How to Relieve Nasal Congestion in Infants

Nasal congestion in infants is not a condition, but a symptom. It may be caused by:

  • Dry air
  • Infections-children have underdeveloped immune systems and are prone to colds and the flu.
  • Allergies-this is more common during the summer months.
  • Foreign body-children may stick things up their noses and cause a blockage.
  • Irritants such as cigarette smoke, dust, or chemical fumes.

Nasal congestion in infants is no cause for concern in the short term but can lead to complications if not dealt with properly. Babies cannot blow their own noses and will quickly become upset when they have nasal congestion.

What to watch out for

#1 – Signs of troubled breathing

If your baby is rasping or wheezing this means your baby’s cold may have spread into their lungs and they may require antibiotics. Visit a doctor.

#2 – Signs of dehydration

Congested babies do not feed well which means they’ll be dehydrated. Dehydration is the leading case of hospitalization for babies.

Call the doctor if your baby has not had a wet diaper in 6 to 8 hours.

#3 – Fever

A fever may indicate an infection.

nasal congestion in infants

Home remedies for nasal congestion

#1 – Onion

A sliced onion placed in a plate next to your baby’s crib may be just what they need to cure their congestion. The onion will draw out the mucus with no side effects other than an onion smell in your nursery.

#2 – Steam

Steam up the bathroom and hold your baby in there for a while. The steam will soften and break up the congestion for easier release.

How to clear a congested nose

  • Using saline drops
  1. Lay your child on their back with a blanket underneath their shoulders.
  2. Put 2 to 3 drops in each nostril.
  3. Wait 30 to 60 seconds depending on the crystallization of the snot.
  4. Turn your child on their side to help the nose drain. Your child may cough as it drains out.
  5. Roll a swab or tissue around your child’s nose to catch the mucus outside.
Infant suction bulb for nasal congestion
  • Using a suction bulb

Not all suction bulbs are made equal. Some are too hard, some too soft, but there are a few brands available that do the job well.

To use a suction bulb:

  • Pinch the air out of the bulb.
  • Place it at the top of the nostril, being careful not to go too deep.
  • Slowly release the bulb to allow the air to come back in the bulb as it pulls the mucus into it.
  • Expel the mucus into a tissue and rinse well before inserting into the other nostril.

Preventing nasal congestion in infants

  • Offer breast milk throughout the day. A well-hydrated baby will not have solidified snots which makes congestion worse.
  • To protect the skin above your baby’s lips and around sore nostrils, apply Vaseline. The constant wiping can irritate your baby’s skin.
  • Add a humidifier in your baby’s room if possible. The extra humidity prevents snot from solidifying.

How do you take care of nasal congestion? Please share in the comments section.


If you found this article helpful read our other articles on baby’s health and nutrition:


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