How to treat your baby’s blocked nose?
Babies can get blocked noses for a variety of reasons, including allergies, cold or flu, or infections.
It’s important to know what to look out for so you can help them before it gets too serious.
When babies are born, they are not able to breathe through their mouths as easily as adults do, so they rely heavily on being able to breathe through their nose.
If for some reason their nose becomes blocked, they quickly become irritable and restless, especially as they can’t change positions to help stop the problem or tell you exactly what’s troubling them!
Babies with blocked noses will cry, struggle to sleep, and even eat, as breathing is difficult.
Luckily, addressing and resolving the problem should be relatively easy.
Although babies noses are very tiny, your doctor will be able to check and clear any blockages, as well as letting you know what you can do should it happen again.
Why does my baby have a blocked nose?
As mentioned, babies can get a blocked nose for a variety of reasons, including allergies, cold or flu, and infections.
It’s important to know what what ‘healthy’ is for your baby so you can pick up on early signs, and prevent them from getting worse.
When babies are first born, they will have a much weaker immune system than adults.
Although they will have got some immunity to certain things from their mother, they still have to battle being in a new environment and build up a strong immune system.
That’s why it’s actually a good thing for them to experience some infections or colds, as it helps them to boost their immune system. But it’s important not to let symptoms get severe, and that treatment is sought out as early as possible to support their immune systems development.
Some common illnesses that cause blocked noses to look out for include:
#1 The Common Cold
Symptoms of the common cold can include a runny or stuffy nose, yellow/green coloured discharge from the nose and a blocked nose.
Your baby may also experience a slight cough, sore throat and wheezing – all of which impacts their breathing. Just as you experience a cold, your baby will too with the added struggle of not being able to let you know what’s wrong.
Keep an eye out for these symptoms and seek medical help from your doctor straight away so they can best advise what medication is suitable for your baby to fight the cold.
Many of us have allergies and as we grow older we develop stronger immune systems not be affected by the symptoms.
Babies have very tiny noses so even the smallest particles can cause irritation and result in allergies.
Even simple house dust can cause a congestion.
This can present itself as red, watery and itchy eyes along with consistent sneezing and coughing.
Speak to your midwife about what you can do to help prevent allergies affecting your baby and keeping their nose clear.
#3 Sinus infections
Sinus infections such as rhinosinusitis are an inflammation usually caused by any allergy left untreated for longer than 2 weeks.
This can result in a very thick mucus discharge, a blocked nose, and will be painful for your baby.
Make sure you seek medical attention at the first sign of any allergy symptoms to prevent it progressing into a more serious infection.
#4 Sore throats
A sore throat is an indication of an infection, either viral or bacterial, and should be checked immediately.
Although it can be very difficult to check if your baby has a sore throat, they will probably cough, have excess mucus, cry and struggle to eat.
The ears, throat and nose are all very closely linked – even more so infants – so a problem in one area can quickly spread to the others.
Make sure you keep an eye out for symptoms and get them checked as soon as possible with your doctor or midwife.
How do I treat my baby’s blocked nose?
It can be dangerous to give very young babies strong medicines or antibiotics, but your doctor will be able to recommend the best cause of treatment.
The earlier you can see a doctor, the better they will be able help treat symptoms before they develop too far and require more urgent medical treatment.
Some common treatments your doctor might recommend include:
#1 Saline Drops
These can be purchased over the counter at any local pharmacy.
They come with full treatment instructions and if you’re unsure, your pharmacist will be able to provide further advice and guidance.
Try using them before feeding your baby, as it helps aid your babies breathing, and can help them enjoy their feed.
#2 Nasal Aspirator
This is another treatment you can purchase over the counter at your local pharmacy.
It can be very effective in aiding your baby to clear their blocked nose, and while it may look complicated to use, it is perfectly safe.
Again, speak with your pharmacist who can advise and show you how to use it properly.
#3 Steam Treatment
Steam treatment has been shown to be very effective in helping to clear airways, blocked noses and aid peaceful breathing.
You can try using a steamer with steaming liquid during the night time, to help soften the mucus in your baby’s nose and clear their airways.
A steamy bathroom can also help just before bed.
Don’t place your baby in a steaming bath, but sit with them in the bathroom so they can take in the steamy air and help their mucus build up.
#4 Air Humidifiers
Air humidifiers are a great way to remove excess moisture in your home that could be contributing to excess mucus in your baby.
They can also aid against allergies.
You can also try using anti-allergy pillows and bedding to help you baby if you have noticed they are prone to allergies.
#5 Use Mentholated Balms
There are plenty of organic and natural balms available for babies to help them with stuffy noses and aid breathing.
They are very easy to use and generally involve rubbing a little onto your baby’s chest, back, neck and a tiny amount near their nostrils.
This is particularly helpful in the night time to bring relief and aid sleeping.
#6 Position Your Baby Correctly
By laying your baby in an inclined position in their cot for sleep, it can really help aid their breathing.
Placing a pillow under the top end (where you rest their head) of their baby mattress can help to increase a slight incline that can really help them during the night time.
Seeing and hearing your baby in distress, particularly over something like breathing, can be very stressful for everyone involved.
It’s really important to be aware of any changes in your baby and keep an eye on them to make sure they do not progress into something worse.
If you are ever concerned about your babies breathing, make sure you speak with your doctor or midwife who can perform any necessary health checks and offer the reassurance you need.
Other Helpful Tip(s)
To learn more about 15 Tips to survive your baby’s first cold and flu, read here.
Consult your doctor to find out the main reason behind the baby’s condition to prevent re-occurrence.