A stuffy nose can mean one cranky baby -- especially since newborns know how to breathe only through their little nostrils at first. Here are some steps to relieve your baby's discomfort, stat.
Buy saline nasal spray. This is the only safe nasal spray to use with babies, infants, and toddlers. Lay the baby down on his back and, if possible, slightly tilt his head back (don't force it, though). Then spray 2 to 3 drops of saline spray into each nostril. Don't worry if baby sneezes some of it out -- it still made its way into the nasal passage. If any spray comes out of the nose, wipe it away gently with a tissue.
Use a bulb syringe. This is also called a nasal aspirator. Be sure to buy one specially made for baby's tiny nostrils. Once again, lay baby down on his back. Squeeze the bulb to get all of the air out, and, while still squeezing, gently insert the tip into baby's nostril (be sure not to stick it too far up). Then release the pressure, take it out, and squeeze the mucus out of the bulb onto a tissue. Repeat in the other nostril.
Steam up the bathroom. Run a hot shower for a few minutes; when the bathroom is steamy, sit in the room with Baby for a bit. This will help loosen the mucus in the nostrils. But don't go in the hot shower with your little one -- the water can scald him!
Run a cool air humidifier. Most of us have the heat on in our homes during the winter months, and that dry air can stuff up a baby's nose. Keeping a cool air humidifier going in her room while she sleeps can offer some relief and prevent stuffiness.
Raise the crib mattress. It's easier for all of us to breathe through a stuffy nose when our head is slightly elevated. You can't put a pillow under baby's head because of the SIDS risk, so place a towel underneath the head of the mattress to elevate it slightly. This will offer Baby some relief during nap and bedtime.
Help Baby Get Over a Cold
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