How to Help a Child Sleep With a Stuffy Nose

Ease a stuffy nose.
Ease a stuffy nose. (Image: David Lat/

When your child is experiencing a cold or the flu, sleeping is a difficult task. With a stuffy nose, rest and relaxation is almost impossible. This is not only hard on the child, but difficult on you as well. When you want your child to feel better, but you must go to work the next day, sleep is important for you, too. There are techniques you can accomplish to help your child sleep with a stuffy nose.

Things You'll Need

  • Saline drops
  • Humidifier
  • Pillows
  • Vapor Rub

Use saline drops right before bedtime. Tilt your child's head back so that he is completely facing the ceiling. Squirt once in each nostril. Wait one minute and clean out her nose. Use a nose bulb to remove the loose mucus in children younger than three. For an older child, have him blow his nose in a tissue two or three times.

Fill the bathroom up with steam from the shower. Children seven and older may take a warm shower. Once she finishes and steps out, turn the water to extremely hot. If less than ten years old, supervise so that he does not play with the hot water. Allow the child to stand in the bathroom and breathe in the steam with the door shut. With younger children, take a chair in the bathroom for the child to sit down and supervise while she breathes in the steam.

Run a cool mist humidifier during the night. This will keep the child's nasal passages open. Older children should keep tissues and a garbage can next to the bed to blow their nose often. Check children younger than five throughout the night. You may need to use the nose bulb periodically.

Prop up your child's head. For a child that sleeps in a regular bed, stack three pillows under her head. With children still sleeping in a crib, place four or five pillows under the crib's mattress. Never place pillows in the crib of a baby under 18 months old.

Smear Vapor Rub on an older child's chest. This will assist in helping your child sleep through the night. The scent of Vapor Rub will open the nostrils and allow the nose to drain. For children younger than three, massage the Vapor Rub on your own chest. Then hold the child close so he can breathe it in.

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