A stuffy nose can be uncomfortable for your baby, adversely affecting his feeding and meaning he doesn’t sleep well. Although it can be worrying, common colds are common in young children as their immune system is still developing. According to the NHS, children will get colds far more frequently than we do as adults, and symptoms include a blocked or runny nose, sneezing or a high temperature.
Although colds aren't normally serious, you should visit your GP if you notice any of the following:
- The cold has not cleared up within three weeks
- Your child is under three months old and has a temperature of 38 degrees, or 39 degrees if they are between 3-6 months
- Your child is struggling to breathe
- They are coughing up blood
- They have a persistent sore throat
- They seem to be getting worse rather than better
How should I treat my baby's blocked nose?
Usually, your baby’s nasal congestion will clear up by itself within a week, but if not, there are lots of products to help clear his airways. You can use an infant nasal suction aspirator to help clear the mucus from his little nose, or saltwater nasal drops or spray. If your baby’s blocked nose doesn’t clear and he still has problems breathing after suctioning, visit your GP.
We’ve picked out the best products to help ease congestion and treat your baby’s blocked nose so he can breathe more clearly:
What home remedies can help my baby's blocked nose?
If your baby is under six months old, try putting a few drops of saline into each nostril. You can then use a bulb syringe to remove mucus. This simple home remedy works by thinning the mucus which can help your baby feel more comfortable. It's suitable for babies of all ages, however older babies may get fussy when using the bulb.
You might notice your baby's nose looks crusty or sticky, however it can help to clean this away to prevent it blocking the nose. You can clean this with cotton wool and warm water.
2. Removing any hard mucus
If you don't want to buy a vaporizer, sitting in a steamy bathroom for a few minutes with your baby is just as good.
3. Sit in the bathroom together
Being hydrated thins mucus. Use the saline steps above to try and clear congestion if your baby is reluctant when feeding.
4. Keep your baby hydrated
How can I help my baby sleep better at night when they have a blocked nose?
As you know, when you've got a cold, things can seem much worse when lying down, and this is the same for your baby. For her daytime naps, try and keep her as upright as possible to help the mucus to drain: if you can, try and encourage your baby to sleep in her car seat or swing.
You might also want to slightly elevate her head when sleeping as this will make breathing easier - fold a small towel and place it underneath your baby's mattress. However, be sure to keep an eye on your baby.
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