43 answers

Advice on How to Unclog a Stuffy Nose

My 3 month old is pretty congested. I've been putting saline drops in her nose and giving her Triaminic thin strips decongestant. Is there anything else I can do so she can breath better?

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I dont know if you breast feed but i use breast milk instead of or in conjuction with saline drops.... it works really well!

Hi there is some vapor rub for babies that you could use. You just put it on the babies back and chest but not on the face and that should help solve the problem.

My pediatrician told me meds don't really work on young babies. When my daughter had a cold I gave her warm baths with the vapor bath. That would get her nose running. Also elevating her mattress on one end.

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My pediatrician told me meds don't really work on young babies. When my daughter had a cold I gave her warm baths with the vapor bath. That would get her nose running. Also elevating her mattress on one end.

I dont think a 3 month old should be taking a decongestant there are plenty of plug ins that you can use to help her nose unclog or a cool mist humidfier should do the trick the saline drops will keep it clean to prevent infection try the chest rubs also when my daughter was small i would place it on a night stand or near the bed opened so i wouldnt have to actually rub it on her.

I use a lot of organic products in my home and that helps with breathing in general. When my son is sick, I use a vaporizer in his room and I put melaleuca oil and solumel in it. Those are both natural ingredient products that I get from my online store. Those help open the breathing passages and it smells good.

A humidifier would probably help her considerably. If you don't have one, you can run a teapot - just warm enough to keep the steam going (with the spout lid open). Keep a close eye on it, though, if you do that, since if it runs out of water, it can ruin the pot. Also, have you asked a doctor about the decongestant? I saw on the news that cold remedies (decongestants, cough syrups) don't really work on kids and can be dangerous - toxic even - to them. Just suggesting that you check with your pediatrician about it. God bless - hope she gets better soon.

I would say put a cool-mist humidifier in her room, at night. Also, maybe try to elevate her head just a bit - when she's sleeping.

Use the bathroom, you can run the hot water so that it steams up the room. The steam should help to unclog the nose. I used it with my son & it worked pretty well. Hope it works.

Saline drops and then using a bulb syringe to suck out the congrestion is the best thing. I also rub some baby vapor rub on my daughter's neck and chest, but I think that is for 6 months and older. I was actually reading recently that decongestants are not proven effective for babies and can actually have bad effects, so I would ask your pediatrician before you use any of them. It is so hard when they are congested, especially if it makes it hard to nurse, but the cold will pass eventually. Good luck!

hi there, if you still have the bulb syringe from the hospital that helps out a bunch, if you don't have one they sell them at any pharmacy.

I didn't read through all the responses so not sure if you have already gotten one like this...something that really helped my daughter is going into the bathroom and turning all the water on hot and just hanging out in the steam filled room for about 15 minutes. I also would open up a canister of Vicks vapor rub and would pass it under her face so that some of the fumes could help open her up. I found with saline drops the more I gave to her the more congested she got so keep an eye out for that. Hope it helps!!

Are you bulb suctioning her nose after the saline drops? Also try a humidifier when she sleeps and an old wives tale that helps with bothe the congestion and a cough is to put Vick's Vapo-rub on their feet and then put socks on them. Also make sure your child is well hydrated as it will help with the secretions. Little Noses makes a decongestant spray. Check the label for appropriate ages and it has to be used sparingly because of its ingredients. Hope this helps!

have you tried getting a cool air humidifer? that really helps if the air is really dry in your home.

If you have one, you can use a bulb syringe - the kind they use in the hospital to clear the baby's mouth right after birth. You can do this after putting in the saline drops for it to be the most effective. Make sure you swaddle her tightly because she is not going to like the feeling. They make two kinds of syringes. I think the one you can usually find in the Safety section of the Baby department is the one without a point that fits right on the outside of the nostril. I have 2 daughters who have had this problem since they were born - they are now 3 and 6 (I no longer do it to them). Their first pediatrician recommended this and it worked really well. Unfortunately, you may have to do it more than once a day as their nasal cavities tend to fill up. Hope this helps.

After months of constant "stuffiness", having him sleep upright and numerous trips to doc, we switched our 7 months old to a soy based formula. It has been almost a month now and it has made a HUGE difference for him. I know teeting and cold produces extra mucus, esp at this time of the year. But I couldn't help but wonder if the milk based formula was contributing. After talking to some docs we switched formulas. I noticed a differenc within days and he has not gotten clogged up at all!

Good luck and be careful with decongenstents under two years of age. Alot of doc's don't recommend.

Try rubbing a little Vick's Vapo rub on her chest. That always helped my kids.

My docotor says not cold medicine until the age of 2. I would stop giving your daughter the thin strips. They do more harm than good at this age.

Vapors in the air are good and elevating one side of the bed.

