25 answers

Tips for Using Nebulizer with Infant

Hi! My son is 8 months old and has been diagnosed with restrictive airway disease (asthma). We are having to use a nebulizer every 4-6 hours right now, eventually will only have to use it once per day. However, it is very traumatic for him and for me when giving the treatments. He screams and cries, squirms and tries to get away from it. He will even hit and scratch. So far, it doesn't appear that he is getting used to it. Any tips for how we can make this go smoother?

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So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the great advice! Well, things are going a lot smoother now. I let him play with the mask on a couple times, then I put the mask on and acted real silly to get him to laugh. Since then, treatments are a breeze. In fact, sometimes he even falls asleep during them! Also, we did try soy formula but it made him very sick to his stomach - so the doctor put him on Nutramigen for the next month so we will see how that goes!

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My son has had to use a nebulizer since he was 4 months old. He is now 3. It does get easier as they get used to it. I don't know if there is a magical trick or not. Whenever he screams and cries just think of it this way - the deeper he screams and cries the better off he is because he is getting more medication in to his lungs.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi there. I live in a country where they prescribe Nebulizer for a lot of treatments. Colds, congestion, etc. So my 8 month old has had to use them before. It traumatized her at first too, so what I did was first sat with her on my lap with a toy or a book to help distract her, but the main thing I did was I did not use the mask over her face. Instead I took the mask part off and just held the tube blowing the medicine under her nose and mouth. That helps a lot. She is still not a great fan of it, but she doesn't struggle now unless it takes to long and she just gets tired of sitting there. Hope that helps.

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Your baby may be old enough for an inhaler with a spacer. Ask your doctor. Our pediatrician is very young, so she uses lots of new techniques. It is so much faster and less traumatic. You stick the inhaler into the rubber end of the spacer, baby puts mouth on mouthpiece, or you can attach a little mask, and then puff. He just breathes a few breathes, and done.

1 mom found this helpful

Oh, you poor mommy! I am in your court on this one. My two sons (10,7) have asthma and were diagnosed at 3 months and 8 months. I cannot tell you the hours that we have spent in the ER and at home with that damn nebulizer. We still use it regularly but now that they are big it is easy. I just remember when I had one of my sons in the ER and he was fighting the little mask and squirming and pinching me,and I was crying. A nurse came in and could see my distress. She told me that she knew what I was going through but that if I thought about it, the m ore he cried and threw a fit, the more deeply he breathed in the meds. That has just always stuck with me. It is more traumatic for you and honestly your baby gets more medication when he is screaming and crying because he inhales more deeply. And, I promise you, they don't remember it! My doctor tells me ALL the time that my boys are so lucky to have been born at a time when the meds are so terrific. He told me that if my boys had been born even 30 years ago they would be hospitalized about 10 times a year! I hope he feels better soon!

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter had to start taking nebulizer treatments last fall when she was diagnosed with asthma. She was only 9 months old. We tried putting on her favorite tv show on and only played it during her treatments. She tended to watch the show more than scream. I will say it gets better, by this year she will sit and hold it herself while watching Dora. No screaming and I don't even have to hold it for her. i think she likes feeling like she's in charge of the medicine.

1 mom found this helpful

My son has had to use a nebulizer since he was 4 months old. He is now 3. It does get easier as they get used to it. I don't know if there is a magical trick or not. Whenever he screams and cries just think of it this way - the deeper he screams and cries the better off he is because he is getting more medication in to his lungs.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi. We had to use the nebulizer with our baby when he was 5 months old and it is stressful. Our pediatrician said he didn't have to wear the mask and the effect would be the same if we held the mask near his mouth/nose. After playing around, I realized I could buckle him in his carseat (infant carrier) and then clip the nebulizer onto the side with a chip-clip. I pulled the carseat hood over him, put a blanket over that (to enclose the sides, but he could still see out)and created a "tent" for the nebulizer. Since we didn't have to forcefully hold him, he was a lot more relaxed and got to the point where he enjoyed the treatements. I would do this on our kitchen island, where he could still see me. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Been there-done that! What worked for us-my husband and I took turns-we would sing and act really silly. We did the pilot to co-pilot routine using stuffed animals or pretending we were using the nebulizer. We also got a styrofoam cup and poked a hole in the bottom for the mouthpiece because it fit over his mouth better. Take away the noise factor and minimize the fear of the unknown-it should go easier.
Good luck!

Been there, done that. Spacers are good if he is pulling off the mask (you don't have to have it in his mouth if he won't take it, just close). Don't wake him up for any treatments that are to be during the night or during naps, sometimes they sleep through and it is easier then waking them up. And even if they wake up, they are usually groggy enough to make it through the treatment before they get overwhelmingly fussy. For daytime grab a nice flashy toy he can play with in your lap, read a story, or put something bright on the TV. If he is distracted it will go easier. Also, try to get him during more "calm" moments. Good luck.

