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Saline Nasal Drops For Babies – How To Give, Benefits & Side Effects

Published on: 27 June , 2019 | Ekta

Every child born has suffered from cold & cough as an infant & toddler several times. No child is an exception. Saline Drops alleviate congestion caused due to allergies, flu or cold. This blogs will give you a complete guide to - Saline Nasal Drops For Babies – How To Give, Benefits & Side Effects and Dosage.

Also read best home remedies to cure cold & cough

What Causes Nasal Congestion?

Nasal congestion occurs when blood vessels and the tissues in the nasal cavity get clogged with too much mucus (whitish, yellowish or greenish semi-solid discharge) or fluid. It causes difficulty in breathing normally & leads to disturbed sleep. The viral infection also can cause sinus infection.

What Are Saline Nasal Drops For Babies?

Saline Nasal drops is a safe mixture of salt & water that is poured in both the nostrils to relieve nasal congestion caused due to cold and blocked nose. When your little baby catches cold, the mucus get accumulated in the nose, blocking the air passage, making it difficult for your baby to breathe comfortably. Infants and toddlers are very young to blow out the mucus / phlegm produced by the respiratory system or administered with decongestants, so nasal drops is the obvious choice suggested by pediatricians globally.

How Does Saline Nasal Drops Work?

The composition of “Salt+Water” causes the blood vessels to contract and dilates the mucus to reduce swelling in the sinus area.  

Benefits Of Saline Nasal Drops For Babies

  1. It relieves runny, stuffy, dry nose that cause congestion.
  2. Removes mucus & clears nasal passage.
  3. Contains no side effects, no medicines or drugs.
  4. Keeps nostrils moisturized.

How To Give Nasal Saline Drops to Babies?

New-born baby care requires extra care & caution as infants are vulnerable to infections at this stage. Hygiene, frequency of administration, quantity, brand and quality are some important criteria to keep in mind. Here is your ready reckoner to give nasal drops to relieve nasal congestion in babies.

  1. Clean your hands thoroughly with soap and water to remove all dirt, germs & bacteria. Also sterilize or wash the dropper with warm water before use to rule out chances of infection.
  2. Place your baby on your lap or on the bed and incline with support of your left arm (if you are right-handed & vice-versa if you are left-handed) so that the head is slightly elevated.
  3. Use only a dropper that is provided in the pack & follow recommended dosage by your pediatrician. The dosage recommended behind the pack / box is only an indicative.
  4. Once the saline drops are sucked up to the mark in the dropper, insert it inside the nostril of your baby, while avoiding contact with the inside of the nostril.
  5. Once the nasal saline drops are administered in both sides of the nose gently with the bulb of the dropper, let the baby lie in the same position for 2-3 minutes so that the drops seep into the nasal passage with ease. Rub off the excess.
  6. Wash the dropper again with water and place it inside the box for next use.

If your child is older or is a toddler, you can follow the same procedure. But make sure your child tries to blow out the mucus / phlegm to clear the nasal passage before inserting the nasal saline drops.

Try to position the nasal bulb "OUT" rather than "UP" as it's alot more easier to suck out the mucus & fluid this way.

Since the septum in the centre of the nose has more nerves than our nostrils do, if the bulb syringe is positioned straight up, it normally rubs against the septum which is very uncomfortable for the child.  Point the bulb syringe "outwards", away from the septum for ease of dilation.

How To Remove Mucus From An Infant's Blocked Nose?

You can remove the mucus using the same dropper you used to insert the nasal saline drops. A dropper has a bulb on it end.

  1. After you have placed two drops of the drops in the nostril, squeeze the bulb before you insert it into the nose.
  2. When you release the bulb it will draw / suck the mucus from the nasal cavity, providing instant relief to your baby.

CAUTION: Do not squeeze the bulb after inserting it inside the nose. This may result in a sudden gush of air which can push the mucus further into the nose causing even more discomfort to the baby.

Also read natural home remedies for indigestion in kids

You can repeat this activity every time you see your child in discomfort, especially before putting him to sleep in the night to ensure a sound sleep through the night. Do not forget to sterilize the dropper and bulb completely after each use.

Benefits Of Nasal Saline Drops / Spray

  1. It is very affordable. My pediatrician recommended Nasoclear Nasal Drops. It costs Rs.44 per 20ml.
  2. It is easily available in all leading and small pharmacies across India.
  3. You do not necessarily need a doctor’s prescription to buy one.
  4. It is effective in providing quick relief but is not medicated with harmful preservatives, colours or additives.