I have a 7 month old with the same problem. I have been using a humidifier at night and it has helped a lot. Also during the day if she has trouble eating, feed her in the bathroom with the door shut and the shower running hot water.
I hope she feels better soon.

Saline and suction are always the best choice for a stuffy nose in a little baby. Humidity in a bathroom is also good. The problem with humidifier in the bedroom is the moisture encourages the growth of mold if you are not careful which could agravated nasal symptoms. The vapor plug in at night I feel is a better choice. I found that when my son was older about 8-9 months and he did not really like the suction I would put my mouth over his mouth (like a big kiss) and give him a quick (1 sec) forceful blow. This will blow all of the ickyness out of his nose (usu onto my face), but he thought it was funny. He would blow into me then I would blow into him. I would not recommend that for any child less than 8-9 month but it worked for my son and it was a lot easier that trying to pin him down to use the suction.


Your 3 month old should most definitely NOT be using triaminic!! Babies should not have decongestants! Call your pediatrician please. Also, use the saline drops and one of those bulb things to get the mucus out. Run a hot shower so the bathroom gets steamy and sit in there with the baby.

Be sure to stop the triaminic IMMEDIATELY!!!

i know that you have gotten a lot of advice on this.. and most say no to the decongestant... but its not always a no.. talk to your Dr about it, and see what they have to say cause all Dr's are diffrent, my child has a cold right now, stuffed up nose, heh even that icky lil nose goo -grins- other wise known as snot coming out his nose, and the Dr recommended to me that i give him either the motrin child cold, or the tylenal cold for children... not even the infant ones!!! the ones for 2 years plus, and they will even tell you how much to give the Dr that is smiles softly.. so call Your Dr and see waht they have to say!

Have you tried suctioning her nose out with the little blue bulbs? They hate it, but it works. As for the "thin strips", were these recomended by your MD? They are for children as I understand it, not for infants. I am not trying to scare you, but there have been things in the news lately that report on infants dying from taking childrens decongestants.

My 4 month old gets that way and theres a couple of things I do first he sleeps with a humidifier and a vapor plug those work great. I will run a hot shower and sit in the bathroom with him for a bit and let him breath the steam plus his crib mattress is elevated. I hope this will help you.

They make baby vicks. It has saved my life. My son is wearing some as I type this. Also stop the thin strips. My doc says no meds. Vaporizers, sitting in the bathroom/steam room but no meds. Unless of course, she has a fever...then Tylenol or motrin. Saline can make things worse. I'd try the baby vicks, just make sure where you put it is covered by clothes. We wouldn't want her putting her hands on her chest and the in her eyes. Double Drama. LOL If you have any more questions, call the doc. That's what they are there for. Hope she gets over this soon. Best of luck to you.

At this young age there isn't much you can give her. She isn't even old enough for the thin strips so you might want to stop that one. The best thing you can do is keeping using the saline and then suck it all back out. I know she hates it cause my 9 month old does too but he is always happier afterwards when he can breath easier!! You can also go with a room humidifier in her room when she is sleeping (get one of the $30 Vicks cool mist from Target, they are very quiet and use distilled water so you don't have to worry about miniral build up as bad). I've also just started trying the Vicks waterless vaporizer. It seems to work pretty good too. But if she running fevers, isn't eating much, her wet diapers are 4 or less a day, you might want to take her to the ER, this is the time for RSV which can lead to more sever illness and deyrdration. My sis just had to take her 3 month old in cause she wasn't getting over her cold and she has a mild case of it. Good luck to you guys!!

All the advice the other moms gave you is great and exactly what I did when my kids were that age. One thing that wasn't mentioned is...breastmilk (if you are nursing). Now I am not a breastfeeding fanatic in fact I didn't breastfeed but through friends and my mommies group I have heard them say that they put just a couple drops of breastmilk in the babies nostrils and it helped clear them up.

In fact I have been told other uses for breastmilk like cuts, scraps, and even pinkeye. Sounds wierd I know but I guess all the antibodies that are in the breastmilk help.

Good luck to you!

I was told by my pediatrician that meds (especially decongestants) can have far worse side effects for an infant than not taking them and does not suggest anything other than tylenol for less than a year old and motrin if over 6 months old. My advice stop the triaminic! The saline spray and aspirator are good and a cold mist humidifier are helpful, though the humidifier often makes them sound worse first. Our daughter has always been stuffy and some babies just are. I learned the hard way that a vaporizer and warm steam in children under 1 year can be bad because they actually make the nasal passages swell and cause difficulty breathing. Also Vicks can cause pneumonia if your child gets chilled with it on. The plug in can cause headache making them feel worse and the vapor patches/rub can cause seizures if they get it on their hands and then into their mouths. My advice... aspirator and saline spray. Also the correct way (according to my pediatrician)to use the spray is drop 2-6 drops in each nostril. Wait 2-3 minutes them aspirate. I had no clue and just tried to suck it out. Hope this helps you.