Check with the local stores and find a nebulizer that's more "child-friendly". My friend had one that looked like an elephant and the mask was at the end of his nose. Another one I've seen looks like a rubber duck. Maybe this will make it a little easier.

Hi there. I live in a country where they prescribe Nebulizer for a lot of treatments. Colds, congestion, etc. So my 8 month old has had to use them before. It traumatized her at first too, so what I did was first sat with her on my lap with a toy or a book to help distract her, but the main thing I did was I did not use the mask over her face. Instead I took the mask part off and just held the tube blowing the medicine under her nose and mouth. That helps a lot. She is still not a great fan of it, but she doesn't struggle now unless it takes to long and she just gets tired of sitting there. Hope that helps.

I had this same stressful experience with my then two-year-old. Sit on the floor & hold him in your lap. He should have his back to you. Wrap your arms around him tightly and hold the mask on his face while the nebulizer does its job. Added benefit--his crying actualy gets the medicine deeper into his lungs, and you get the "secondhand" inhalation treatment--which, in 1990, cured my sinus headaches--they haven't returned!

My ten month old has asthma and now uses a spacer, which you might ask the doctor about. He still doesn't "like" it, but we've tried to make a game out of it, cheering and clapping for him after each treatment, and that seems to help. We also let him play with it for a little bit so he can see it's not going to hurt it.

When he did have to use the nebulizer, we had the best luck with it while he was asleep. We placed the nebulizer as far away as we could (to minimize the noise) and sat in a rocking chair with him to do the treatment. It was a lot easier that way because he would scream and fight us when he was awake. Best of luck and hang in there!

Hi J.,
My heart goes out to you. I have a niece that had the same problem as an infant and it carried over into her adult life. I wish I had the knowledge then that I do now- and i want to impart that to you.

I am not a Doctor- or a nurse- just a mom of 12-
the first thing i would do for your child is change your laundry detergent- and fabric softners if you use them.
No matter what detergent you are using- and how safe you think it is- no matter how many times you rinse- there is still a chemical residue in the fabric- hence, when he sleeps he inhales the residue- This is not a "cure all" but it WILL HELP and make the treatments easier for him to bear. I can put you onto a product that has been proven to eliminate and even cure symptoms of asthma and there is research to prove that statement. PM me at ____@____.com- put ASTHMA in the subject line so I won;t delete the message.

I am not trying to sell you anything- you can make your own decision after you hear the facts if you want to change. but..... I hope you will because you will definitely see some improvement.
Thanks- I look forward to hearing from you.
Have a blessed day

Hi J.. I completely understand what you are going through, but the good news is that it will get better. My 2nd son (now 3years old) was diagnosed with asthma at 6 months old, and since then, we have to nebulize him religiously every night. When he has the asthma attacks it has to be every 6 hours.
To be honest with you at the beginning it was tuft, because he cried and I felt that he was suffering and feeling trap when I put the mask.
What I did was start reading when I was nebulizing him, and now he is so used to it, that when I get the nebulizer, he goes and gets a book, and he holds the mask himself. I sit him on my lap. He likes it because is a private time with Mom or Dad, where only him gets all our attention. It is part of the night time routine.
So my advice will be to find something to do with him at the same time, hear music, sing to him, or watch a video. I didn’t do the video, because I have to nebulize him before bed time, and for an everyday routine, it was more practical for us to read a book.
Good luck, thing are going to be better. Have great holydays.

We currently use a nebulizer. We use it while he's sleeping, if he's awake we read books, put on a video or if worse comes to worse, get it as close to his face as possible for as long as possible (sometimes we even have to stop and start again 10 minutes later, something is always better than nothing.

Good luck!

Please go to www.Oxyphone.com to see a better way to give nebulizer treatments. Screaming does NOT increase the amount of nebs a child gets. There is lots of info on the website that debunks commonly held (but unsupported) rationale for the old way of giving nebs. The facebook site is http://www.facebook.com/pages/Davidson-NC/OxyPhone/270572...;

We started the nebulizer with our son at about the same age. It was a horrible experience. At the time our son didn't watch much TV, so we would put the TV on really loud so he could hear it over the sound of the nebulizer. He still screamed at first, but would settle down and watch a cartoon after a bit.

On the bright side, it wasn't much after his first birthday that the nebulizer became routine and not a problem at all -- just a fact of life.

Good luck!
L.

