NOTE: This post contains affiliate links of Recommended products that when you purchase any product through the link provided, I will earn a commission at a no cost which will suport my work as a blogger to produce more educative posts like this one.
Please if the recommended products don’t cause any positive change in your life, I do advice you to see your personal doctor as soon as possibe.
How to Relieve Stuffy Nose in Toddlers.
A cold, the flu allergies, or a dry environment can all cause stuffy nose in toddlers.
In a healthy child, mucus moisturizes and cleans the nasal membranes, but when the child becomes ill or is exposed to irritants, mucus production increases to help fight the infection or as a response to the irritant, resulting in a stuffy nose.
Most children are not able to blow their noses until around age 4, which is why relieving a stuffy nose in toddlers requires special steps to help toddlers clear their nasal passages.
Getting the Mucus Out
Use a nasal aspirator to remove excess mucus from the toddler’s nasal passages.
Since most toddlers are not able to blow their noses, they require additional assistance in order to clear their stuffy noses.
A nasal aspirator, also known as a bulb syringe, uses suction to pull mucus from the nostrils.
Nasal aspirators have a bulb section and a long, narrow section you insert into the nostrils.
Have the child lay down on your lap.
You should be able to easily reach the toddler’s nostrils and be able to hold the child in place if needed.
Pick up the nasal aspirator and squeeze the bulb portion.
Insert the tip into 1 nostril while still squeezing the bulb.
Release the pressure on the bulb gradually, allowing it to suck out the excess mucus.
Remove the nasal aspirator from the toddler’s nostril and squeeze the bulb over a facial tissue to remove the mucus.
Repeat the process with the other nostril.
Be sure to wash with soapy water and rinse after each use.
You can also try a NoseFrida, which is a suction device that parents use a flexible straw-like device and their own suction to draw out the mucus from the baby’s nose.
Flush your child’s nasal passages with saline solution.
Although most cough and cold medications are not approved for use in small children, saline solution is safe to use on babies and toddlers and can help clear a stuffy nose.
If you make your own saline solution, be sure to use filtered or purified water, not tap water.
Mix 1/4 tsp salt into one cup of warm water.
Also keep in mind that you can buy pre-made saline solutions in drop or spray forms at the drugstore, or buy kits with the equipment you need — just add the water at home.
Get the toddler in a position where the head is lower than the feet and you can easily reach the child’s head.
Take your saline solution and gently squeeze two to three drops of the saline solution into each nostril.
Wait for one to two minutes to allow the solution to drain through the nasal passages.
The toddler may sneeze or cough out mucus, so have facial tissues available.
Suction the toddler’s nostrils with a nasal aspirator if the child doesn’t sneeze or cough out the mucus.
Use steam to help relieve a stuffy nose.
Warm steam can break up congestion by loosening nasal secretions.
With your toddler, go into the bathroom and shut the door.
Turn on the shower in a bathroom, using the hot water to generate steam.
Remain in the bathroom 10 to 20 minutes.
Improving the Environment
Remove irritants from the toddler’s environment.
Common irritants include cigarette smoke, pollen, and pet dander.
Ask all people living in the toddler’s home to quit smoking or to refrain from smoking indoors or around the exterior of the dwelling.
If they are smoking outside of the home, they should change their clothes as soon as they return home.
Change your furnace or air conditioner air filter frequently.
Most air filter manufacturers recommend you use a new filter every 30 to 60 days, but you may want to change the filter more frequently if you have pets or you or your family members suffer from allergies.
To determine whether you should replace your filter, physically inspect the filter to see if it is dirty — animal hair and dander can quickly clog an air filter.
Consult your local weather report for the daily pollen count.
Toddlers who are allergic or sensitive to pollen should stay indoors on days the pollen count is high.
Try to schedule outdoor activities on days with a low pollen count.
Wash your child’s hands frequently.
This will help prevent him from getting more germs and conceivably getting sicker.
It’s also going to help you get rid of the germs that have collected on his hands.
Eating and Drinking to Get Well
Make sure the toddler stays hydrated.
Adequate fluid intake helps keep the mucus thinner and easier to swallow, reducing congestion.
Water and an electrolytes drink, like Pedialyte, are the best choices.
The child should get about four cups of water a day total (this includes water in food as well).
Offer foods that can help.
Fruits and vegetables high in vitamins like apples, citrus, and leafy greens are great for keeping his or her immune system strong.
Even if your child doesn’t have much of an appetite, a whole-grain hot cereal would also help.
In addition to being high in fiber, the steam and heat from the cereal can help clear a mucus-filled nose.
Give your child some chicken soup.
Traditional wisdom was right — chicken soup and other broth-based soups can help your child recover from a cold.
It boosts your immune system, and based on the ingredients, can add electrolytes and an array of vitamins, as well as helping to thin out mucus.
Helping while Asleep
Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep.
While your child is unwell, she will probably sleep more than usual, which is one way a child’s body is helping it to get well.
Make it possible for your child to rest more than normal, both at night and during the day.
Elevate the toddler's head during sleep.
Raising the head higher than the rest of the body can make it easier for the child to breathe while sleeping with a stuffy nose.
Raise the child’s mattress by placing a crib wedge or towel underneath the head end of the mattress.
Place a cool mist vaporizer or ultrasonic humidifier in the toddler's room at night.
A humidifier helps moisten the air, making it easier for a child with a stuffy nose to breathe and sleep soundly.
Clean the cool mist vaporizer or humidifier frequently because mold and bacteria can build up in the machine.
Rinse daily with hot water and use a diluted bleach solution to clean the humidifier after every three days of use.
Rinse thoroughly with water after cleaning with the bleach solution.