Side Effects Of Nasal Saline Drops

  1. Single dosage may not be sufficient. You may have to give 4-5 doses every day if the cold is severe for few days until the cold and congestion subsides.
  2. Infants may cry because of discomfort caused due to sneezing, burning sensation or stinging.
  3. While young infants cannot express their pain in words, older kids seldom complain of headaches, nausea, difficulty in breathing, visible rashes, recurrent itching, swelling & troubled sleeping. In this case you should definitely consult your doctor immediately.
  4. Sharing of nasal drops is strictly prohibited to avoid spread of infections. Also, kindly discard the saline drops once your child has fully recovered from cold / allergy / flu. It is recommended to buy a new pack if your child encounters a similar problem after few days / weeks / months to avoid further infection from previous contact with the dropper with the nostril.

Also read Gripe Water For Babies - Benefits & Side Effects

Generally, your doctor will recommend you to place 2 drops of the nasal saline drops in each nostril with a suction dropper and a bulb for ease of use. How often to use saline nasal spray for babies? Since it is just salt + water, the recommended dosage for saline nasal drops for babies is about 3-6 times a day.

3 Best Nasal Saline Drops For Kids

There are many saline nasal spray brands available easily. The ones listed below are non-medicated and recommended by Dr.Ranjitha from Kanchi Kamakoti Child Trust Hospital. Saline nasal drops can also be used by adults.

Nasoclear Saline Drops - Best Nasal Saline Drops For NewBorn Babies

Nasoclear is a safe and one of the best saline nasal drops for babies often recommended by Pediatricians that helps to aiding from stuffy congested nose. It moisturizes the nose & soothes dryness and itchiness naturally. It can be used for babies and toddlers from birth upto 2 years.

Price: Rs. 40 for 20ml

Nasivion Child Nasal Drops - Best Nasal Drops For Kids

Nasivion Nasal Drops is very safe a saline solution that works as a nasal decongestant for children above 1 year. 2 drops squirted in each nostril helps to provide long-lasting about 12 hours.

Price: Rs. 55 for 10ml

Otrivin S - Best Nasal Saline Drops For Child

Otrivin Pediatric Nasal Spray is non-medicated nasal decongestant is given to children from 6 to 12 years. It is very safe for multiple use and lasts long.

Price: Rs. 52 for 10ml

How To Make Saline Drops For Infants

  1. Bring 200ml water to boil for 8-10 minutes
  2. Add 5gms of non-iodised salt and mix until completely dissolved.
  3. Let it cool down and store in a clean bottle. This can be used up to 24 hours.

Also read Best Pediatricians In Chennai

How To Remove Mucus Using Steam

While removing the mucus manually may be a challenge for some parents, there are other ways which provide quick, long-lasting relief from blocked nose & congestion – ‘STEAMING’. Steaming entails the use of a vaporizer or humidifier that can be inhaled by the baby to open-up blocked passages. The mist released while steaming should be kept away from the reach of the baby. Steam using Vicks Baby Rub, Eucalyptus Oil and essential herbs & oils has proven effecting for all ages. Infact steaming releases blocked pores in the skin & thus helps get rid of dirt accumulated over many weeks resulting in glowing skin.

Breast Milk Helps In Treating Nasal Congestion

Like really? Yes, it does. A mother’s milk has enormous benefits – one of the lesser known health benefits is that it can work just as well as the saline drops since it is already buffered. Since it contains many anti-viral & anti-bacterial constituents, it fights the infection naturally and pushes out the mucus providing relief to the baby in the most natural way possible.

How To Use Breast Milk To Clear Nasal Congestion?

There are two ways how you can administer your breast milk –

  1. Either express it directly into your baby’s nostril – 2-3 drops on each side. May sound difficult, but it’s not very tough once you have tried it couple of times.
  2. If you are not very sure, you can collect few drops in a bowl, use a suction bulb / syringe and release it in your child’s nose just like the saline drops. After few minutes you can use the bulb to remove the mucus from the nose.

Also read Health Benefits Of Breast Feeding

Best Foods That Help You Increase Breast Milk Production

Best Breast Pumps In India

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A doting mom to an angel, Social Media Specialist & Professional Blogger. She loves to share her thoughts with other parents in the same turbulent boat. She absolutely loves & adores her family & is learning to strike a good work-life balance. When she is not writing, cooking or busy taking care of her toddler, she probably is dancing to some good desi music!

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