How to clear your baby's dry, stuffy noseExtremely dry air can cause the sensitive lining of a baby’s nose to dry up. The tiny blood vessels inside a dry nose may break and bleed. If your...

How to clear your baby's dry, stuffy nose

Extremely dry air can cause the sensitive lining of a baby’s nose to dry up. The tiny blood vessels inside a dry nose may break and bleed. If your baby’s nose has not been injured but bleeds often, he may have a dry nose. This dryness may also make it easier for a baby to get a cold.

Nasal dryness often worsens during cold winter months, when heating makes the air inside the home particularly dry.

Tips to soothe your baby’s dry nose

If a dry or irritated nose seems to be bothering your baby, try these tips.

Moisten your baby’s nose

You can buy salt water (saline) drops at the drug store. You can also make your own by mixing 1/4 teaspoon of salt into 1/2 cup of warm water. Make fresh drops daily.

  1. Lay your child on his back. Place a rolled towel beneath his shoulders.

  2. Put 2 or 3 saline drops into each nostril. Wait 30 to 60 seconds.

Another way to help to soothe and moisten the inside of a kids nose is with a small amount of petrolatum jelly such as Vaseline, applied to the lining of the dividing wall between nostrils and just inside the nose. Use a small cotton-tipped applicator or your baby finger, but don’t insert them too deeply! Make sure that your hands are washed and that you don’t scratch your baby’s nose with a fingernail.

Expert Answers
wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator
I'm a big fan on the humified in the child's bedroom while they are sleeping. Depending on your living arragements, it can be difficult to place a humidifier in the room with the child all day. Saline solution works well, but can often be very upsetting to the child. For a stuffy nose, it can help to use a bulb aspirator to suction the sinus drainage back out after allowing the saline solution to loose it. If their sinuses are so dry or stuffy they are inconsolable (as sometimes happens when very young babies have a cold), running a hot shower and sitting with the child in a steamy bathroom can provide immediate relief.
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
To these excellent suggestions, I would add that you should always watch your baby carefully. Since babies cannot talk, it is up to you as mother or caregiver to look for signs of discomfort. For example, if you use a humidifier, watch to see if it helps or your baby needs something else.
lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The petroleum jelly can work wonders, but it is extremely important to use only the tiniest amount, or it will can actually make the nose more stuffy and can further impede a baby's breathing through his nose.

megan-bright eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The humidifier and saline drops work wonders. The saline drops can be a bit stressful for parents and baby, but once you learn to be quick with it, you realize it is worth the temporary discomfort.

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would also suggest using a cold air humidifier. This allows cool and moisturized air to fill the room. During winter this is especially helpful given having the heat on dries out the air.