5 ways to treat your baby’s stuffy nose

Posted on 9 April 2015

Congested nasal passages can affect your baby’s ability to feed and can also indicate oncoming illness. Here’s how to handle it…

Prevent dehydration
Ensure your baby has plenty of fluids to stay well hydrated and soothe a potential sore throat.

Use saline drops
You can get these over the counter, or make your own natural home remedy: Add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of salt to two cups warm water. Insert drops of this gently into each nostril, one at a time, and wipe the mucus that is expelled with a warm wet cloth. With crusty, hardened mucus, a wet cotton-wool swab will prevent redness and irritation.

Use suction and back-patting
For babies unable to ‘blow’, use a bulb syringe and be sure to wash it after each use. Gently pat your child’s back to help loosen the mucus.

Add moisture
If you don’t have a humidifier to put in baby’s room, sit in a steamy bathroom with your baby for short sessions three times a day.

Know when to see a doctor
Sometimes a runny nose is minor, just the body’s way of getting rid of irritants, and home care is sufficient. But if the stuffy nose is accompanied by a cough that lasts for more than a couple days or expels yellow of grey mucus, there may be an infection that needs treating. Remember that cough and cold medication can be harmful to kids under four, so don’t self-medicate with over-the-counter preparations. Also see your doctor if your child has a fever. Take your baby’s temperature with a rectal thermometer and seek help if: it’s 37,8°C or above in an infant under three months; 38,3°C or above in a baby between three and 36 months; or 39,4°C or above for a child over 36 months.

How do you treat your baby’s stuffy nose? Tweet us your tips. #Stuffynose #Homeremedy


The information provided in this article was correct at the time of publishing. At Mediclinic we endeavour to provide our patients and readers with accurate and reliable information, which is why we continually review and update our content. However, due to the dynamic nature of clinical information and medicine, some information may from time to time become outdated prior to revision.

In the interest of our patients, in accordance with SA law and our commitment to expertise, Mediclinic cannot subscribe to the practice of online diagnosis. Please consult a medical professional for specific medical advice. If you have any major concerns, please see your doctor for an assessment. If you have any cause for concern, your GP will be able to direct you to the appropriate specialists.

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