Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Relieving your baby's stuffy nose

If your baby is down with common colds, chances are you will not hear the end of it. Your infant child will not keep you asleep with cries that begs your help to relieve stuffy nose. You should know; a stuffy nose or nasal congestion is one breathing distress that can keep you awake yourself. Infants are more vulnerable and wouldn't know how to breathe through their mouth when their nasal passages are clogged up with dried phlegm or mucus. Infants breathe by inhaling and exhaling through their nose and even simple routines like eating and sleeping becomes a problem for the little one and also to you. We all know how a crying infant can be quite stressful for you, your spouse and the rest of the household.

Here are some health care suggestions your or your spouse can do at home to help unclog your baby's nasal passage and provide the relief for stuffy nose your precious infant needs.

(1) Position a humidifier in your infant's room. Dry air tend to aggravate dry mucous in your baby's nasal airways and a humidifier sends water particulates that help break up the dried mucus clogging up these airways. Set the humidifier to deliver 30% to 50% humidity and give it some time to work.

(2) Give your baby a steamy bath or just expose him or her in a bathroom with steaming water on the faucet or shower nozzle for a few minutes. The humidity from the steamy water will help break up the dried mucous. Hold your baby standing up or in a vertical position as this helps the nasal mucus to drain and clear up the airways for easier breathing. Use a baby carrier to help maintain your baby sitting upright to help in the process while allowing you to do some other chore.

(3) Use saline drops which can help break up dried or thick mucous clogging the nasal passage. These drops are available over the counter or your can make a saline solution yourself. Breast milk is another option as it has antibacterial qualities and allows you to use a few drops to help clear-up your baby's nasal congestion.

(4) See if you can use a nasal aspirator. It suctions out stagnant mucous from your baby's nasal passage. There are several types available at your local drugstore. The most popular ones are the conventional bulb syringe that enters the nose, but this can result in swelling of the sinus airways and worsen the stuffiness if used too often. Find a nasal aspirator that doesn't need to enter the nose when used. Or simply limit the number of times a bulb syringe enters the nose.
(5) Lastly, your infant could have some allergic reaction to dust, fibers in their favorite stuffed toys or the fur from any pet you may have. It is prudent to keep your baby away from any of these.

Most babies should get relief from nasal congestion or stuffiness from the above suggestions. For kids under 2 years old, do not administer over the counter cough and cold medication. If none of the above suggestions work and your baby's stuffiness worsens or if fever develops in babies younger than 3 months, bring your baby to your pediatrician as soon as possible.

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