As parents, there are few things that make us feel as helpless as when our babies have a stuffy nose. We love our little ones, and it is so hard seeing and hearing them struggling to breathe because their nose is congested. Plus, you may feel even more helpless if your baby doesn’t yet know how to blow his or her nose! When it comes to relieving congestion in newborns and infants, what we are able to do to help is limited.
To help out those parents that have congested babies, and save them from worrying and the feeling of helplessness, we put together seven ways you can help your congested baby breathe better.
FIND THE CAUSE OF CONGESTION
In order to be able to help your child breathe better and provide the right treatment, you first must better understand the reason behind your baby’s sniffles. In most cases, nasal congestion can be caused by the common cold — or an upper respiratory infection —, a sinus infection, or allergies. If a cold is the root of the problem, you may notice symptoms, like sneezing, coughing, a runny nose, or a fever. Additionally, you may notice your baby adopt a fussier behavior. These behaviors include unusual reactions like difficulty taking a bottle, nursing, and falling and staying asleep. Typically, parents will find that colds in their infants and newborns will usually clear up within five to 10 days. However, if the cold symptoms last longer than 10 days, it may be a sinus infection. If allergies are causing the congestion, you may notice your baby sneezing a lot, itching and rubbing their nose and eyes, which may be watery and irritated. If you suspect the congestion is caused by allergies or a sinus infection, it is best to take your child to a pediatrician to get to the bottom of the issue.
TRY SALINE DROPS
When you notice congestion, saline drops are a good first step to relieving a stuffy nose. These drops are mostly made of saline solution. To get scientific, this solution causes the blood vessels in the nose to condense, dilutes the mucus, and reduces the swelling in the sinus area.
HOW TO USE SALINE DROPS
- Lay your baby down on his or her back, or cradle them in your arm, slightly tilting their chin back
- Gently put two or three drops of saline into each nostril
- Keep their head tilted back to ensure the solution goes through the nasal passage
- Wipe any drips that come from the nose with a soft cloth
TAKE A WARM, STEAMY BATH
As parents, even when we are congested, one of the best relievers is taking a hot, steamy shower. Similarly, this can help a baby’s congestion, too. The steam can help loosen the mucus that’s clogging up their nose. Instead of putting them in a hot bath, run a hot shower for a few minutes with the bathroom door closed to create steam. Once steam is present, take your baby and sit in the bathroom with them for a few minutes. If you choose to put them in a bath, make sure that the water is not too hot.
BE SURE YOUR BABY IS HYDRATED
When babies stay hydrated, it keeps their mucus. If you notice your baby being fussy and refusing to eat, try clearing some of the congestion with the saline drops before attempting to give them another bottle. Keeping them hydrated is essential to relieving their congestion.
RUN A HUMIDIFIER
Dry air is fuel to the fire for nasal congestion. If your baby shows signs of congestion, try running a cool mist humidifier to create moisture in the air and help thin out the mucus and unclog the congestion. You can even run the humidifier while they sleep. If you do use a humidifier, be sure to keep it clean to avoid blowing out mildew and mold, which will essentially make your baby’s congestion worse.
KEEP YOUR BABY UPRIGHT
When your baby is congested, try to avoid laying them down on their side, stomach, or back. Instead, keep them upright as it can help drain mucus from their nose. You can hold or wear your baby in this upright position, or let them nap in their swing or car seat. This will allow their mucus to drain and will give them a chance to get some much needed rest.
REMOVE BOOGERS FROM NOSE
Something that always seems to come hand-in-hand with nasal congestion in newborns and infants are boogers. Boogers are fairly common in babies in general, but when there’s congestion, boogers can clog and block the nasal passages. Some parents will try removing their child’s boogers with their fingers, but this can be unsafe. Luckily, there’s a tool available in the baby care products: The oogiebear! The oogie bear is a baby booger removal tool, that can also clean baby’s ears, safely and easily. This baby booger remover is made of soft rubber and has two ends; a loop end for remove sticky boogers and a scoop end that acts as a booger scooper. The oogiebear is the best way to safely and effectively clean your baby’s nose and ears!
The next time your newborn or infant is congested, hopefully these tips will help you relieve their stuffy nose. If you want to help relieve congestion in your little one by removing boogers, you need to buy the oogiebear! To learn more about the safe and easy way to remove baby boogers, visit the oogiebear site!