Clear an Infant Stuffy Nose- QUICK

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Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and cannot diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. You should always seek the advice of your own health professionals before acting on something that I have published or recommendedSee my full disclaimer here.

Anyone here ever tried to feed a baby with a stuffy nose? too. It's not really as much fun as you'd think. Tiny humans with colds can't seem to make heads or tails of life when trying to eat. Or sleep. Or function contentedly  at all until you fix the problem.

And honestly, since these people can't actually blow their all just becomes a much bigger deal than it should be, amiright?

If you're in this rather miserable boat and you need to un-stuff your sweet babe, here are some ideas that can make it quick, painless, and restore your small person to easy breathing.

Breastmilk up the nose

Besides loosening and thinning mucus ala saline solution, breastmilk is loaded with antiviral constituents, including monolaurin and lactoferrin, so your baby will get a nose wash that directly combats viruses. And although babies hate it, it won't burn as it goes in. Easiest way to do this: lay baby flat on his back and use a transfer pipette to squirt some 


You guys, the Nosefrida is actually my best friend. (I also have human best friends. But seriously this device ranks way up the chain.) My children don't always think it's a friend, but comparative to say, the sad and ineffective bulb syringe, the Nosefrida is the bossmomma of baby gunk removal. Get yourself one. 

Steam Bath

Make your bathroom into a steam room: Run the shower on full hot until that room is nice and steamy. Sit in the room with baby (not in the shower, obviously) and breathe in all that steam for at least 10-15 minutes. (a) The other way you can do this without causing mold overgrowth in your bathroom: tape a shower curtain along the edge of your kitchen table. Grab a humidifier and sit under the table, in your own little steamy cocoon with babe for the same amount of time. 

Using Essential Oils in a steam bath can be beneficial, but using essential oils with people under two years old needs to be undertaken cautiously. Here are some safety guidelines to follow. 

  • Most professional aromatherapists don't recommend applying essential oils topically to children under the age of three months. But since that's not what we're doing here, let's move on...
  • You can safely diffuse the following oils to support healthy respiratory function for your little one: Cypress, Spruce, Pine, Fir Needle (Abies sibirica), Frankincense, Spearmint (Mentha spicata)- similar to but safer than peppermint for small children, and Tea Tree (Melaleuca). (b) There are a number of oils that are unsafe for use with young children (including any with menthol in them), so be aware and use only those that are safe. 
    How to Diffuse: Place 1-5 drops into the humidifier or into the shower if you're steaming the bathroom.  You can also place 1-2 drops into an essential oils diffuser for all-night care. 


Allowing baby to sleep in a seated/upright position - even if that means on your chest (sorry sleep deprived caretaker)- can help drain nasal passages. 

Feed, feed feed that child.

Because dehydration is a thing when baby is sick. And because hydration thins secretions. Drinketh deeply and much.  


There are a number of signs and symptoms that warrant a visit to the doctors office or ER, such as difficulty breathing, cyanosis (baby turning blue, including extremities, lips or around mouth, etc.), wheezing, congestion + fever, and others.  This area is pretty long and in-depth, so that'll be another post for another time. For now I'll leave you in Dr. Sears' hands. At the bottom of his brief article is a list of links that you might find extremely helpful for determining if that babe needs to be seen. Above all: if you're unsure or feel your baby needs medical attention- trust your momma gut.  Take your baby in to the doctor. 

How do you help your little one with a cold? Which of these ideas works for you? 

Tell us in the comments below!