The nebulizer may help alleviate the symptoms, but I recommend trying to find out the cause of his asthma. You may already know that asthma is often allergy related. If your son is eating any dairy products, switch to soy formula. (Dairy makes you form more mucus and can trigger asthma). You didn't mention if your son is eating any solid foods yet. If he is, try the elimination diet and reintroduce one food at a time. Common allergens: wheat, dairy, egg, soy, etc. If your son is consuming any juice, eliminate it altogether and just do formula and water. Good Luck and hope this helps!

Our daughter had to use one around that age up until she was a little over a year. She no longer needs it but here are some of the things we did:
we would take the nebulizer and show her that mommy and daddy would use it and even pretend on one of her stuffed animals. We would just hold it over our mouths(not touching) then make the pretend spray sound and take a few breaths. Then we would clap after we each took turns. Also made a big to do after she would use it... clapping and cheering. We also let her hold it to examine it and get comfortable. Eventually, she would clap after she would do it. She never 100% got comfortable you could still see the nervousness and hesitation on her face and sometimes she would still cry hysterically but, doing those things did help. Also try wrapping him like a burrito... swaddled with arms in. Just like they do in the doctors office if your child has something stuck in their nose. It won't help him to not cry but, you will be able to give him his treatments more easily. Just remember to soothe him with words and even if none of this works, please be comforted by the fact that when he does scream and cry he is taking large breaths and there for the treatments are that much more effective.
Hang in there, i know its tough to watch your little one cry like that! =)

IMason Avery has a nebulizer accessory: www.easybreathingband.com Please take a look. Kids play hands free, Mom no longer holds the mask. Much more meeication gets inhaled. Its hands free!!

Hi J., I'm sorry your little guy is having a tough time. When we had to do that for my daughter we tried to make it a time where she could sit quietly while I read her all her favorite books. But my husband also had to use a nebulizer when he was real little and his grandparents told me that since the mask looks so much like a pilots airmask they showed him pictures of fighter pilots and then when he needed a treatment they would pretend to fly a plane. I don't know if any of this will help you since your little one is so young, but I hope you find something that works!

Hi, J.,

Sorry to hear that you're having to go through this.

My daugher used to do the same but needed the treatments so badly that we just decided to just lock her in our arms, hold the mask to her face - FIRMLY but gently - and just let her scream. We reasonsed that at least the meds were getting into her lungs, which is what the ped said, too. That lasted for a little bit and then she just surrendered (and felt SO MUCH better after the treatments!!!). Just make sure that the mask covers his nose and is not pressing down on his airways - try this on your self to see what I mean - that could bother any one. It took very little time for this to ocurr and she now *loves* to have that special next to Mommy/Grandma time. Get your son a favorite book or a toys that he loves so he can hold and play with it while you give him his meds. He is young, but in hindsight, they know so much more than you think a hcild at that age does.

And one thing to look forward to is the fact that many children receive these treatments at daycare so he should normailize this experience quickly, one he gets there.

I have been through the same thing and it is very hard. You have to keep the mask on them for them to truly get a good dose of the medication. I always sat down and gave my son my full attention during treatments. I would put him in my lap and read his favorite books. It took his mind off of it. He screamed for a while but finally realized he was going to get the treatment no matter what. Eventually he enjoyed me stopping everything to spend 30 min. with him only.

J.,
i know you already have received a lot of great advise. i guess ill throw my two cents in too. my son is 9 months now and was in the hosp twice in the last 3 months. first with pnemonia then the second time the dr diagnosed him with 'asthma' he uses the nebulizer twice every day and every 2-4 hours if he starts wheezing or coughing with an attack. thankfully he hasnt had another one since our last hosp visit 6 weeks ago. i know that everyone tells you the more they cry the more meds they get in their system but it always broke my heart when gavin cried like crazy at the mask. when we started doing the treatments at home we used the mask but i did like holding him down in my arms to put it in his face. i started just letting him down on the floor to play and instead of using the mask i would use the attachment that was 't' shaped, hold my finger against one end so the med only came out one end. i would keep it aimed towards his mounth/nose while he played. yes sometimes i feel worn out after chasing him with the nebulizer but he gets his meds and i dont have a broken heart after giving them to him. he adjusted so much better since he wasnt being restricted. i guess im lucky because the noise never really bothered him once we got home. i think he got used to it in the hosp since he got a breathing treatment every 3 hours while we were there for 3 days. i hate that we have to endure the times when it seems like were hurting more than helping but we all know that we will do whatever is best for our babies. it comes with the territory. your little one will eventually get more used to the noise and the weird things hanging around his face. i wish you the best of luck with your little angel. hope you can get something with my two cents!!

My daughter was 9 months old when she started using a nebulizer.I used a blanket over her like a tent and just held the nebulizer under the tent, rather than put the mask on her face. This made treatments much easier.

Baby Einstein got us through using the nebulizer. He was about the same age.

Good Luck!

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