Is your baby struggling with a blocked nose and you just don’t know what to do anymore? Here are some pointers.
What causes blocked noses?
Baby’s blocked nose is usually due to the normal mucus that collects in baby’s nose. Sniffles are not caused by colds or infections, although an infection can make things worse. A baby who just has the common sniffs will be otherwise well, but may snort when breathing. However, feeding can sometimes become difficult if the baby cannot breathe very well through his or her nose.
Advice from a health visitor or doctor
Most babies with a blocked nose come to no harm and feed well, but perhaps more slowly and with more difficulty than you would like. If you are concerned that feeding is a problem then see your paediatrician or doctor.
For example, as a last resort, your doctor may prescribe a decongestant nasal drop to use for a few days if feeding is particularly difficult. However, do not give your baby decongestant nose drops unless advised to do so from a doctor, and only for the time prescribed. (Prolonged use of decongestant drops can cause complications.)
How to Clear Baby’s Nose
A stuffy nose can make for one cranky baby. Especially since new babies know how to breathe only through their little nostrils for the first while. Here are some steps to relieve your baby’s discomfort right away:
1. Raise the mattress
It’s easier for all of us to breathe through a stuffy nose when our head is slightly elevated. You can’t put a pillow under baby’s head, place a towel or blanket underneath the head of the mattress to raise it slightly. This will bring baby some relief during bedtime.
2. Steam up the bathroom
Run a hot shower for a few minutes until the bathroom is steamy. Sit in the room with baby for a while. This will help loosen the mucus in the nostrils. Don’t go in the hot shower with your little one, the water can scald him!
3. Saline nasal spray
This is a safe nasal spray that can be used with babies, infants, and toddlers. Lay baby down on his back and, without forcing, slightly tilt his head back. Then spray 2 to 3 drops of saline spray into each nostril. Don’t worry if Baby sneezes some of it out because it still made its way into the nasal passage. If any spray comes out of the nose, wipe it away gently with a tissue.
4. Bulb syringe
This is also called a nasal aspirator. Be sure to buy one specially made for Baby’s tiny nostrils. Once again, lay Baby down on his back. Squeeze the bulb to get all of the air out, and, while still squeezing, gently insert the tip into Baby’s nostril (be sure not to stick it too far up). Then release the pressure, take it out, and squeeze the mucus out of the bulb onto a tissue. Now for the other nostril.
5. Air humidifier
Most of us turn the heat up in our homes during the winter months, and that can dry air can block up baby’s nose. Keeping a cool air humidifier going in her room while she sleeps can offer some relief and prevent a blocked nose.