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How to Help If Your Baby's Nose is Stuffy

Women holding onto a baby

There are certain sounds that you can't get enough of when you have a kid, such as those cute squeaks, whimpers, and grunts.

However, even the most seasoned parent can be concerned if their child has a stuffy nose and sounds like they are having problems breathing.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to assist clear your baby's congestion so that you can all breathe easier again. 

123 Baby Box cares about your infant's mental but also physical health. That's why we've gathered some of the best natural remedies to clear your baby's nose. 

But first, how why do we get congested?

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How Does Congestion Happen?

A person wiping his nose

Extra fluids (like mucus) build up in the nose and airways, causing congestion. This is the body's defense mechanism against outside invaders, whether they are viruses or toxins in the air.

Babies who breathe in cigarette smoke, pollution, viruses, and other irritants can become congested. 

To catch and eliminate these irritants, their bodies make more mucus in the nose and airways. 

Research shows that mucus "can influence the behavior and physiology of pathogenic microbes and reduce their ability to spread and cause harm", according to the Discover Magazine

Excess mucus production and congestion can also be triggered by dry air and other climatic conditions.

Because their nasal passageways and airways are immature and not yet grown, babies are more susceptible to congestion than older children.

Possible causes of nasal congestion include:

  • breathing in dry air
  • changes in weather
  • viral infections, such as a cold
  • breathing in air pollutants
  • a deviated septum
  • allergies

Congestion that develops deeper in the baby's chest could be a sign of something more serious, such as:

Premature babies may experience more congestion than full-term babies

The First Step You Need To Take

Before you or your child's doctor can devise a treatment plan, you need to figure out what's causing the stuffy nose. And as previously stated, there are numerous plausible causes.

When blood vessels and tissue in the nasal cavity fill up with too much fluid, nasal congestion occurs. 

It can make sleeping difficult and lead to issues such as a sinus infection (sinusitis). 

Keep in mind that it's not always the case that the color of your mucus indicates whether you have a bacterial or viral infection. Additional tests or a visit to a pediatrician may be required.

The congestion may be caused by an allergy, necessitating a visit to the doctor and potentially an allergy test.

On the other hand, natural therapies can be a wonderful choice to assist your kid in clearing its nose in some cases.

Here are some of the best remedies to alleviate your baby from that annoying stuffy nose. 

Related: Baby Spitting Up Clear Liquid? Here's When to Call a Doctor

Allow Your Baby To Cry

Tears may end up in the nasal tract and assist dissolve a baby's mucus, which may seem strange.

Tears can successfully soften and aid in the removal of dried-up particles of boogers from a child's nasal canal.

When the infant cries, parents can use a soft cloth to dab at the baby's nose to allow the nasal tube to clear naturally.

Use an Onion 

Although a freshly sliced raw onion may be unsettling to some, it has been shown to help relieve congestion in children with congested nostrils caused by colds.

You only need to slice an onion and lay it on a tray near the baby's cot.

The onion's sulfur component pushes mucus and fluids out of the body.

If your kid has a stuffy nose, it can help to clear it out with no negative side effects other than a strong stench in the area.

Add Humidity To The Environment

It can prevent mucus from drying up inside your baby's nose by adding moisture to the air.

A humidifier is one approach to boost humidity. In your baby's room, place a cool-mist humidifier near the crib but out of reach of the child. 

Keep it clean and dry regularly to prevent bacteria or mold from growing inside.

You could even sit in the bathroom with your infant while they take in the warm, misty air by running a warm shower.

Nasal Saline Drops

Using one or two drops of a saline solution in the nose can assist in the removal of mucus. 

Talk with your doctor about which saline brand they recommend.

For exceptionally thick mucus, use a nasal syringe (bulb) to apply drops. 

It might be a good idea to do this right before a meal.

Breast Milk in The Nostrils

Some believe that placing breast milk in a baby's nose softens mucus as well as saline drops.

While feeding your infant, carefully place a small amount of milk in their nose. It's likely that the mucus will flow straight out when you sit them up after eating.

If this strategy interferes with your baby's feeding, don't use it.

What if Your Baby Is Congested at Night

Babies with congestion at night may wake up more frequently, cough more frequently, and become irritated.

Congestion is more difficult for babies when they are horizontal and sleepy.

Treat congestion at night the same way you would during the day. 

Remember that to keep your toddler calm, you must remain calm.

Do not put your baby's mattress on an incline or raise them on a cushion. If you do this, you may increase the risk of SIDS and asphyxia. 

You must stay awake and take turns with your partner if you wish to keep your baby upright while they sleep.

Related: What To Do When Your Baby Fights Naps

When to Seek Professional Help

Doctor holding stethoscope

Contact your pediatrician if you have any worries about your baby's congestion or if they show any other signs of sickness, such as a fever or cough.

It's not always easy to determine whether a newborn is unwell. A common cold can develop into more dangerous illnesses such as bronchiolitis or pneumonia.

If your infant is having trouble breathing or appears to be breathing rapidly, consult your pediatrician immediately.

Keep an Eye On It

Congestion is a common ailment among infants. It's commonly treatable at home. Congestion can be caused by a variety of environmental and genetic factors.

Mild to moderate congestion is typical in newborns and should only last a few days.

If a caregiver is concerned about a baby's ability to breathe or if their newborn is under the age of three months and has a fever, they should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

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