It is important that the nasal airways of babies are clean and clear of mucus, allergens and other irritants.
Babies are obligate nose breathers and breathe exclusively through their nose on their first few months from birth. By breathing through their nose, babies can feed, swallow and breathe at the same time.
Since babies have tiny nasal passages, even the smallest amount of mucus may cause nasal congestion that can make their breathing sound stuffy and blocked up. When the babies’ tiny airways are blocked with mucus, feeding and sleeping may be disrupted.
The thick and excess mucus blocking the babies' nose is usually due to hay fever, allergies, cold or other viral infection. The thickened mucus can be thinned by nasal sprays containing isotonic saline solution which resembles the body’s own natural fluids. Saline nasal sprays also help activate the natural cleansing mechanisms inside the nasal passages which clear away mucus and other irritants.
Nasal saline spray for babies may be used as often as needed to provide the following benefits:
- Cleaning and clearing away excess mucus help increase air flow and make babies breathe easier.
- Clear and unclogged nose eases breathing and help babies sleep better.
- Babies get to feed easier bringing convenience to the mothers.
- Washing away mucus plugs which could be breeding areas for germs helps in preventing infection.
- Nasal saline spray for babies also provides a handy means of removing snot from the baby's nose. This is safer than using a nasal applicator or a suction bulb which may be difficult to administer especially on an upset, jiggly baby.
There are available sterile, preservative-free nasal saline sprays that gently deliver the solution in micromist and can be administered quickly at any angle, even upside down. The nasal saline sprays are handy and easy to carry anywhere especially during travel.
For best advice, a doctor should be consulted.
Hermelingmeier, K. E., Weber, R. K., Hellmich, M., Heubach, C. P., & Mösges, R. (2012). Nasal Irrigation as an Adjunctive Treatment in Allergic Rhinitis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy, 26(5), e119e125. doi:10.2500/ajra.2012.26.3787
Gallant JN, Basem JI, Turner JH, Shannon CN, Virgin FW. Nasal saline irrigation in pediatric rhinosinusitis: A systematic review. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2018 May;108:155-162. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2018.03.001. Epub 2018 Mar 6. PMID: 29605346.
Ragab, A., Farahat, T., Al-Hendawy, G., Samaka, R., Ragab, S., & El-Ghobashy, A. (2015). Nasal saline irrigation with or without systemic antibiotics in treatment of children with acute rhinosinusitis. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 79(12), 21782186.doi:10.1016/j.ijporl.2015.09.045