Having a sick baby on your hands can be a daunting experience, but thankfully the world is full of great inventions to make these times a little easier. One of these great inventions is saline, a sterile, saltwater solution. Saline has many uses, such as cleaning wounds, moisturizing contact lenses, and even re-hydrating dry eyes. You can also find saline spray and drops that are intended to clear blocked nasal passages, and these are very helpful for sick babies with stuffy noses.
Which type is best?
Saline can be used for almost anyone, as it contains no medication of any kind. There are some brands that add scents or essential oils, and medicated saline can be prescribed by a doctor, but when it comes to your baby it is always best to go with an all natural saline. Natural salines reduce the risk of your baby having an allergic reaction to the ingredients, and makes an uncomfortable process more bearable.
When should you use it?
A good time to use saline is before feeding your baby or putting them to bed. If your baby is still being bottle or breast fed it can be difficult for them to breathe while eating with a stuffy nose, so clearing their nose as much as possible will make feeding easier for them while sick. It will be easier to get your baby to sleep with a clear nose as well; the more comfortable they are the easier it will be to fall asleep.
How to Use:
Your baby is most likely going to squirm and struggle when you try to put the saline in their nose, so it is important to make the process as comfortable as possible for them. It is best to have your baby upright or reclining on your legs. If it is difficult to do this on your own it is a good idea to have another adult help you. Another adult can also hold the baby’s arms and hands to prevent them from hitting you or the saline.
You are going to want to use your oogiebear to make sure that there are as few boogers in the nose to deal with as possible. This is an important step if you plan to use a bulb aspirator, as bulb aspirators have been known to push boogers deeper into the nose and cause them to block the nasal passages further.
Once the nose is clear it is time for the saline drops; try your best to keep the nozzle from touching the sides of the nose, as this will be uncomfortable for your baby and may cause them to jerk their head away. Gently drip 2 or 3 drops in one nostril. Wait a few seconds to let the saline travel into the nostrils, and then use the bulb aspirator to suck out the excess mucus and saline. This may upset your baby, so it is best to take a break to calm your baby before repeating the process in the other nostril. Always be sure to thoroughly clean your bulb aspirator between each use.
If your child is old enough to blow their own nose you can disregard the bulb entirely; after putting the drops in your child’s nose and letting it sit for a minute you should have them slowly sit up and blow their nose. If your child or baby starts to cough while waiting for the saline to get to work you should sit them upright, but try to keep the saline in the nose for a little while longer. The longer the saline is in the nose the more effective it will be.
Because saline is commonly used while sick you should take several precautions to prevent the spread of germs. Always rinse the tip of the saline nozzle or any dropper you use, and don’t have different children share the same nozzle or dropper. Make sure your aspirator bulb is thoroughly cleaned before and after each use as unclean bulbs can grow mold or mildew if not cleaned properly.
Babies primarily breathe through their noses, and so it is important to make sure they are getting enough oxygen. If you are worried about how much difficulty they are having breathing consult your pediatrician. As always, if you or your baby ever experience a medical emergency be sure to call 9-1-1. It is always a good idea to consult your pediatrician before using a new product if you are uncertain about it, as they can help you determine what kind would be best for your baby. They have your baby’s best interest in mind, just like us here at oogie solutions! We’re here to clean and heal baby’s nose, feet, and everything in between, so make sure to pick up an oogiebear and mini nosebalm (or two!) for your baby’s cold, flu, or allergy needs.