Babies can get congested when they breathe in cigarette smoke, pollutants, viruses and other irritants. Their bodies produce extra mucus in the nose and airways to trap and remove these irritants. Exposure to dry air and other weather conditions can also trigger excess mucus production and congestion. Babies are more likely than older children to get congestion because their nasal passages and airways are small and not yet mature. Know that your baby has got a blocked nose when
• They breathe through their mouth
• They get irritable
• They snort while breathing. Snorting is almost an explosive sound made by the nose when forceful breathing occurs
• They have difficulty in feeding. Because they are breathing through mouth, they can’t take food
A newborn baby, however, might have a stuffy nose and may snort when breathing for the first few days of life. This is because in the womb they stay surrounded by fluid and some of this fluid may still be there in the nose.
Remedies to treat blocked nose in kids
1. Use nasal saline to moisten and drain your baby’s dry stuffed nose
If your baby’s blocked nose is due to dry air or dryness, the first step that you need to take is to moisten your child’s nose. For this you need saline drops. You can also make the saline solution at home.
2. Use a bulb syringe to clean your child’s blocked nose
Bulb syringe is a very good suction device to drain your baby’s stuffed nose. Here’s how to use a bulb syringe to clean your child’s blocked nose.
• If your child’s nose is dry apart from being stuffed, first moisten his nose using nasal saline as explained in the previous remedy.
• Squeeze out the air from the bulb of the syringe. This will create a vacuum.
• Now, gently insert the rubber tip of the bulb syringe into one nostril of your baby.
3. Breast feeding
This might sound odd, breastfeeding a baby who can’t suck, but it’s still the best way for baby’s recovery. The mother’s body knows exactly what the baby needs when its sick, and produces the necessary substances in breast milk. So whatever a baby needs to fight the current infection, it can get from breast milk, while also boosting his immunity and keeping him hydrated.
Dry air can aggravate congestion, which is where a humidifier can help by moistening the air in the room, which in turn helps to clear a stuffy nose. Place the humidifier at a distance from baby’s cot or just outside his room. Make sure to clean the humidifier regularly to avoid the growth of mold and fungus. Avoid using it on days that are already humid
5. Steam inhalation to clean your child’s stuffed nose
This is a harmless method to drain mucus from nose of adults as well as kids. Just that you need to be a little more careful when you make your child inhale steam to clean the blocked nose. Steam inhalation introduces warm, moist air into the lungs through nose and throat. This not only cleans the blocked nose of your child but also cures the inflamed sinuses, if any. When you are going for this remedy for your baby, you should preferably use a steam inhaler instead of bowl with warm water.
- Babies cannot fight most minor ailments like a cold by themselves. And, if they have a blocked nose, they can become cranky and uncomfortable. Either way, a cold and a blocked nose will give both of you sleepless nights. Most parents would rush their little one to a pediatrician. however, some may not want to consult one thinking it is just a cold. But, you must know that for babies, the level of discomfort is way too high than what it is for the grownups. You can make nasal drops for your baby at home.
- To 8 teaspoons of water, add ½ a teaspoon of salt and mix well with a sterilized spoon. Pour a few drops into your baby’s nostrils once the solution cools down.
- Elevating your baby’s head with the help of a pillow helps the mucus flow out, thereby opening up the nasal passage.
- Keeping your baby hydrated is important, more so when she’s down with a cold. Fluids dilute the mucus and relieve stuffiness in the nose. You can also feed warm and unsweetened apple juice and chamomile tea without honey if she’s older than 6 months.
- Clear chicken soup is another useful home remedy for a cough and cold. Chicken contains anti-inflammatory properties that clear up the nasal passage as well as improve your baby’s immunity.
- In case the nasal congestion is severe, turn on the shower and let the hot water create steam in the restroom. Then, take your baby into the bathroom for a few minutes. You can also give him a bath with warm water.