There is nothing more distressing for parents than to see their child struggling to breathe. If your baby is not able to breathe properly due to a stuffy nose, this article could definitely help you. Learn how to free your baby’s nose without bothering him.
Read also : Natural Remedies Every Mom Should Know
How do you know if your baby has a stuffy nose? Symptoms…
Your baby is too small to ask for help! Know that your baby has a stuffy nose when,
- He breathes through his mouth
- He becomes irritable
- He snores while breathing. Snoring is an almost explosive noise coming out through the nose when forced breathing occurs.
- He has difficulty feeding himself. Because they breathe through their mouth, they can’t swallow food
A newborn baby, however, may have a stuffy nose and may sniffle while breathing for the first few days of life.. This is because in the womb, he was completely bathed in amniotic fluid and some of this fluid may still be in the nose. Sometimes such a newborn sneezes during the first two days to try to get rid of this liquid left in the nasal cavity.
What are the causes of stuffy nose in babies?
The causes that can cause stuffy nose in children including toddlers are listed here.
- Dry air. Indoor heating, especially in winter, can dry out your baby’s nasal passages.
- Irritation due to dustSmoke, perfumes, pollen… can be qualified as allergens and they could either cause a runny nose or a stuffy nose.
- Viral infections like colds and flu. The immune system of toddlers and young babies is not yet strong enough and they can easily catch infections.
Why is it essential to treat nasal congestion in babies as soon as possible?
It doesn’t bother us so much when we have a stuffy nose, because we can handle it more easily and can design different ways of breathing. However, your baby has not yet adapted well to the environment and his own internal systems. So you have to take immediate action to clear your child’s stuffy nose at the earliest because :
- Very small babies do not know how to breathe through their mouths. They insist on breathing through their nose, even when blocked. If you see your baby struggling with a stuffy nose and trying to breathe through it, show him how to breathe through his mouth. The good news is that babies are very good learners and they can copy what you do. So, help him breathe through his mouth when you clear his stuffy nose.
- If you don’t clear your child’s stuffy nose and let him breathe through his mouth, you won’t be able to feed him easily. The baby needs his mouth to hold food and suck it. If the nose is blocked and the mouth does the work of breathing, how will your baby eat?! It is urgent then to take immediate measures to clear your baby’s stuffy nose.
Here are several effective ways to clear a child’s nose.
You can try the methods below to help clear your baby’s stuffy nose. However, if the baby continues to have difficulty breathing or feeding, see your doctor or your baby’s pediatrician immediately. he can diagnose if the baby has an infection or other medical conditions which can be the cause of a stuffy nose. Some conditions require medical intervention.
1. Use nasal saline solution (sea water) to moisten and drip your baby’s dry nose
If your baby’s stuffy nose is due to dryness of the nasal mucous membranesthe first thing you need to do ismoisten your child’s nose. For this you need saline drops. You can also make the saline solution yourself.
- Nasal saline solution or homemade saline solution (steps given below in the instructions for this remedy)
- Clean and sterilized dropper
If you want make homemade saline, take a cup of hot water and add 1/4 tsp. salt. Stir well to completely dissolve the salt. Make a fresh batch daily if needed and store it in a clean glass jar with a lid.
- Tilt your baby down on their back.
- Keep baby’s chin tilted back slightly. For this, you can place a rolled up towel or a small blanket under the baby’s shoulders.
- Using the dropper, place one or two drops of saline solution into each baby’s nostril. If you’re using the store-bought nasal saline solution, squirt it once or twice into baby’s nostril.
- Clean the dropper afterwards. Do this after each use.
- After 30-60 seconds, turn your baby and lay him on his stomach to help the nose drain the dried mucus.
You can also use a tissue or swab to catch the mucus outside the nostril. Do not insert them into your child’s nostrils. If your baby coughs or sneezes, the mucus will come out with the saline. This will help moisten the dry nose and may be enough to relieve your child’s stuffy nose. If your baby still has difficulty breathing through the noseyou may needusing a plastic syringe or nasal aspirator to aspirate mucus. Do this 30 to 60 seconds after wetting your baby’s nose with saline.
Precaution: Do not use saline solution for more than 4 days in a row. Also do not use it more than 2-3 times a day. Excessive use of saline solution can further dry out baby’s nose and make the problem worse.
2. Use a bulb syringe to clear your child’s stuffy nose
A bulb syringe is a highly effective suction device for emptying baby’s congested nose. Here’s how to use it.
- If your child’s nose is dry as well as congested, first moisten their nose using nasal saline solution as explained in the previous remedy.
- Squeeze the syringe to empty it of air. This will create a vacuum.
- Now gently insert the rubber tip of the bulb syringe into a baby’s nostril.
- Slowly and gently release the pressure to let the mucus suck out of the nostril.
- Then remove the syringe from baby’s nostril.
- Squeeze the syringe lightly into a tissue or towel. This will push out the mucus.
- Clean and dry the syringe.
- Then repeat the process in baby’s other nostril. Check after 5-10 minutes. If your baby’s nose is still blocked, moisten the nose again with saline solution and repeat the operation.
Do not use this method more than 2-3 times a day. Frequent use of it can irritate the soft lining of baby’s nose. Always clean bulb syringe with warm soapy water after each use and dry completely before next use.
3. Acupressure points to unclog baby’s nose
Acupressure is a great way to decongest a full nose. You can also use it for your baby. If the baby is too small, do it yourself but gently. Never exert too much pressure. In fact, just rubbing the acupressure points with your fingers is enough for very small children. If your child is older, for example, around 8-10 years old, you can teach him to press the acupressure points himself to relieve his stuffy nose.
- Wash hands with warm water, dry after hand
- Place 2 fingers on each side of baby’s nose and massage the 2 Yingxiang acupuncture points gently for 1-2 minutes.
- Top to bottom, nose outward, on both sides of the nose
To be carried out several times during the day, do not forget, after the massage, to make the child drink a cup of hot or lukewarm water.
4. Keep your baby hydrated to avoid a stuffy, dry nose
One of the main causes of stuffy nose in babies is dry air. So, it is necessary to keep them well hydrated. Even if baby’s nose is congested, hydration can help clear that stuffy nose. You can also put a hot (lukewarm) and wet cloth on his eyes from time to time, covering his nose (except the nostrils) to increase his hydration.
If your baby is less than 6 months old, all you need is to breastfeed. Breast milk provides baby with the necessary hydration. Don’t stop feeding your baby. If your baby is unable to suck milk due to a stuffy nose, use any of the ways described above to clear his nose.
If your baby is over 6 months old and takes foods other than breast milk, you can give him water and soups, broths, etc. to keep him hydrated.
5. Add moisture to the air
Adding moisture to the air can prevent mucus from drying inside your baby’s nose.
One way to add humidity is to use a humidifier. Install a cool mist humidifier in your baby’s room near the bed, but out of reach. Clean and dry it regularly to prevent bacteria or mold from growing inside.
You could also try taking a hot shower and sitting in the bathroom with your baby while he breathes in the warm, misty air.