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9 Quick Ways To Relieve Baby Nasal Congestion

Medically reviewed by Regina Victoria Boyles, MD · Pediatrics

Written by Hello Sehat · Updated May 11, 2022

9 Quick Ways To Relieve Baby Nasal Congestion

Is your little one’s nose stuffy and runny? This can lead to discomfort, and it’s natural for the baby to be fussy when they suffer from a clogged nose. Usually, baby nasal congestion is harmless and will go away on its own. However, if the congestion makes the baby lose their appetite, it may become a cause for concern. To provide your child with some relief, here are ways to deal with baby nasal congestion using natural or medical remedies.

How To Relieve Baby Nasal Congestion

A blocked nose makes it difficult for your little one to breathe. If their appetite has decreased, mothers will often worry about the baby’s nutrition.

Here are some ways to deal with baby nasal congestion that mothers can try at home.

1. Clear Snot and Mucus in Baby’s Nose

Sometimes the baby’s mucus will harden and become crusty if you don’t clean it. Parents should clean the baby’s nose regularly, both when the child is healthy or when they have a cold.

Clean the baby’s nose regularly to prevent baby nasal congestion because of mucus that hardens.

One method to do this is with a cotton bud. Simply wet the cotton bud with warm water and gently remove the visible hardened mucus. To make it easier, mothers can clean the baby’s nose while they are sleeping to relieve baby nasal congestion.

2. Make Sure Your Little One Is Hydrated

According to Nationwide Children’s Organization, if the baby’s fluid needs are fulfilled, nasal tissues will continue to be moist.

To ensure proper hydration, mothers can give drinking water, while avoiding sweet drinks.

For exclusively breastfed babies, mothers should breastfeed their little ones as often as possible.

3. Gently Pat Baby’s Back

Usually, a child with baby nasal congestion will be fussy and uncomfortable. To overcome a stuffy nose, the mother can gently pat the baby’s back.

To do this, simply position the baby on their stomach and then gently pat their back. This method also helps to clear mucus that pools in the chest or clogs the nose.

4. Adjust the Baby’s Sleeping Position

Mothers can make their baby more comfortable by elevating their child’s head. A higher head position makes it easier for their little ones to breathe. In addition, this position also keeps mucus from staying in the nose. 

5. Turn on the Humidifier

Another way to deal with baby nasal congestion is to use an air humidifier. This tool will make the air in the room warm and moist, so that mucus does not harden in the nose.

If using a humidifier doesn’t work, you can also use a nebulizer which is quite capable of dealing with the mucus that has clogged in the nose.

6. Keep Children Away from Cigarette Smoke

Cigarette smoke can worsen baby nasal congestion. This is because cigarette smoke triggers inflammation of the nasal tissue and increases mucus production.

Parents should not smoke in the house or any room where the child spends time. 

7. Give the Child Warm Soup

To overcome baby nasal congestion, mothers can give their little ones warm soup with garlic seasoning.

Based on research from the Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the compound allicin in garlic helps the immune system, while vitamin C accelerates the healing process.

Giving warm soup is a way to deal with baby nasal congestion that mothers can do at home, without the need for a visit to the doctor. However, if symptoms do not improve, do not hesitate to take your child to the doctor.

8. Use a Saline Nasal Spray or Drops 

A saline solution (salt mixed in water delivered through a nasal spray or drops) is a simple and safe method to relieve a stuffy nose for infants, toddlers, and children. It works by reducing the production of and loosening the mucus that clogs the nose.

So that your little one is comfortable, use this medicine when they are lying down. Next, slightly raise the child’s head and spray or instill the medicine 2-3 times into the baby’s nostrils.

In addition to saline spray, mothers can also use saline in the form of drops, to reduce and loosen mucus and overcome baby nasal congestion.

For nasal drops, lay the baby down and lift their head. Then,  instill the medicine 2-3 times into each nostril and wait for 60 seconds.

Usually, after application of the spray or drops, the baby will sneeze or cough and expel the mucus.

9. Relieve Baby Nasal Congestion With a Bulb Syringe

You can use a bulb syringe if the mucus doesn’t come out after using drops or spray. This method of dealing with a stuffy nose is suitable for babies under 6 months of age.

After using nasal drops, the mother can remove the mucus with suction from the bulb syringe.

To use a bulb syringe, the mother must first squeeze the bulbous part of the tool. Then she must insert the narrower suction tip into the nostril and release the bulb. That way, any snot or mucus will be sucked into the syringe and free your little one from a blocked nose.

Baby Nasal Congestion and Medication

Some parents may want to give oral medications such as decongestants or antihistamines to treat baby nasal congestion. However, it is better for mothers not to rush to give any of these drugs unless their doctor advises them to do so.

Another alternative to oral medication is the administration of a nasal drop or spray containing 0.25 mg of oxymetazoline. According to the US National Library of Medicine page, oxymetazoline acts to relieve nasal congestion due to acute rhinitis, sinus, and allergic conditions.

In addition to the form of nasal drops, oxymetazoline can also be found in the form of a spray. Always follow the instructions for use on the packaging label.

Learn more about Child Health here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Regina Victoria Boyles, MD


Written by Hello Sehat · Updated May 11, 2022

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