Tackling congestion in kids can be a laborious task for parents, especially if your kid is below 2 years of age. They could not explain the uneasiness they feel which makes them cranky and irritable when hit with a cold. Even we, as adults, do get annoyed with congestion, so just imagine how your baby would feel with a blocked nose!
Common cold can be different for everyone. It is usually accompanied by fever, body aches, headache, and loss of appetite. Even some cold infections may have a runny nose but no fever.
Likewise, your healthy baby could also feel congested but without any mucus in the nose. Well, you don’t need to worry about that case. Let me brief you about this.
The babies have very small nostrils/air passages that are very sensitive to any allergen in the air. They are more likely to get congestion than grown-up kids.
Common allergens such as smoke in the air, dust, or even dry air can cause the formation of mucous. However, this congestion is healthy as it is the immune system’s response to trap and blow out the irritant.
But in case the infection prolongs, it may have spread into the chest or lungs. Now that can be an alarming situation, and you must consult a physician.
How to know your baby has slight congestion or any major illness?
You need to look out for common symptoms such as:
- Slightly blocked or runny nose
- Noisy breathing
- Snoring when asleep
- Decreased appetite or fussiness
- Light cough
The above-mentioned symptoms do not point toward any major illness. Moreover, if your kid is eating, sleeping, or freeing himself properly despite congestion, you need not worry much about it. Just start with effective home remedies, and certainly, you will be able to cure it.
The congestion is accompanied by fever and body aches. So it demands rest. If your baby is having a cold, make him rest or sleep as much as he or the infection may prolong.
The stuffy nose and congestion would have been disturbing your baby’s much-needed sleep. I have deeply researched the best sleeping position for a baby with a stuffy nose, hope it can help you to comfort your baby.
Best Sleeping Position For Baby With Stuffy Nose
#1. Back Sleeping/ Stomach Sleeping
When your congested baby sleeps facing upwards, often he sleeps with his mouth open. As the nasal passages are blocked, the natural reflex will shift to mouth breathing. It will cause dry throat and cough. Your baby’s sleep would get disturbed.
Also, the congestion increases when we sleep. The mucus does not drain properly while lying, which in turn starts accumulating in the nasal or sinus area. It will obstruct the air passage and create fussy nap times.
The best position for sleep is to make the baby sleep towards his back. Back sleeping is safest in all cases for a baby below 1 year. However, if your baby has gas troubles, he may not be willing to sleep in this way. In such a situation, let him sleep on his side.
But when he has slept, do turn your baby toward his back, as it will provide relief from cold, congestion, and even gas.
#2. Elevate Head While Sleeping
For babies of 2 years of age or above, the best sleeping position involves sleeping with an elevated head. You can use soft cushions or add a blanket below your kid’s mattress towards his head side.
An elevated head will assist the mucus in nasal passages, in draining downwards. It will also prevent mucous flow from the infected sinus towards the nose, and your child can enjoy uninterrupted sleep.
#3. Wrap Baby Towards Yourself In An Upright Position
If your baby is still restless or not able to sleep, hold your baby in an upright position, and give him a pat on his back. A pat on their back will allow the excess liquid or mucous to flow out, just like burping after a feed.
You can also try soft swapping with a slight inclination of the head. A bouncer or swing can be useful for swapping our baby to sleep.
However, it is recommended to supervise your baby while using a bouncer or swing. The cushions used for inclination may suffocate your kid if unfortunately your baby gets entangled in between them.
So once your baby falls asleep, do shift him to his crib. Make him sleep towards his back, to avoid a stuffy nose.
Apart from changing the sleeping position, you can go through the following home remedies, to relieve stuffy noses in kids.
Home Remedies For Baby Cough And Chest Congestion
#1. Unblock Your Baby’s Stuffy Nose
A gentle saltwater mist can be helpful. You can spray 2-3 drops of saline inside the blocked nostril with the help of a syringe. The saline spray will loosen up the mucous and will allow the air to pass. This will let your baby relax or sleep uninterrupted.
Saline sprays are considered safer for small babies and are easily available at your nearest pharmacist.
You can also make saline drops at home.
- Boil water for 15 minutes to distill it.
- Now to a half cup of distilled water, add half a teaspoon of salt.
- Mix it properly and let it cool down completely.
Do not forget to tilt your baby’s head backward while squeezing saline drops into the nose.
You can also use a mucus sucker, to pull out the excess mucus from the nostril. Be gentle in this process as this may irritate your baby.
Don’t try to clear away all the mucus with a nasal aspirator as repetitive use can even over dry the nostril.
#2. Humidify The Air Of Your Baby’s Room
As dry air is one of the main causes of congestion, try to humidify the air of the room. You can use a steamer or a cool air humidifier to add moisture to the air.
The humid air will prevent more mucus build-up and helps clear nasal passages. It will loosen the thick mucous and help to bring out the mucous from the baby’s chest.
You can also build a baby sauna in your bath. Turn on the hot shower and block the water flow. The steam from the hot shower will convert your bath into a small sauna for your baby. Sit for a few minutes in the bath carrying your baby.
A warm water bath before sleep will also provide relief to the baby.
It is advisable to sit just for 4-5 mins in steam, as too much heat can make your kid uncomfortable.
#3. Prevent Dehydration
The fever and discomfort due to congestion reduce the appetite in kids. The refusal to eat or drink may leave your baby dehydrated. So don’t forget to give water regularly.
You can give honey to your kid, as it has antibacterial properties. A tablespoon of honey with lukewarm water and a few drops of ginger proves very beneficial in soothing the sore throat.
P.S:- Honey is not recommended for kids below 1 years as it could lead to Botulism (poisoning).
For babies below 1 year of age, breastfeed or give formula milk, even if it’s in a few drops, throughout the day.
#4. Pacify Your Baby With Cuddles And Snuggles
Cuddling with them and being around them will give them a sense of support and strength to rely on.
Wrap your baby towards yourself and swap lightly. It will provide warmth to your baby and build mutual trust between you both.
You can give a gentle massage to your baby. It will provide relief from body aches and discomfort.
You can also try to massage your baby’s nose area with your fingers. It will help any clogged mucus to loosen up and prevent rashes on the nose.
#5. Clean The Air or Environment Of Your Baby’s Room
Try to clear the possible allergens from your baby’s dwelling areas. Do take care of the dirty rugs, mats, and even beddings. Remove dust particles from your kid’s crib, bed, and even toys.
Avoid opening the windows of the room if it’s the blooming season. The air is windy during that season and filled with pollen, eggs, and various bacteria that could irritate your congested kid.
It will also help to maintain the room temperature, which will add up to the healing process.
Common cold or congestion needs no treatment as the immune system will automatically deal with the infection. Do not go for unnecessary antibiotics or over-the-counter drugs for treating colds. These medicines will prolong the infection and lower the immunity in kids.
All you need is to just monitor the symptoms of the common cold unless you observe something like:
- Sniffling that causes difficulty in breath
- The wheezing sound coming from the chest
- Retraction of baby’s chest with each breath
- Fever above 103°F
- Color of your baby turning pale while coughing
- Disturbed poop and peeing frequency
These symptoms can relate to any underlying health condition such as bronchitis, pneumonia, or asthma, so you should consult your pediatrician immediately.