A blocked nose is a common symptom of a cold, flu and in some cases, allergies or a sinus infection. It can be a complete nuisance - especially considering babies can't tell you what's wrong.
Young babies can only breathe through their nose, so when they are stuffed up with mucus, it is much harder for them to breathe which can lead to a lot of upset and irritability. If your baby has a stuffy nose, there are various home treatments you can do to help your little one feel comfortable again.
Try these seven easy ways to help your congested little one breathe and rest easy:
How to soothe your baby's blocked nose.
Create a steam room.
Help alleviate your baby's nasal congestion with some moisture and warmth. Bring your baby into the bathroom while running a steamy shower or bath and sit with them for a few minutes. Let the steam work its way into your baby's system and help clear any troublesome mucus.
Use a nasal spray or drops.
Available over the counter, saline drops and sprays are chemical-free, non-intrusive products commonly used to help to loosen your baby's mucus-filled nose. Spray the saline into your baby's nostril and wipe away any excess mucus with a clean tissue or flannel cloth.
Use a nasal aspirator.
Also known as a suction bulb, nasal aspirators are safe and practical tools that allow you to suck the mucus directly from your baby's nose. Just be sure not to go too deep when using such devices, baby's nostrils are delicate so suction gently.
If your baby is breastfed, focus on keeping them on the boob as much as possible. Your breastmilk is packed with essential nutrients and antibodies that help develop and strengthen your baby's immune system, which will help fight the common cold and other viruses.
Keep baby hydrated.
It is crucial as a parent that you ensure your baby is adequately hydrated at all times as the extra fluids can help flush out excess mucus clogging your baby's sinus. Offer fluids on the hour during waking hours.
Elevate their head.
Keep your baby comfortable at nap time and during the night by raising their head slightly by placing a wedge or pillow under their mattress. Elevating your baby's head will make it easier for the mucus flow out, helping to open up the nasal passage.
Invest in a humidifier.
If a blocked nose is a recurring problem, it might be worth investing in a cool-mist vaporiser or humidifier to help add moisture to the air which may help coughing and congestion caused by colds.
Use a natural remedy.
Eucalyptus oil is a safe and natural way of relieving cold symptoms in both adults and children thanks to its active ingredient, eucalyptol. Place two drops on a cotton ball and keep it nearby baby while feeding or sleeping to help open their airways and help them breathe better.
And remember, if you are worried about your child at any time or if they show signs of fever, illness or refuse feeds, seek medical advice from your healthcare provider.