Before babies learn to blow their little noses they count on us to clear their nose for them. The most discomfort caused from a cold or allergies is a stuffy nose. Here's Dr. Sears' simple home cold remedy for un-stuffing little noses.
- Hose the nose. Using saline nasal spray (a saltwater mist solution available over-the-counter at a pharmacy or drug store). While holding baby upright, squirt on spray into each nostril. Next, lay baby down for a minute with the head lower than the body to allow the salt water solution to loosen the thick secretions and stimulate baby to sneeze the mucus to the front of the nose, where you'll be ready and waiting with your nasal aspirator to suck up the snot. Baby will most likely protest, but clear nasal passages are important, especially during feedings.
To make your own salt water nose drop solution add a pinch of salt, no more than ¼ teaspoon, to eight ounces of warm tap water. Using a plastic eye dropper squirt a few drops into each nostril and finish with the direction above.
Helpful Hint: To avoid contamination of the saline solution, do not release the bulb while it's still in baby's nose. If you release the bulb while it's still in baby's nose you'll contaminate the saline solution with nasal secretions.
- Using a nasal aspirator. Squeeze the rubber bulb, then insert the plastic or rubber tip into baby's nose firmly enough to form a seal, and slowly release, letting the suction draw out the mucus plugs. Repeat this process in each nostril 2 or 3 times or as often as your baby will tolerate. After each use, suck soap and water into aspirator and rinse well with plain water.
- Steam clean. Thinning the secretions helps baby breath easier. Give baby extra fluids during the day and run a vaporizer while he sleeps to help thin secretions, making it easier for baby to sneeze or cough the mucus loose. Another option is enjoying a steam bath with baby, by taking baby into the bathroom, close the door and turn on the hot water in the shower. Steam helps open clogged breathing passages and drain secretions. Bring toys along for baby to play with.