How to wash your child’s nose?

Written by Paul Musset, Doctor in Pharmacy | published on | updated on 20/01/2021

How to wash your child’s nose?

Starting from the first months and for a few years, children are particularly sensitive to viral attacks. Depending on the period during which he was born, a baby can rapidly be faced to his first cold. In order to limit the nasal congestion and avoid complications, thoroughly cleaning the baby’s nose is vital. Why is it so important? What are the right moves to adopt?

Thoroughly cleanse the baby’s nose: Why is it important?

A hygiene gesture

Whilst breathing through the nose, a baby sucks air as well as small quantities of impurities linked to environmental pollution. Those ones settle inside the nostrils and may form mucous in turn conducive to germ development. Regularly eliminating this is therefore a simple matter of hygiene that particularly allows limit nasal irritations and inflammations. Cleaning the baby’s nose has to be a natural part of a daily grooming ritual.

A way to help baby blow its nose

A baby does not know on its own how to blow its nose. The action of blowing through its nose so as to eliminate those secretions is in fact not within its reach before some months or even a few years.

It is, then, necessary to help it get rid of mucous excess and the simple cleaning of the nasal cavities is not always enough. Helping its baby blow its nose becomes necessary in order to avoid accumulation of mucous and cervical mucous conducive to cold development

An absolute necessity in case of cold

It is a fact; your baby will not escape a bad cold that easily circulate within gatherings & get-togethers. That is manifest by a nasal discharge or nasal congestion. A persistent cough often appears trying to eject the excess of viscosity.

Do not worry, a cold is one of the most benign viral pathologies. However, in the absence of required if not recommended care, this little virus can lead to complications adversely impacting on the ears (otitis) or bronchi (bronchitis). In fact, the nose is a barrier that protects these organs from microbes.

The primary care treatment in the case of a cold consists of eliminating the maximum of cervical mucous accumulated in the routes of the ENT area. A deeper and more frequent cleaning is therefore vital.

Limit the spread of cold at home
In addition to gatherings & get-togethers, the house can be conducive to the spread of viruses if a member of the family is infected. To limit the risk of contagion, simple gestures as follows are recommended :
- Regularly ventilate the house;
- Avoid heating up  the rooms and mainly bed-rooms (ideal temperature between 16 and 18°);
- Adopting barrier if not self-protective gestures such as washing hands regularly, coughing in its elbow to avoid saliva projection and avoid touching the face of family members etc.

How to thoroughly blow one’s baby’s nose?

Which accessories to use?

Depending on the condition, you have to adapt the accessories and care to provide your baby with at the level of its nose:

For a daily grooming

In order to clean a baby’s nasal cavities, multiples solutions are possible:

  • Gently inserting a cotton bud soaked with a saline solution inside its nose having taken care to change the cotton bud in every nostril;
  • Using a fly-baby: it is about an accessory that is in the shape of a pear particularly adapted to new born. It enables the gently sucking out of excessive nasal secretions.

In the event of a cold

When a baby catches a cold, simple, straight-forward nasal daily care is not sufficient. A deeper and more frequent cleaning of the nasal cavities becomes necessary. We strongly advise you to start washing the nose 5 to 7 times par day favouring certain moments of the day: sunrise, sunset and before each meal.

Actually, you need to know that, until 6 months, a baby breathes almost exclusively through its nose. When that is stuffed up, this can lead to its refusing to be breast-fed and sleep disturbance.

To help you unclog the baby’s nose, many products will be of great help:

  • Saline solution droppers: sterilised for single use, they are ideal for cleaning the nasal cavities of a child with a simple squeeze;
  • Isotonic solutions of sea water: under the form a spray, they contain sea water rich in mineral salts and trace-elements.

Good to know:
If a nasal spray-based treatment has been prescribed by a doctor, it is important to proceed with a thorough cleansing of the baby’s nose before administering any type of medication. In fact, this will optimise its efficiency.

How to thoroughly cleanse a baby’s nose: The right method.

With a restless baby wriggling about in all directions, it is not easy to find the right method to efficiently cleaning its nose without risking hurting it. So as to assist, here follow some good practices to adopt.

  1. Wash your hands carefully and thoroughly;
  2. Set your baby in a lying position on its back;
  3. Hold your baby sideways, its face upwards;
  4. Turn your baby on its side so as to keep its arms against its body rendering it motionless;
  5. With your free hand, gently insert the tip of the dropper in the upper nostril and squeeze the pod to make the content get inside the cavity. So that this can be done as efficiently as possible, the liquid needs to be got out from the lower nostril.
  6. Wipe off the nose with a disposable handkerchief and allow the baby to come around for some time;
  7. Identically proceed with the other nostril using another pod.

When a baby is older, it is not necessarily required to make it lie down. It is best to position the child in a seated position. The main thing is to bend its head to the side so as to avoid the liquid from getting into its throat.

Cleansing a baby’s nose is a vital move to include in the daily grooming routine. In the case of a proved cold, the washing of the nose has to be adapted to help the baby blow its nose and avoid complications at the level of the ENT area.

The major three points to retain in order to thoroughly clean a baby’s nose:

  • A baby does not instinctively know on its own how to get rid of its nasal mucous. It is vital to thoroughly clean its nose to unclog it;
  • The cleaning of a baby’s nose has to be carried out with great delicacy in order to avoid irritating or hurting its nasal mucosa;
  • In the event of a cold, it is vital to blow the baby’s nose numerous times per day (between 5 and 7 times).
Regarding the author
Paul Musset
Paul Musset
Doctor in Pharmacy
Certificated of a pharmacy doctorate at Reims University (French University), Paul Musset is passionate by natural medicine and in sport nutrition. He accompanies you in "My well-being and beauty journal" by providing you his health and well-being advices.
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