There’s nothing more heartbreaking to hear than a congested baby.
Unlike me or you, our little bundles of joy can’t blow their noses.
Their first cold is an unfortunate milestone that all parents experience. But there are ways you can make it much easier on them.
So, what can you do to help them?
By far, the best way to help a congested baby, in my experience, is with a nasal aspirator. But you absolutely don’t want to use one of the bulb monstrosities you might have received.
They look like this.
Why do I hate them? Well, for one thing, they don’t work well at all. You have to pump them by hand, so you have very little control on how much suction you’re using.
Not only that, but they get gross inside. It’s almost impossible to clean them properly, and I’ve seen some funky things inside that no one should have to see.
Trust me, it’s gross.
Nosefrida: the godsend for congested babies.
On the other hand, NoseFrida: The Snotsucker (click here to check price on Amazon) is awesome. It’s simply the best nasal aspirator you’ll find, period.
Basically, you put the end in your child’s nose, and you suck on the other end.
It sounds nasty, but trust me, you don’t get any boogies in your mouth. It has a filter to catch them.
Best of all, you can control the suction very precisely, because you’re using your lungs as opposed to a wonky bulb with your hands.
Do yourself (and your child!) a huge favor and get the Nosefrida. You won’t regret it.
You can read my full post on it right here.
Six Other Ways You Can Help Your Congested Baby
Saline drops in the nose can help thin the mucus and clear out those stuffed up airways.
You just put a few drops in each nostril, and use a nasal aspirator to clear it out. You can do it as often as you like; it’s not unsafe, and you can’t do it too often.
This method tends to work best for younger children, under 6 months of age, because older kids tend to get fussy about it, making it hard to use the drops.
Whole New Mom has a great post on how to make your own saline drops, if you’d rather go that route.
This video shows how to properly give saline drops to your child.
A nursery humidifier can work wonders. But only get a cool-mist humidifier, not a warm-mist. Not only will they help congestion, but they can help them avoid getting sick in the first place.
Studies have shown that probiotics can reduce an infant’s risk of respiratory infection. Kellymom has a great article on giving probiotics to young children and infants.
Wearing your baby in a sling (in an upright position) can help drain the nasal passages.
A nasal massage can help loosen up the airways and clean them out. This Youtube video shows how to do it on an adult, but it works just as well on an infant.
Vapor bath. I love this stuff. It’s a mixture of stuff that contains menthol, rosemary and eucalyptus, and when you add it to your bath water, its released into the air, soothing and clearing out baby’s nasal passages. It does bubble up, and it won’t sting if it gets in their eyes. Give it a shot!
What Not To Do
According to Babble, you shouldn’t give children under the age of 4 cough medicine. It can be dangerous to them, without any of the benefits. Studies have shown that while these medicines can help dry nasal passages in adults, the only effect they have on babies is to make them sleepy.
On top of that, the effects of pseudoephedrine on infants have not been widely studied. It commonly raises blood pressure in adults, and that’s one of the reasons it should be avoided for babies.
Don’t Rule Out Sickness
Remember that a stuffy nose is a symptom of something else, not a condition itself. It usually means they have a cold or flu.
If you think they could possibly be sick, don’t hesitate to take them to the doctor.
When should you be concerned?
- Your child seems like they have a fever.
- Their breathing seems labored for long periods of time.
- They’re unable to sleep.
- They have persistent difficulty with feeding.
If your child seems to experiencing any of these problems, you should take them to the doctor or ER immediately.