How to decongest your baby's stuffy nose

by - 8/10/2018

A baby is the most important member of the family. A happy baby means a happy family. A night of peaceful sleep is an indispensable part of not only the baby's happiness but the well being of the entire family. So what is the commonest thing that hinders a baby's sleep? Sadly it's nasal congestion. With pollution levels really messing up the environment and humidity reaching an all time high, right now the maximum number of patients I am getting is of common cold leading to blocked nose. I have mothers coming to me and requesting me to give something that would allow their babies to sleep peacefully. I am a mother too, so I can very well relate to these woes.

What are the commonest reasons for nasal congestion in babies?

Common cold: Nasal secretions because of cold eventually dry up forming crusts inside the nose. These crusts block the nasal passages and the baby is unable to breathe through nose. Rhinitis or common cold is the commonest reason.

Excessive dry air: Too much of room heater/radiator usage during winters leads to drying up of the delicate mucosal lining of babies leading to inflammation and blocked nose.

Allergy/ Hay fever: Too much pollutants or pollens in the air can trigger a hypersensitive reaction in the nasal mucosal lining leading to its inflammation and eventually blocking of nose.

Baby is irritable, breathes through mouth and is unable to sleep at night because sleep breaks repeatedly. Infants are unable to take feed properly. Even toddlers are fussy with their eating as they are uncomfortable all the time. Since their nose is blocked, they avoid eating as they have to breathe through their mouth.

So what are the ways to decongest a baby's stuffy nose?

1. Nasal Drops: This is one of the easiest and most effective method. Nasivion Nasal Drops come in two variants: 0.01% for infants and 0.025% for babies. This highly diluted concentration of Oxymetazoline ensures unimpaired breathing by unblocking the nose and is absolutely safe.
2. Saline Solution: This is again one of the safest way to combat rhinitis and these drops are available over the counter. Nasivion saline drops help unblock the kid's nose by moistening the nasal passages.
Hold the dropper at the nasal entry of the child for easy administration.

3. Clean the nose: Hardened crust because of a common cold is a major reason of impaired breathing in a child. Since they are too young to clean it themselves, dab a swab of cotton in warm water and clear the nasal passage.

4. Nasal Bulbs: Kids are too immature to blow their nose themselves. This is when a nasal aspirator comes handy. There are various types: oral suction aspirator, electric aspirator or a bulb syringe. It sucks the mucus out of the baby's nose. However I strongly advice to do it under a doctor's supervision.

5. Vaporize: As I said earlier, too much dryness in the air especially during winters causes rhinitis because of drying up of baby's sensitive nasal mucosa. Placing a cool mist vaporiser or humidifier in the vicinity of the child ensures that the nasal passages are moist enough. Remedies like Nasivion have a special decongestant formula that is suitable for little noses (age group 1-6). If you don't have a humidifier, just placing a wet towel in the room in front of the radiator can also serve the purpose.

Always consult a paediatrician before administering anything in your baby. What are your hacks for a peaceful sleeping baby? Let me know!

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