When and how to clean your baby’s nose?
Since the newborn can only breathe through the nose, he will quickly become irritable if his nostrils are blocked. Then, until he is old enough to understand how to blow through his nose to blow his nose, baby will also need your help to relieve his stuffy nose.
A small stuffy nose can be caused by excess secretions as well as a dry or dusty environment. Cleaning baby’s nose should therefore be part of the daily care you provide. Several techniques are available to you, which we present to you in this article.
1. Unclog an infant’s nose with a nasal aspirator
This handy little device is the fastest way to blow your baby’s nose. Like a nasal aspirator, it works thanks to a slight oral suction but there are also electric baby flies.
In both cases, it is possible to adjust the suction force. These devices are easy to use and maintain and very effective in cleaning and unclogging baby’s nose. Here is a manual baby fly model and a little lower electric nasal aspirator.
A manual baby fly:
Manual baby fly
- Nasal aspirator for babies and toddlers
- Tip for infant and baby
- Super easy to use
An electric nasal aspirator:
Electric baby fly
- Suction power adjustable according to the age of the baby.
- Easy to use and clean
- Designed with the help of ENT doctors
2. Clean baby’s nose with an enema bulb
These pears are commonly used by healthcare professionals, especially those who work in maternity wards in hospitals. They are easily found in pharmacies or supermarkets.
Here’s how to use the enema bulb:
- Put the baby in a sitting position. Remove the air from the rubber bulb and hold it pinched.
- Place the tip of the bulb just inside the nostril without going deep. Release the pressure on the pear to let the mucus out.
- Take the tip of the pear out of the baby’s nostril and remove the mucus with a handkerchief.
- Rinse the bulb with clean water before using it again.
Here is a video that shows all the steps mentioned above to unclog baby’s nose with a nasal bulb:
3. Clean baby’s nose with a cotton wick
A very simple way to clean baby’s nose is with a small cotton wick, or a rolled-up handkerchief, which you gently insert into baby’s nostrils. This will absorb the liquid secretions, but also, this technique will most likely make baby sneeze which will release thicker secretions.
To properly clean baby’s nose, you could also soak the cotton wick in saline. This liquid solution is widely used for washing the nose, eyes and ears. Find out what physiological saline is in the next point.
4. Washing baby’s nose with saline solution
If your baby’s nose needs a thorough cleaning, you can also inject saline solution directly into their nostrils.
To do this, follow these steps:
- Lay baby on his back, on an absorbent towel.
- Gently turn his head to the left side, to avoid that he swallows the serum but that the serum comes out through the other nostril.
- Inject a small dose of saline into the right nostril.
- Then repeat on the other side, turning his head to the right and injecting the serum into the left nostril.
- Wipe his face and nostrils well with a cotton wick.
- You could also follow this treatment with the use of a baby nasal aspirator to thoroughly clean the inside of baby’s nostrils.
Since the baby cannot breathe through the mouth, be careful not to leave the liquid in his throat and give him time to cough and catch his breath between each nostril.
5. Seawater to clean baby’s nose
You will find saline water sprays made from sea water on the market, intended for washing baby’s delicate nostrils.
These baby sprays are gentler on their fragile little nostrils than those meant for adults. Never use a vaporizer designed for adults on a child!
The technique for using them is the same as for physiological saline explained above.
If you don’t have saline or saline solution, you can make your own saline solution at home. Here’s how :
- Boil 1 cup of water
- Add ¼ teaspoon of sea salt and stir until completely dissolved
- Wait until the solution is at room temperature
- Store in a sterilized glass container
To use this solution, follow the same recommendations as for saline. Apply the saline solution using a dropper, no more than 2 drops per nostril.
I also recommend another article for making your own saline solution: Baby saline solution recipe.
If you have nothing on hand and baby is very uncomfortable with a stuffy nose, start a hot shower in the bathroom for a few minutes, close the door and let the bathroom fill with steam. Then sit in the bathroom for a few minutes with baby, keeping the door closed.
The hot steam will help loosen the secretions that clog his nostrils. A simple trick to unclog a baby’s nose.
To avoid stuffy nose problems in babies:
- Make sure that his room or the place where he spends the most time is free of dust or fumes from products that irritate his respiratory system.
- If the air is very dry, get a small cool air humidifier. This is especially necessary in winter when heating systems dry out the surrounding air.
- Since babies are recommended to sleep on their backs, you could also raise the head of their bed by placing a pillow or rolled-up towel under their mattress. This position will make breathing easier.
If the air is very dry in the baby’s room or if the baby’s nose is very irritated here is a cool mist humidifier with very good reviews online:
If you want other tips and tricks for a stuffy nose this other article is the solution: How to unclog your nose?