How to Unblock a Baby's Nose Naturally

By Sher Warkentin in Healthy Feeling

As a mom, I spent many exhausting nights wondering when my baby would finally be old enough to blow her nose. If your little one has a stuffy nose, there are a few things I learned about how to unblock a baby's nose naturally that may be able to help you clear their congestion.

How to Unblock a Baby's Nose Naturally

The National Library of Medicine explains that the most common causes for nasal congestion in babies are viral infections, such as the common cold, and allergies. When you have a stuffy nose for these reasons, you might turn to over-the-counter medications for relief. But since cold medicines and decongestants aren't safe for infants and toddlers, what can you do? These simple tips to clear your baby's congestion naturally can help. Of course, be sure to contact your pediatrician if your little one is exhibiting any symptoms of concern.

Saline Spray

Saline is a mixture of water and salt that helps to unblock congestion. Just like gargling with salt water can help to clear mucus in the throat, a saline spray can rinse away thick mucus in the nose. There are many over-the-counter natural saline sprays designed for babies and children.

You can also make your own saline solution at home. The National Library of Medicine recommends combining one teaspoon of iodine-free salt, a pinch of baking soda, and two cups of distilled or boiled water. Using a rubber nasal bulb or a squeeze bottle, gently squeeze a slight spritz into each nostril.

Saline spray is made with salt and water.

Nasal Aspirator

Using a nasal aspirator, you can actually learn how to unblock a baby's nose with your mouth. Luckily, it's nothing near as gross as it sounds.

Once upon a time, the only aspiration device available was a small rubber nasal bulb, which you'd often receive from the hospital when you took home your baby. While it does work, in recent years, new aspiration devices using clear tubing and a filtration system make it possible to suction out mucus using your mouth. The filter prevents any mucus from going farther than the tubing, and I can tell you from experience that it works much better than the nasal bulb.

These days, there are many nasal aspirator devices available, so try a few and see what works best for your baby. Using a saline spray before a nasal aspirator is a good idea to help loosen dry mucus, making it easier to remove.


A humidifier is a great tool to combat congestion. As the Cleveland Clinic explains, the mist from a humidifier helps to relieve sinus congestion. It loosens mucus, making it easier to use a nasal aspirator on your baby.

Humidifiers can be helpful when your child is sick or when their nasal passages become irritated due to dry air, which is often the case during the winter when the heater runs frequently.

If you use a humidifier, it's vital to keep it clean so that it doesn't develop mold or bacteria, potentially making your baby's congestion worse. Change the water daily, clean the tank, and replace the filter frequently. It's also essential to keep track of the humidity level in your home to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria. The Cleveland Clinic states that the best humidity level is between 30 and 50 percent.

A humidifier helps relieve congestion.

Shower Steam

Like a humidifier, the steam from a hot shower can help to clear congestion and loosen mucus, making it easier to clear your baby's nose with an aspirator. I've been using this trick since my kids were babies, and it's still a go-to method now that they're older and can blow their noses themselves.

Sit in the bathroom with your baby. Run the shower on hot, filling the room with steam. This is a good method to use before bedtime, so try turning the lights down, rock your baby in your arms, and maybe add a few drops of a soothing lavender essential oil to the tub to help them relax before going to sleep.

Seeing your baby in discomfort is never easy, but once you learn how to soothe stuffiness and clear congestion naturally, both your baby and you can rest a little easier.

Congestion and illness can disrupt your baby's sleep. Check out these tips on how to get kids to sleep naturally to help you get back to your routine.

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Why It's Good

Using natural ways to unclog your baby's nose can help your baby feel better with methods you can feel comfortable using.