Your baby’s stuffy nose is nothing to rush to the doctor about. Many babies have congestion, and letting it subside on its own is fine. However, you’ll probably be concerned that your baby is having trouble breathing because of it. As a new mom, you have the right to be concerned, but it’s probably just a little bit uncomfortable and in no way life-threatening. If you’re worried, you should try clearing your baby’s nasal passage with a rubber bulb syringe. It’s an easy procedure and it gets even easier every time you do it.

You might have gotten a rubber bulb syringe from the hospital, or an experienced family member may have thrown one in with their baby shower gift. There are other methods for clearing a stuffy nose, but this is certainly the most simple and inexpensive. Before using the syringe, squirt a little bit of saline nasal solution into your baby’s nose with an eyedropper to loosen the congestion. One or two drops in each nostril are enough is recommended, but ask your doctor to be sure. Your baby will probably hate it, and it’s easy to see why. Just remember that it will give you peace of mind when it’s all said and done. Next, use the bulb syringe by squeezing out the air to create a vacuum and slowly releasing it in the nostril. Squeeze the contents out before using it again on the second nostril. Studies show that babies show clear signs of easy breathing afterwards, and it is one of the most effective at-home treatments for nasal congestion.

If your baby starts sniffling again after a while, it’s okay to try again, but don’t use the bulb syringe more than three times every day. The lining in your baby’s nostrils is delicate, and you could irritate it and cause bigger problems that you’ll need a doctor’s treatment for.

Luckily, a little nasal congestion is one of the few infant ailments you can take care of on your own in the comfort of your own home with a simple and inexpensive tool. However, if your baby’s congestion seems to be seriously interfering with his or her breathing or if it’s an abnormal color, you should call your doctor because it could be a sign of a more serious problem. If it just seems like the sniffles and your baby doesn’t seem to care or notice, then the rubber bulb syringe should work fine.

Source: Scott D Krugman et al: Parental Perception of the Effectiveness of Treatment for Nasal Congestion. SAGE Journal Volume 10 March 2012

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