Nasal Congestion Remedies
Leslie Wilkins of Brooklyn, New York, has been there. Her 1-year-old son, Jeremiah, has had congestion on and off since he was 6 months old. "As a parent, I feel terrible," says Wilkins. "There are few things worse than listening to your baby boy struggle to breathe. And you feel so bad for the baby [because] they don't know how to sniff or blow their nose yet." Her doctor suggested spending some time in a steamed-up bathroom as well as using a bulb syringe. They also ran a humidifier in his room.
Other simple things parents can do, suggests Dr. Conway, are letting the baby sleep upright—in a car seat, swing, or lying on a parent's chest—during acute symptoms and consulting with a physician regarding use of saline drops three times a day to lubricate nasal passages and loosen thick nasal discharge, making it easier to remove with bulb suction. Saline can be purchased at a store or made at home by mixing 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water, says Dr. Brown, who also recommends putting a wedge under the baby's mattress for elevation. (Here are 8 medicine-free cold and flu remedies.)