How to treat your baby's stuffy nose

How to treat your baby's stuffy nose

A stuffy nose is every mom’s nightmare. Watching your little one struggle to breathe is heartbreaking. And, not to mention the sleepless nights that come with it. If you are having trouble with a baby who has a severe cold and is just irritable all the time, there are some easy remedies that can help you and your little one immensely.

Causes of Stuffy Nose or Blocked Nose

Knowing what is causing a blocked nose is the first step towards helping your little one better. Once you have spotted the cause, you will be able to apply a remedy that is suitable. The common causes for a stuffy nose are as follows:

  • Residual fluids from the womb: It is common for newborns to have a congested nasal passage because a few fluids from the womb are still trapped in the nasal passage. Because the passage is so small in babies, it can make it difficult for the residual fluids to come out faster. Check with your doctor to have this fluid removed to clear the passage.
  • Swelling in the nasal passage: If the stuffy nose is persistent, then there are chances that there is some swelling in the nasal passage. It is best to consult your doctor to ensure that this cause is ruled out.
  • Change in weather: If the air is too dry or cold, your little one could catch the flu which leads to a blocked nose.
  • Hardened mucus in the passage: Some of the residual liquid or any mucus in the nasal passage can become hard over time. This needs to be removed in order to help your baby breathe easily.
  • Irritants in the air: There are some common irritants like smoke or dust which can lead to nasal congestion.


Read Also: Home Remedies for Cough and Cold

Natural Home Remedies to Treat Your Baby’s Stuffy Nose

If you hear constant wheezing sounds or if the baby’s nose seems to be blocked, there are some remedies that you can try to provide quick relief to your baby. Some of the best remedies are:

  • Use salt water: Diluted salt water can work wonders to relieve a blocked nose. Just put a few drops of salt water into each nostril of the baby using a dropper or baby syringe. This helps the mucus become thinner and also makes it easier for it to clean it out. You can then use a bulb syringe to clean out the mucus. This remedy is suitable for children of all ages. However, for babies under six months of age, it is much easier to try as they are not as fussy. You can also roll the baby on to the stomach after 30-40 seconds of using the drops to let the mucus strain out. Then, any residue can be removed using a cotton swab.
  • Try a nasal suction pump: If your baby has a blocked nose most of the time, you can purchase a nasal suction pump. Before you use it, make sure that you sterilize the pump with hot water. Pinch all the air out and place the tip into the nostril of the baby. Make sure you do not go too deep into the nostril as it can cause abrasions and inflammation. Now release the bulb the let the air into the mucus. As the air is drawn in, so is the mucus. You can release it into a napkin or tissue. Once the mucus is removed, gently clean the nostrils using a cotton swab dipped in saline. If the blockage is severe, you can also buy an aspirator that works similar to a nasal bulb but is more efficient.


  • Elevate the baby’s head when asleep: One of the best things to do is to keep the baby’s head elevated when he or she is sleeping. This helps open up the nasal passage and lets the mucus or any residual fluids flow easily. With an elevated head, the baby is also able to breathe better and can fall asleep faster.


  • Use a humidifier or vaporizer: You can place a humidifier or vaporizer in the baby’s room to help the mucus soften. This is also useful because any pollutants or dirt in the air that can lead to congestion is removed. If your baby is uncomfortable with the vaporizer, you can turn a hot shower on in the bathroom for a while and let the room steam up. Then, sit with your baby in the bathroom for a few minutes to get the mucus flowing out.

If the blocked or stuffed nose is followed by a fever, any signs of rashes, loss of appetite and if the baby seems to be in pain when he or she breathes, make sure that you consult your doctor immediately.

Read Also: 5 Best Nasal Drops for Kids

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