As a new parent, you may wonder why your newborn has a stuffy nose. Unfortunately, it’s pretty common for babies to have nasal congestion from time to time. A cold, the flu allergies, or a dry environment can cause stuffy nose in children. In a healthy child, mucus moisturizes and cleans the nasal membranes, but when the child becomes ill or is exposed to irritants, mucus production increases to help fight the infection or as a response to the irritant, resulting in a stuffy nose. A blocked nose is extremely uncomfortable for a child and can make him/her super cranky. It is also difficult to feed them as they start rejecting food & in turn lose their appetite. Mothers also struggle to breastfeed their babies with a blocked nose as they fail to create a proper latch. Babies only breathe through their nose, which they struggle with, leaving them clingy & cranky.
Babies during the first few months are “obligatory nose breathers” which means they can only breathe through their nose. It is because they use their mouth to suck & the only time newborns breathe through their mouths is when they are crying. Nasal congestion can range from mildly uncomfortable to serious cases which hinders mental & physical growth.
Signs of Nasal Congestion:
● Breathing difficulties can often be indicated if a baby is not eating and is fussy.
● Baby might have a fever if the infection has spread to the upper respiratory tract.
● Baby will have a common cold with a runny nose, low fever, and cough.
● They will snore while sleeping & have increased sneezing.
Causes of Nasal Congestion in Monsoon
It is true that many of us will feel a sigh of relief when it starts raining but we cannot deny the fact that there is an increase in waterborne & airborne infections with the onset of rain. The change in the temperature due to change in weather, from hot to cold, also leads to fluctuation in our body temperature, in turn affecting our immunity making us more vulnerable to microbial attack. This is the reason many of us fall ill during a change of season. Common cold and cough are categorized as respiratory infections, which begin when the culprit virus attaches to your nose or throat. This attachment will send a signal to your body’s defense mechanism and white blood cells start fighting. When an old strain of virus attacks for the second time, the white blood cells will immediately get rid of them. However, if a new strain attacks, the army of white blood cells will be rendered useless by the virus. The body will then signal an alarm and more soldiers pour into the site of infection. The extra dose of defense will cause your throat to be inflamed and the entire respiratory tract becomes filled with mucus. This inflammation and mucus secretion is what produces the nasal congestion and sore throat like symptoms, which are commonly seen with cold.
There are few remedies which I have mentioned to unblock baby’s nose:
● Start with saline nasal drops. Saline drops can be helpful with loosening the mucous-filled baby nose. They loosen up snort and help your baby to sneeze blockages forward. Personally, I prefer Nasivion Nasal Saline Drops for my baby in case of a nose blockage. Do consult a pediatrician before using it.
● Use a bulb syringe or nasal aspirator to suck out the sticky mucus and clear your baby’s nose. Be careful while using this & do it with proper care.
● Squirt few drops of breastmilk into the nostrils to thin the mucus and then use the syringe to suck everything back out.
● Keep the head of the baby in an elevated position, making breathing easier. But make sure you do the same under complete supervision, as there is a risk of suffocation.
● Use warm steam as the same is helpful to loosen clogged-up nasal secretions. Either you can use a steamer machine under adult supervision or you can turn on the hot shower in your bathroom to generate steam. With the door closed, sit with your child in the bathroom for at least 15 minutes to let the steam work its magic.
● Use a vaporizer to moisten the air which helps your child to breathe.
● You could even add a drop of essential eucalyptus oil or menthol to ease your child’s blocked nose.
● Make sure you keep your baby adequately having fluids as it helps in keeping them hydrated as well as thins the mucus in the nose and clears congestion.
● Avoiding any known allergen.
Saline sprays boost moisture and are especially helpful in winter months when the inside of the nose may dry out or be used to help wash away any thick sticky mucus in your nose. Nasivion has a lot of variants & usage differs according to the age group. The regular dosages are mentioned below however please use as advised by the doctor/pediatrician only.
Nasivion Mini (Baby) Nose Drops (0.01%): For 0 -1 year old babies
-For babies up to the age of 4 weeks, instill 1 drop of the solution into each nostril 2-3 times per day.
-From the 5th week of life until the age of 1 year, instill 1-2 drops into each nostril 2-3 times per day or as directed by the physician.
-Oxymetazoline Hydrochloride containing drops should not be used for more than ten consecutive days.
Nasivion Pediatric (Child) Nose Drops (0.025%): For 1 – 6 year old kids
-For children aged between 1 to 6 years only use 1-2 drops into each nostril 2-3 times per day or as directed by the physician.
Nasivion Saline Nasal Solution: For all ages
-Use 2-3 drops/sprays in each nostril 3-4 times daily or as directed by the Physician
It is better to remove nasal mucus frequently to facilitate good feeding, avoid infection that can spread to the sinuses, ears and general respiratory tract, as well as to reduce the child’s discomfort.
Please consult your pediatrician before using any product on your baby/child.
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