How to Clear a Baby's Stuffy Nose


It is not uncommon for babies to have stuffy noses. Increased nasal mucus, caused by colds or allergies, can make it difficult for your baby to breathe, because babies breathe through their noses. Furthermore, your baby has small nostrils, and is unable to blow his nose to clear it. A stuffy nose can make it difficult for your baby to eat and sleep.

  • Purchase saline solution nose drops for your baby. Sit your baby in an upright or semi-upright position when administering the drops so the saline solution comes out as a mist, rather than a liquid, which could irritate the baby.

  • Use a nasal aspirator to clear the mucus from your baby's nose. Squeeze the bulb on the aspirator, and then insert the open end into one nostril. Release the bulb slowly which causes the mucus to be sucked out. Repeat the process for the other nostril.

  • Run a cool mist vaporizer or humidifier in your baby's room. Place the unit as close to the baby's crib as possible. Water vapor helps to clear stuffy noses. Empty and clean the vaporizer every day to avoid growth of mold or bacteria.

  • Turn on the hot water in the shower. Do not turn on the exhaust fan in the bathroom, so that steam quickly forms in the room. Sit in the steamy bathroom for several minutes with the baby.

  • Feed your baby more frequently if her stuffy nose is preventing her from eating normal amounts during feeding. It can be very difficult for babies to eat while their noses are stuffy. You can also try feeding your baby inside the steamy bathroom to keep his nose clear for meal time.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the mucus in your baby's nose turns thick and green, he has difficulty breathing, his nostrils are flaring when trying to breath or his rectal temperature goes above 101 degrees, bring the baby to the doctor.

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