How can I Help Clear an Infant's Stuffy Nose?

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  • Written By: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 03 October 2019
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If you need to clear an infant's stuffy nose, you may be able to do so by using a bulb syringe, salt water nose drops, or by placing a cool-mist humidifier in the room with the infant. A steam vapor bath might also help to clear your baby's nose. It may be best to try these methods just before the infant eats or sleeps because these are the things that stuffy noses tend to interfere with the most. If your infant's stuffy nose doesn't clear up within a week or the mucus turns a yellowish-green color, you might want to take the infant to the doctor because a sinus infection might have developed.

Bulb syringes tend to be very valuable for babies with colds. Most doctors send complimentary bulb syringes home with new mothers as they are leaving the hospital, but if you don't have one, most drug stores keep the syringes in stock. To use a bulb syringe for clearing your infant's stuffy nose, you will need to insert the narrower end of the syringe into each nostril with the bulb squeezed. Let go of the bulb while the end is inside your baby's nose, and as the bulb inflates with air, it will likely take lots of mucus in with it. You can clean the bulb out in a sink using warm water by filling the bulb up with water and squeezing it out repeatedly.


Salt water nose drops might also be useful for clearing an infant's stuffy nose. You can normally find these at the drug store, and you will probably not need a prescription to buy them. Check with the pharmacist before purchasing so you can be sure you got the right product for your baby. You can use salt water nose drops by slightly tilting your baby's head back and placing a couple of drops into each side of her nose. The salt mixed with water should help to clear out the mucus, at least temporarily.

Cool-mist humidifiers are considered helpful for babies with stuffy noses, as are steam vapor baths. Fill the humidifier up with water according to the directions for the specific type of humidifier you own, and place it near your baby's bed. The extra moisture in the room should make it easier for your baby to breathe at night if her nose is stopped up. A steam vapor bath should also be helpful for clearing up congestion. You can turn your shower on as hot as you can get it so your bathroom fills up with steam, and then bring your baby into the bathroom with you for a few minutes so the steam can help loosen up the congestion from inside her nose.


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