How to Relieve a Toddler’s Stuffy Nose

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Nasal congestion often occurs due to colds or allergies. Stuffy noses often result from swollen nasal passage linings. A stuffy nose makes breathing difficult and causes discomfort for toddlers. The nasal congestion might get worse while your young child sleeps. Over-the-counter cold medications aren’t recommended for toddlers and often aren’t effective. Consider comfort measures at home to relieve your toddler’s stuffy nose. While the cold won’t go away faster, your toddler will likely feel better and breathe easier.

Step 1

Run a humidifier in your toddler’s bedroom to add moisture to the air. Clean the humidifier daily to avoid mold and bacteria from accumulating.

Step 2

Squirt saline nose drops into your toddler’s nose to loosen mucus and moisturize dry, inflamed nasal passages. Don’t use medicated nasal sprays with young children unless her doctor recommends it.

Step 3

Clear the nasal passages with an aspirator. Squeeze the bulb part of the aspirator before placing the end in a nostril. Release your grip on the bulb to suction out the mucus. Repeat this process as often as necessary to keep the nasal passage clear. Using the aspirator in conjunction with saline nose drops can make both more effective.

Step 4

Fill the bathroom with steam by turning on the shower with hot water. Sit with your congested toddler to help break up the congestion.

Step 5

Offer your toddler plenty of fluids throughout the day to thin mucus and keep the body hydrated. Avoid sugary drinks as much as possible.

Step 6

Elevate your toddler’s head when he sleeps. Place pillows or towels underneath the mattress to raise the bed slightly. During awake times, try propping your toddler up on the couch with pillows behind him.

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