let the steam build up. Now take your baby in your lap and sit inside for 15 minutes. Steam inhalation will soothe the throat, loosen clogged mucus, moisturize the dry nasal passages and make breathing easier for the child.
  • Hydration: Fluids help relieve a parched throat and loosen mucus. Give your baby sips of water throughout the day. Older babies may be given juice to sip. Breastfed babies must receive breast milk per their usual schedule.
  • Nose drops and suction: For this, you will need sterile saline nasal drops and a clean bulb syringe or dropper with a rubber suction bulb. Put two drops of saline nasal drops into one nostril. Wait a few seconds so that the drops enter the nostril. While you’re squeezing the bulb of a dropper, gently stick the tip into the nostril. Slowly release the bulb so that it pulls out the mucus that is causing the stuffy nose. Repeat the procedure in the other nostril.
  • Saline nasal spray: Use a saline nasal spray to help clear mucus out of the nasal passages. 
  • Increase the humidity: Prevent the baby’s nose from drying out by keeping the home environment humid. To achieve this, keep a cool mist humidifier near the baby’s bed. Regularly clean and dry it to prevent mold and bacteria from growing inside it.
  • Use cotton swabs or tissues: Always keep cotton swabs (especially wet) or tissues handy to wipe away sticky mucus that blocks your baby’s nostrils.
  • Do not use cold medicines: Although you may want to give your child over-the-counter (OTC) cold medicines, there’s little or no evidence to support that they work. Additionally, they can cause irritability and irregular heartbeats, particularly in infants. For these reasons, pediatricians do not recommend them for children under the age of four years old. Apply petroleum jelly on the outer part of the nose if your child’s nostrils become red and dry.
  • Do not smoke near the baby: Smoking tobacco can worsen your child’s congestion by drying up mucus. Avoid smoking around your child and in the house. This will help your baby recover faster from nasal congestion.
  • Chicken soup: Studies have reported that chicken soup contains ingredients that help thin mucus and relieve congestion. Soups and broths not only keep your child hydrated, but they also replenish nutrients. Soup will not only provide nourishment, but the warmth of the dish will also be soothing, especially if your child has a flu, cold or cough. You may also feed them broth, clear soups, etc. Only attempt this in babies over the age of nine months old.
  • Sleeping in a comfortable position: Nasal congestion is often worse at night and sleeping while lying down may worsen it even more. Grab a pillow and elevate your baby’s head a bit higher to allow mucus to drain from their nose into their throat.

The above measures help relieve nasal congestion in most babies.  However, if you see that your child is not getting better and their breathing difficulty is worsening, seek urgent medical help.

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