As a new parent, you’re eager to look forward to all sorts of things that your little one will learn: how to crawl, how to walk, how to talk and read. But are you really prepared to help your baby when he or she falls sick? At times a runny nose can be good for the body.
It is a technique that the immune system uses to get rid of germs. But too much mucus can give your baby hard time breathing. When that happens, you’ve got to find the safe and most effective ways to help your congested baby and here are few home remedies to help your little one feel comfortable once again.
4 Causes of Infant Nasal Congestion
Several factors can lead to congestion. Some newborns get congested because their nasal passages are so small such that a little bit of irritation, mucus, or a little bit of mucus they spit that goes up into the nose. While allergies aren’t the culprits behind baby congestion, flu or cold is.
Infant’s noses are so tiny such that even the smallest amount of mucus or irritation from breast milk that goes up the nasal passage when they spit. Sometimes, your little one might sound congested, but it’s nothing that you should be worried about.
Unless you can actually seem the main cause of the congestion, that’s when you know you have a problem. If the infant is drinking their milk normal and isn’t too affected by the congestion when feeding, then they should be fine.
Changes in weather will most likely cause a stuffy nose. During the winter, babies, as well as adults, are more exposed to artificial heat, flu, and colds while during the springs and summers there is the problem of pollen especially if your baby suffers from hay fever.
The quality of air can affect your baby’s child nasal passage and eventually lead to congestion. Warm, dry air from cooking or heating systems can cause congestion. Therefore it’s important to try minimizing the use of artificial heat if possible, or you can use alternatively invest in a humidifier. (Click here and see a list of best baby humidifiers).
Colds suck; even more for those adorable little ones, and they are the primary cause of nasal congestion. Your baby can’t blow his/her nose, and even worse, they can’t tell you how they are feeling, and so it’s vital for you to monitor them closely and do as much as you can to relieve cold symptoms.
10 Home Treatments for Baby Congestion
1. Try Saline Drops
You can buy saline drop from your local store- or get them online here. Put a few drops of saltwater drops into each nostril and use a bulb syringe and try to get rid of some mucus. It’s safe to try this as often as needed and if you do it right before your baby’s mealtime; it will make his feeding easier.
This technique works better if your child is not more than six months old because old kids may get fussy when you use the bulb syringe. The saline drops will thin the mucus it can work itself out of your baby’s nose on its own.
How to do it the right way
- Squeeze the bulb syringe first
- Place the syringe tip gently into your baby’s nostril
- Release the bulb gently
- Clean it thoroughly with soap after use.
2. Give gentle love pats
Gentle taps on your little one’s back can help reduce chest congestion. Gently lay him down across your knees and pat his back with your hand. Alternatively, you can do it while he sits on your lap with his body leaning forward 30 degrees. This loosens the mucus in the chest and makes it easier for your child to cough it up.
3. Get rid of the sticky stuff
Sometimes mucus tends to harden into a sticky or crusty mess on your baby’s nose. To clean this mess, first wet a cotton swarm with warm water and wipe the affected nose.
You can use a humidifier in your baby’s nursery to add humidity to the air. This helps clear your infant’s nose. It’s however important to regularly clean the machine to ensure that it doesn’t harbor bacteria or mold growth. (Read this guide on how to choose a humidifier, or you can read our review of the best baby humidifier here)
5. Breast Milk
A drop or two of breast milk in the nose of your little one can significantly help loosen the congestion.
- You can give your little one probiotics to help strengthen his or her immune system.
- For all natural moms, try using homeopathic Sinus Soothe to help your little one breathe better especially at night.
- You can put some Vaseline on your baby’s upper lip to protect his skin from the constant wiping. Also, use boogie wipes or extra soft t-shirts to prevent skin irritation.
- Keep your baby in an upright position to help drain the nasal passages. Letting the baby sleep upright in a car seat will also help drain the nasal passage from excess mucus. (See the best baby car seats for small cars).
- Give your little one a vapor bath. It’s a mixture that contains rosemary, menthol, and eucalyptus and when added to bath water it’s then released into the air hence soothing and clearing your child’s nasal passages.
- For babies above six months of age, try giving them a warm unsweetened apple juice or water. (test it on your wrist to make sure that it’s not too hot.
- Chamomile tea. (Check my recommendation here)This is a throat soother ideal for older babies. But don’t add honey if your baby is less than a year old. Honey can contain botulism spores that affect your baby. (Botulism spores can only be destroyed by more mature stomachs.)
Know when to wait it out
It’s good to note that not every runny, stuffy nose requires treatment. If the congestion is not affecting your baby, you shouldn’t be worried. As long as your child is active, feeds well, then its fine to wait and watch.
What should you avoid when your baby is congested?
You should never give children under four years old cough medication. The medicine might offer more risks than benefits to those less than four years. Research has proven that while these medicines might help relieve congestion in adults, they only make babies sleepy.
Apart from the home remedies you can try yourself, we at experts at Babyers highly recommend NoseFrida: The Snotsucker nasal aspirator. (Click here to Check its Price on Amazon).
How to use:
Put one end in your baby’s nose and suck the mucus on the other end. This might sound nasty but trust me; you’ll not get any boogies in your mouth. The aspirator has a filter to trap them, so they don’t land in your mouth.
The best part is that you can control the suction since you’re using your lungs as opposed to using a bulb.
When should you call the doctor about baby congestion?
When your little one is congested, there are major things you need to watch out for.
Signs of Dehydration
You should watch out for any signs of dehydration. If your congested child isn’t eating well, it increases his chances of becoming dehydrated.
Therefore you will need to increase the number of nursing sessions or bottles you have, perhaps every 30-40 minutes and if your baby doesn’t wet a diaper in 6-8 hours, then its time to call your doctor.
You should also check for sign of troubled breathing. You need to place your ear on your kid’s bare chest. Listen for any rasping sound as your child breaths, that’s wheezing then you should call your doctor. The doctor might tell you to take him to the emergency room or schedule an appointment- but let him make the decision.
- Quick Breaths
- Pale or blue skin
- Breathing via stomach muscles
- Flared nostrils
Winning the Booger War!
Winning this Snot war is possible. You can keep your baby’s nose crust feed and help him boost his immune system at the same time.
- Keep the baby hydrated
- Keep his nose free from boogies as possible.
- Try any of the remedies given above to alleviate the congestion problem.
These pretty simple things will help your child get the rest he needs to help him fight the baby congestion. Have these tips worked for you? Do you have any question? Leave your thought in the comment section below.
There you have it- different natural ways you can apply to ease your baby’s congestion problem. You can also read this article on how to keep your baby from getting sick when you’re sick. You can also read about different humidifiers you can use to ease your baby’s blocked nose problem.