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A cold and a blocked nose can make your baby cranky and uncomfortable, and give both of you sleepless nights. If you don’t wish to consult a doctor just yet, try out these home remedies to provide relief from a blocked nose.
Natural Remedies for Blocked Nose in Infants
In India, many parents resort to home remedies as they are not only inexpensive but also safe, unlike antibiotics (which may have side effects) and over-the-counter medicines (which should not be given to infants). Here are some of the best home remedies for nose congestion in infants.
1. Focus on breastfeeding your baby. Breast milk has essential nutrients and antibodies that develop and strengthen your baby’s immune system. A good immune system will help your baby fight against a cold and cough.
2. You can also put a few drops of breast milk into your baby’s nose to open up the nasal passage.
3. You can make nasal drops for your baby at home. To 8 teaspoons of water, add ½ a teaspoon of salt and mix well with a sterilised spoon. Pour a few drops into your baby’s nostrils once the solution cools down.
4. Eucalyptus oil is used to treat cold and open up a nasal blockage. Sprinkle a few drops of the oil on your baby’s pillow and bedding. Since the smell is too strong for infants, eucalyptus oil shouldn’t be directly applied to the skin.
5. Elevating your baby’s head with the help of a pillow helps the mucus flow out, thereby opening up the nasal passage.
6. Keeping your baby hydrated is important, more so when she’s down with a cold. Fluids dilute the mucus and relieve stuffiness in the nose. You can also feed warm and unsweetened apple juice and chamomile tea (without honey) if she’s older than 6 months.
7. Clear chicken soup is another useful home remedy for a cough and cold. Chicken contains anti-inflammatory properties that clear up the nasal massage as well as improve your baby’s immunity.
8. In case the nasal congestion is severe, turn on the shower and let the hot water create steam in the restroom. Then, take your baby into the bathroom for a few minutes. You can also give him a bath with warm water.
9. A nasal aspirator can do wonders for a stuffy nose. Just squeeze the air out of the aspirator gently insert the tip into your baby’s nostril. Then slowly release the bulb so that the mucus gets sucked into it. Do the same with both the nostrils. After every use, wash the aspirator and sterilise it.
10. A cool mist humidifier will create moisture in the air and clear out the congestion in your baby’s nasal passage.
11. In case you don’t have a humidifier, keep a bucket of warm water in her room while she sleeps. The warm water will help to ease your baby’s stuffy nose.
12. A mustard oil massage is another effective way of treating a cold and nasal congestion. To 1/4th cup of mustard oil, add 3-4 cloves of roughly crushed garlic and methi (fenugreek) seeds and heat it. Once the oil cools down, massage your baby with it. Apply the oil to the nasal bridge, forehead, cheekbones, chest and the back with soft and gentle hand movements.
13. Dried-up mucus is one of the main culprits of a blocked nose. Wet a cotton swab with warm water to clean the insides of your baby’s nostrils. Do it gently and with care to avoid hurting your little one.
14. Lay your baby across your knees and pat her back gently. This brings the mucus up from the chest and she can cough it out easily.
15. Give your infant a warm compress. Soak a small piece of cloth in warm water, squeeze out the excess water and place on her nose and cheeks. Repeat this a few times.
16. Roast a few garlic cloves with ajwain until the aroma starts to waft out. Tie these up in a potli and keep it a safe distance from your little one. The fumes will provide relief from a stuffy nose.
When Should You Visit the Paediatrician?
If home remedies aren’t working for your baby, she may need a medical check-up. Consider visiting a paediatrician if:
- The cold doesn’t clear up within three weeks
- Your baby takes quick breaths
- She is running a high temperature
- She coughs up blood
- Your baby’s condition seems to be getting worse
- Your little one has a persistent sore throat
- You see her wheezing and her skin turning pale or blue
How Does the Diagnosis Happen?
A paediatrician will check your baby’s temperature and observe her breathing pattern. For more clarity on your her health condition, an X-ray may be suggested.
Home remedies for cold, cough and nasal block are practised in every Indian household. However, we must understand that all cases of nasal congestion cannot be cured through home remedies. Especially, care and precaution should be taken in case of babies. In such a case immediate visit to a doctor is a must.