Get a vaporizer for her room, or use the shower steam trick--turn on the shower as hot as your water gets, shut the bathroom door, and let the shower run. The steam will help clear her up.

I would skip the vapor rub or the vick's...reason being is that you cannot expose a baby at this age to any form of draft with vicks...just not good....the best thing you can do is humidify the air...a room humidifier, if you have a heating stove, put a pot of water on top...or just simply place a pan of water on you stove and let it boil....if you are going to give medicine....you should try something for infants that is organic....you can buy at any health food store...

Get one of those vicks vapor rub plugins they work very well. They have help us and you can also get the vicks rub ointment for children. just put a little bit on her chest and make sure you are sucking the mucas out when you put in the saline drops.. Hope she feels better..

suctioning the snot out of her nose helps a lot and keeping her elevated while sleeping helps. Also a humidifier in her room. Just put a pillow under her mattress to elevate her.

My son had been congested for a week...my ped said Childrens Tylenol Cold was best...I had tried the Triaminic too, without much good. My ped did end up giving me a prescription for amocicilian since he was neg. for the flu. Vicks makes a plug in that helped my little one breath easy at night. Good luck and hope your little one feels better soon.

Suction alot! Also, try making your bathroom a 'steam room'... Go in, shut the door, turn your shower on to fully hot - let it steam up while you hold the baby upright in there, this helps break up some of the yucky stuff. My little guy is 1 now; so I provide toys on the floor in the bathroom when we have to do this - if you can tolerate it for 10-15 min it really helps! Turn the shower off once you get it really steamy, and just stay in the room for a bit! We also use a cool mist humidier for a portion of the night each night - since we started doing this, we've had no icky nose problems!!!

Good Luck!

My daughter use to get congested all the time when she was a baby. Fill your bathroom with steam and sit in there with her. You can read a book or play with some toys. She won't even realize whats going on. You can also fill the steam before you give her a bath that way the bathroom will clear out by the time you have finished her bath. Good luck!

We have five children and have had a lot of yucky noses! Using the drops is good but you have to suction the fluids back out. What's good about the drops is it's only saline and non habit forming so you can use them and suction quite a bit. Put a pillow under the crib mattress to elevate your baby's head. This helps everything flow down instead of pooling in the back of her sinus cavity, which makes the clog worse. We use a humidifier everynight during the winter months to help keep our childrens noses/throats moist. It seems to help cut back on sinus infections. I bought our humidifiers @ Walmart and they sell the refills for the filters. Last but not least the meds. We used baby dimetapp around 3-4 months of age on a couple of our children. Just call and ask your Dr./or nurse what they recomend for your baby and her symptoms. I hope she feels better soon. It's so hard to watch them feel bad and then add in lack of sleep for the Mommy. Good Luck!

We were in the hospital with RSV with our 6 month old, and one of the nurses made a suggestion that really works!

Create a steam room in your bathroom like someone else suggested. Then take a bit of Vick's Vapor Rub (the adult kind; not for babies), and put it in a coffee mug with some water. Boil it in the microwave, and then put the mug in the bathroom. (Make sure, of course, that's it's completely out of reach of your little one. I always put it in the bathtub and sat with her on the floor.)

It worked wonders for us! There was one night we thought we were going to have to go back to the hospital because she was so stuffed up and couldn't breathe well at all. We tried this, and it worked perfectly. She could breathe and slept well all night!

Try putting a cold mist humidifier in her room. I started using one in my son's room when he was really small and I still use it everynight. There are also nightlights that you can be Vick's strips into. They really help too.

I dont know if you breast feed but i use breast milk instead of or in conjuction with saline drops.... it works really well!

Try a humidifer and there is also a baby vick's rub for their chests. My daughter went through the same thing a month or so ago and the doctor also suggested getting the Little Noses Decongestent Nose Drops, BUT...those are just like adult nose drops, so they can not be used for more than three days. I would flush out her nose with the saline spray, suck out the boogies and then follow-up with the decongestent spray. Make sure you check the age on the spray too- my daughter was 5 months when we gave it to her.

did you suck out the mucus after loosening it?

try a LITTLE vicks on her chest my grandma swore by it...i know!!!

Hi there is some vapor rub for babies that you could use. You just put it on the babies back and chest but not on the face and that should help solve the problem.

Check out www.trianglemommies.com! They will offer you the advice that you need!

I recently had an ENT tell us to stop the decongestant as it can cause liver problems and loses its effectiveness. Use a humidifier. Especially in the winter months when you use your heat sources more often! I'll even just boil water on the stove to get moisture in the air.

Also try a cool mist humidifier in the babies room. It works some for mine. It won't completely get rid of it though.

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