Baby Stuffy Nose at Night : All You Need To Know

Remember the times you wake up choking for air because your nose is really stuffy? It's really difficult when we have a congested nose. Now, imagine how much more difficult it would be for our babies to suffer from a heavily congested nose.

You see, baby stuffy nose at night is much more difficult for our little ones so they end up being really fussy. However, if we help our babies breathe better and make them feel more comfortable, both you and your baby will sleep through the night with ease.

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Causes of a Baby Stuffy Nose at Night

There are so many reasons for your baby's nasal congestion. Before we talk to you about the common reasons why our little ones suffer from nasal congestion, we have to really know the normal condition of our babies’ nasal passage.

You see, in the first few months of birth, you notice that your baby often has a breathing that sounds more like a stuffy nose. This is because when they've spent nine months swimming in amniotic fluid that when she was born, some are left in her nasal passage. That's why your baby will be sneezing from time to time to expel the fluid up her nose and will eventually disappear by the time she turns 3 or 4 months.

Other than the natural congestion your baby was born with, here are common things that cause nasal congestion in babies:

  • Common colds or viral infections. Respiratory infections directly affect your baby's breathing because with colds comes runny noses.
  • Allergies or allergic rhinitis causes you and your baby to have a stuffy nose. This is triggered mostly by pollen, dust, fragrances or other things that your baby is allergic to.
  • Low humidity or dry air can also cause your baby to have a stuffy nose. When the air has no moisture it can irritate the nose. When your baby’s nose is irritated, the nose lining gets inflamed. Her nose tries to battle the dry air by producing more and more mucus causing a stuffy nose.
  • Teething. You may not know it but teething can also cause nasal congestion. Your baby has a tiny nasal passage and in teething, the gums swell up making the nasal passage even smaller. Teething can make your baby's nose prone to nasal congestion.

Effects of a Congested Nose

  • Babies deal with nasal congestion differently. Our little ones can find only one remedy - breathe through the mouth. And it can cause your little one to have difficulty in breastfeeding or bottle feeding.
  • You will have a fussy baby.
  • Your little one may end up having sleepless nights due to a stuffy nose. A congested nose can obstruct the nasal passage causing her to suffer at night especially since she is lying down flat on her back.
  • Your baby's lips will also get chapped. As your little one relies on breathing through her mouth, her lips and the roof of her mouth may also end up drying up.

Soothing an Irritated Nose

​Dry air is the main culprit in causing a very irritated nose. Your little one may feel more comfortable if you try the following tips.

1. Use Nasal Drops

Nasal drops are available everywhere. You can purchase any infant saline drops for your baby in any drug store or online.

To begin, prep your baby by laying her down with the back flat on the bed. Gently press your baby by the tip of her nose and drop about two or three saline drops per nostril.

You don't have to poke the end of the saline dropper inside your baby's nose since it might poke the sensitive nasal lining causing your baby to go on a rampage.

After a minute, the mucus will come out on its own. REMEMBER: use non-medicated saline drops only.

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2. Steam Shower

This is a simpler yet more effective approach.

Just put in the shower on high temperature until the bathroom becomes nice and steamy. Sit with your baby inside the bathroom for about 10 minutes. The warm air will moisten your baby's nose and the mucus to be looser and easier to pull out.

3. Use a Humidifier

A stuffy or a dry nose can easily be solved with the use of a humidifier. Putting a humidifier in your nursery can help resolve the dry air.

This is especially helpful if you have the heater on at home because the heater can dry the air inside your home.

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Unclogging the Congested Nose

Once your baby's nose is moistened up, you can readily drain the mucus from her nose. Here are some simple ways of unclogging your baby's stuffy nose effectively.

After using saline drops on your baby's nose, you can flip your baby on her stomach. By this time, the saline solution would have already loosened up the mucus from your baby's nostril. It will naturally flow down thick and slimy so prepare a tissue or a wipe to catch that stream of mucus. Your baby may end up sneezing or coughing it out as well, so watch out for those.

You can also use a nasal aspirator. There are many types of nasal aspirators: nasal bulb, electric nasal aspirator, and manual aspirator. Nasal bulbs are those common bulb shaped suctions for your baby's nose. Electric nasal aspirators are battery-powered suction for mucus. Simply turn it on and suction out the mucus from your baby's nose. It has a catcher that you can easily clean up. The manual nasal aspirator is a powered by you. It means that you suck your baby's mucus with the use of tubes and straws.

The last way of clearing out the mucus from your baby's nose is doing it the primitive way. You suck it out yourself. This is particularly disgusting to most but this is how they have done it in the past. If you can handle it, then do it. It's an immediate solution to help your baby find instant comfort.

DIY Remedy for Baby's Stuffy Nose

In the absence of a drugstore saline solution, you can make your saline solution at home

To begin, make sure that your hands are really clean. Saline drops are actually just salty water. You can do this yourself at home by boiling one cup of water mixed with ½ teaspoon of salt in a pot with the lid on. Set it aside for it to cool to room temperature. You can transfer it to a sterilized jar or container.

To use your homemade saline solution, get a small syringe. You can use the syringe as a saline dropper. You can also use a nasal bulb for this as well, preferably a new nasal bulb.

​You can also get a paper towel and dip it in the saline solution. Let your baby breathe in it. It will also help loosen the mucus out.

NOTE: Throw away the saline solution after 24 hours. You can also use organic sea salt, Himalayan salt or rock salt as a healthier alternative.

​In summary

Due to a small nasal passageway, your baby is very prone to having nasal congestion. It is fairly common for babies to have stuffy noses also due to many environmental factors like low humidity.

In order to help your baby feel more comfortable through the night despite a stuffy nose, you can use one of the oldest tricks in the book: make your own homemade saline solution. So remember the following simple steps:

  • Mix ½ teaspoon of salt in 1 cup (8 ounces) of water.
  • Let it boil for 15 minutes and cool to room temperature.
  • Use a syringe or nasal bulb as a nasal dropper.
  • Help your baby expel the mucus.

By following these few simple steps, you will easily help your child breathe better, feel more comfortable and less fussy. Now you know what to do when your baby has a stuffy nose at night.

Stacy Belk
 

My name is Stacy Belk, I am a nurse, midwife and mother of two children. I would like to share my experiences in taking care of children including activities to do together, recipes to cook, good products to buy and health protection to your family. Do a search now if you like, all you need is here.

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