Your baby has woken for the third time during the night, and you notice the congested breathing and difficulty sleeping as the telling signs of post nasal drip. Post nasal drip occurs when the nose and throat produce mucus continually and can’t be swallowed or expelled through the nose, causing it to build up and bother your infant. Because infants can’t blow their noses, post nasal drip can become a challenge. By using some home remedies, post nasal drip can be relived and everyone can look forward to a good night’s sleep.
Removing Excess Build-Up
The best way to alleviate post nasal drip is to remove as much of the mucus as possible. Mayoclinic.com suggests using a soft rubber suction bulb (aspirator) to remove secretions. If the excess mucus is clogging the back of baby’s throat, causing coughing or discomfort, you can use the bulb to rinse the nose and clear the throat. By gently dropping one to two drops of saline, a salt and water solution, into the nose and then suctioning out the mucus and saline, an infant’s nose and throat can be cleared of post nasal drip mucus. Thoroughly clean the bulb syringe after each use.
Dr. Sears finds that antibiotics are not necessary for most common colds and coughs. If your child has a fever along with post nasal drip, it is a good idea to contact your doctor, especially if it is over 103 degrees for three or more days. He finds a good solution for at home help is to steam out the mucus. Closing the bathroom door and turning shower to hottest setting creates a steam room. Sit in the bathroom for 10 to 15 minutes, which will help loosen mucus. Dr. Sears suggests steaming every morning and before bed, as well as during the day as necessary. While sitting in the bathroom steaming, patting the infant’s back and chest, harder than burping, will help loosen any mucus that might have collected in the lungs.
Vaporizer and Chest Rub
During the nighttime, a hot steam vaporizer will help keep the nose clear. Dr. Sears suggest hot steam instead of a cool mist humidifier, and to air out the room during the day to keep the humidity out. Parents.com suggests a chest rub with eucalyptus or mint to help ease congestion and break down mucus. Applying a small amount before bed can aid in a better night’s sleep. Some rubs may be too strong for infants, so use sparingly and watch for adverse reactions such as sneezing, rubbing of the eyes or wheezing. Clean and disinfect all bottles and pacifiers while the infant has post nasal drip to stop potential infection.