Step-by-step instructions on how to clear your child’s stuffy nose
When your baby has a stuffy nose and difficult time breathing, eating and/or sleeping, as a parent you want to do everything you can to help her to experience relief. One such way is to help her clear the mucus from her sinuses with a baby nasal aspirator. But how do you effectively use those bulbous devices and actually get snot out without setting yourself and your little one on a panicked frenzy?
Begin by spraying a little saline nasal spray into your child’s nose to both moisten and loosen up any mucus. This step is vital for an effective suction. You can buy saline spray, such as Little Noses saline spray, over the counter or make your own by dissolving ¼ teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water. (Be sure to allow the water to cool to room temperature before putting it in your baby’s nose.)
Lay your child down with her chin slightly tilted. Then you can place one or two drops in each nostril with an eyedropper (if you use your own homemade solution) or two squirts of spray if you are using a store bought saline spray. Try to keep your baby’s head still for about 10 seconds.
The saline solution can help ease your child’s congestion on its own but the suction device is often necessary – especially if your little one’s nose is still stuffy after a few minutes.
If you use a rubber bulb syringe, start by gently squeezing the air out of the bulb to create a vacuum, then gently insert the rubber tip into one nostril. Release the bulb slowly to clear out the mucus. Remove the syringe and squeeze the bulb’s contents into a tissue with some force. Wipe the syringe and repeat.
Try not to suction your baby’s nose more than three times a day or you can irritate the lining of her sinuses.
If you are intimidated by the bulb syringe, an battery operated nasal aspirator is an easy to use alternative.
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- Olivia, mom & a pediatric nurse
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