Nobody wants to have to deal with nasal congestion in infants. They feel miserable because they are sick and they can’t blow their nose. They are having trouble breathing and you just want to get all that gunk out of there so they can breathe.
There are several things you can do, but let’s start with what you shouldn’t do.
When you talk to moms, they will tell you to dig out the bulb syringe. You know the one I am talking about, the blue one you got from the hospital.
Seriously though, don’t! There are several reasons I hate these things. The first reason is you can’t get a good seal, and therefore you can’t get good suction. The only things you are going to get is the stuff that was loose and going to come out any way. You won’t get any of the thick stuff that is way back in there. Second, it is actually hard to squeeze at first because of the thick rubber, meaning you can’t always get great air suction. Lastly, they are grose! You can’t clean them out, and even if you use hot soapy water, they are not clean. They are known to grow mold, and even cleaning them with bleach may not combat the problem, as you can’t dry the inside, and that is what causes the mold to grow.
Now what to do about nasal congestion in infants
There are a lot of great things you can do for nasal congestion in infants.
- Breastfeed often. Breast milk is known to adjust its properties to what the baby needs, so if your baby is sick, your breast milk will adjust to help give her the antibodies she needs to fight off the illness.
- Breastfeed or offer formula often. No matter how you are feeding your baby, letting them eat often will help keep them hydrated, helping keep the snot from getting thick, making it harder for your little one to breathe.
- Invest in a crib wedge. A crib wedge is the safest way to elevate your baby’s head, it can even help with other conditions such as reflux. Elevating her head will help the mucous drain down her throat and keep it from staying inside the nasal cavity. It is inexpensive and safe.
- Wear your baby or keep her upright. Just as a crib wedge does, this helps promote the drainage of the mucous so it doesn’t hang around in her nose all day.
- Add a humidifier in your baby’s room. Dry air will dry up the snot and make it harder to get out, adding a humidifier will help add moisture to the room and help keep the mucous thin and moving. There are tons of humidifiers to choose from, but I suggest a cool mist humidifier. You can check out the humidifiers available on Amazon or at Walmart, or you can check out the really cute ones from Toys R Us.
- Use Vicks Babyrub. You know the smell and how it unplugs your nose within minutes. Vicks babyrub can help your little one breathe better, helping them get a better night’s sleep. You can put it on their chest, or on their feet with socks on.
- Get the Nosefrida Nasal Aspirator. There will be times when you just want to get up in there and suck all that junk out. The nosefrida nasal aspirator is a safe and hygienic way to get it all out, and it is specially designed for little noses to get that perfect suction. Just watch how much you suck out your little ones nose, too much can cause irritation and bleeding.
- Use saline spray. Saline spray is great for that extra thick mucous. The idea is you spray the saline in their nose and it loosens things up and you wait for it to come out. Not me! As a nurse, I don’t want to wait around so what I do is spray some of this up in there, then suck it out. It may take a couple of tries to get all the mucous out, but it works! I mean this is what we do in the hospital! As an added bonus, this will also help keep those nasal passages moist, helping prevent cracking and bleeding.
- Use something soft when wiping noses. Have you ever been sick and wiped your nose so much it turned red and raw? The same thing can happen to little noses. You can use regular lotion tissues but these can still be rough on little noses. A couple of things I use are boogie wipes or a wet baby washcloth. The wet baby washcloth is soft enough that it doesn’t rub the area raw, and keeping it wet helps keep the area moist to prevent the soreness. Boogie wipes are another great item. They are just saline moistened wipes that are extra soft. These are great for on the go, and they come in different scents.
If your baby has a fever, refuses to eat, is not peeing and pooping, or having difficulty breathing (breathing fast, chest muscles pulling between the ribs when breathing, or flaring of nostrils), you need to see your doctor.
What other tips do you have for dealing with nasal congestion in infants? How do you deal with nasal congestion?