How do you use saline water to clear a baby’s nose? Thanks! Alyce

Excellent question, Alyse! 

Always go slowly and make sure you hold the baby tightly before doing the technique to avoid hurting them and then developing a negative association over time.

If you use a nose pump, start by adding saline water to the baby’s nostrils (one at a time), about 1ml in each. Then wait a few minutes and then use the nose pump. This will help clear the discharge because the water will have liquified it.   

If nothing comes out in with the nose pump, that doesn’t mean your attempt to get release the discharge didn’t work. Since the discharge has become softer, it can either be released via the nose or be swallowed and exit in the diaper. The goal of clearing the baby’s nose is achieved either way. You don’t need to use the nose pump every time, only when necessary, and repeat the technique until the nose is entirely clear.

If you use a nasal spray to introduce saline water, don’t forget to choose one for babies as the spray is softer and you can better manage the water pressure in their nose and throat. Additionally, all you have to do is insert the spray tip at the entrance to the nostril to spray the water and avoid injuries by penetrating deeper.

When you turn on your heating system in the fall, you can use a nasal spray morning and night for a baby under two years of age to help eliminate the discharge (mucus or discharge can be a source of infection) to avoid the appearance of earaches, laryngitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, etc.

If you can refill your saline water bottle, here is a recipe that you can use at home for your baby:

  •    8 ounces of boiled, cooled water
  •    ½ teaspoon salt (2.5ml)

Good luck!


The Baby Expert