Babies under 1 year of age often have to face the issue of a blocked nose. This usually happens when the normal mucus collects in the nose and it is difficult for a baby to blow it out.
A cold, flu, allergies, or a virus infection can be the cause of Nasal congestion.
Look out for the below-mentioned symptoms of a blocked nose in your baby:
- Noisy breathing
- A runny nose
A blocked nose is more troublesome for a baby (aged less than 2 months) as they are obligatory nose breathers, unlike adults. When babies suffer from nasal congestion, they have difficulty breathing. This not just interrupts their sleep, but makes them dull during the day. They even get irritated while being fed, if they have a blocked nose. All of these results in a cranky baby.
We, as parents often get disheartened to see our little one in such a situation. So to help you out, here are a few remedies that can ease things for you and your little one:
Increase the humidity:
Dryness in the air, causes the mucus to thicken. Use a cool mist humidifier or a vaporiser to increase the humidity level of a room. This helps to clear nasal congestion.
Never give steam directly to the baby. Their skin is very sensitive and can face major burns. Run a hot shower to create steam and then sit in that steamy bathroom for few minutes. You can even feed the baby there, this way feeding sessions can be less cranky.
Keep your baby always hydrated. This will help in keeping the mucus thin and clearing the blocked nose will become easy. For babies under 6 months, breastfeeding should be the only source of hydration. Try giving smaller but more frequent feeds.
Keep your baby’s head a little elevated by placing a folded towel under his head when you put him to sleep. This helps the mucus to drain out and will help in giving an uninterrupted sleep to the baby. If the baby is 4 months plus and can take a turn, be sure to keep an eye on your baby so that the child doesn’t cover his nose.
Mustard oil and garlic:
This was a remedy given by my mom and it gave a relief to my son, to a great extent. In 3-4 teaspoons of mustard oil, add 3-4 cloves of roughly crushed garlic and heat it. Once the oil cools down completely, gently massage your baby’s chest and back with it. The remaining oil can be stored for further use.
Ajwain (carom seeds) and Garlic Potli:
Another helpful remedy to ease the nasal congestion in babies. Dry roast 1 tablespoon of carom seeds along with 1 or 2 garlic clove on a griddle. Once this cools down, make a potli out of it. You can keep this potli in the baby cot or cradle where baby sleeps. This would help to ease the blocked nose and give relief to the baby.
A nasal aspirator can help to clear a stuffy nose. Firstly, squeeze the aspirator to release the air. Gently insert the tip onto the nose. Then slowly release the bulb so that it sucks out the mucus. After every use, wash the aspirator and sterilize it.
Salt water (saline) drops is one of the most effective solutions to a blocked nose. Saline drops thin the mucus and helps to ease nasal congestion. This makes it easier to clear the mucus from the nose. It has antibacterial properties that help in killing the bacteria and virus which causes cold and cough.
A Saline Nasal Solution, like Nasivion, is a safe solution and gentle nasal moisturizer for dry stuffy noses of your little ones. It is available as a squeeze bottle which can be used also as a spray. 2-3 drops/sprays in each nostril 3-4 times daily or as directed by the Physician is good enough to give relief to your child, especially before feeds.
Decongestant nasal spray
The Nasivion range of decongestant products help not just adults but also children and infants to find relief from Nasal congestion. These nasal drops are well tolerated by the little one’s nose and it helps them breathe easier.
Nasivion Mini (Baby) Nose Drops 0.01 mg Oxymetazoline Hydrochloride USP (active ingredient) in buffered aqueous solution. Intranasal administration for infants below one year. Up to the age of 4 weeks, instil 1 drop of the solution into each nostril 2-3 times per day. From the 5th week of life until the age of 1 year, instil 1-2 drops into each nostril 2-3 times per day or as directed by the physician.
Nasivion Nasal Drops for kids aged 1-6 has 0.025 mg Oxymetazoline Hydrochloride USP (active ingredient) in buffered aqueous solution. 1-2 drops into each nostril 2-3 times per day or as directed by the physician. Oxymetazoline Hydrochloride containing nasal drops should not be used for longer than 10 consecutive days. A treatment-free period of several days should precede any repeated use.
Nasivion Nasal Saline Spray contains Sodium Chloride IP 0.65% w/v in distilled water made isotonic and buffed. 2-3 drops/sprays in each nostril 3-4 times daily or as directed by the Physician.
These are just remedies and there can be cases when these can fail. In such cases, it’s better to take advice from your paediatrician.