Nasal congestion seems to be one of the most uncomfortable respiratory conditions for adults, children, and infants. It is also miserable to see an infant with a stuffy nose. She may cough, gasp or even cry out loud trying to catch her breath due to a nasal congestion. It is even harder to sleep tight lying on her back. This is the main reason why ways on how to apply saline solution is very important as it helps relieve nasal congestion and uneasiness felt by the infant.

Do Saline Drops for Infants Really Help?

When it comes to nasal congestion of children due to colds, influenza or allergies, the best way to relieve the condition is through a saline solution. Saline solution can contract the blood vessels in nose, thus causing dilution of mucus and reduction of the swelling. Some of the nasal drops contain additional active ingredients like steroids, to help alleviate the symptoms related to nasal polyps.

How to Apply Saline Drops for Infants

  • First use soap to perform handwashing and rinse with water.
  • With the use of a nasal dropper, get the desired dosage of saline.
  • If you are right-handed, you can cradle your baby with the use of left arm or it will be easier if you can support your infant with the couch's arm.
  • A nasal bulb can be used if your baby's nose is blocked by mucus.
  • Avoid touching the dropper side into the nose, place the dropper to the opening of your baby's nose.
  • To get the desired dosage, gently squeeze the bulb into the nose.
  • Make sure to hold the baby for 5 minutes in the same position after introducing the saline solution to allow proper passage.
  • Make sure to old the baby upright if the baby starts to cough.
  • With warm tap water, rinse the supplies used.

If you still have doubts about saline drops for infants, watch this video to get a clear idea: 

Watch Out for Nasal Saline Drops Side Effects

  • ŸRunny nose
  • ŸSneezing, a burning sensation, stinging, or nasal dryness
  • ŸHeadache
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Nausea
  • ŸMood changes, weakness
  • ŸPersistent sweating
  • ŸTrouble sleeping
  • ŸRashes
  • ŸSigns of itching or swelling

Homemade Saline Drops for Infants

Prepare the following:

  • 1 cup of warm water
  • Table salt
  • Clean the jar with cover
  • Nose dropper
  • Kitchen measuring spoon


1. Fill 1 cup of warm water in to a clean jar.

2. Add 1/4 tsp. of salt and stir to help it dissolve.

3. Prepare new saline drops each time. Throw away remaining solution that has not been used and wash the dropper and jar.

More Remedies to Relieve Stuffy Nose in Infants

1. Steam Inhalation

Steam inhalation is another way on how to relieve difficulty breathing due to nasal congestion in infants. Exposure to steam helps liquefy the mucus, thus helping an infant loose the secretions easily. The mucus then drips out on its own, clearing the nasal passage and making it easier for your baby to breathe. A steaming tub can work as a humidifier, clearing his nose. You can also perform steam inhalation by boiling water then placing some of it on a mug, holding it close to the infant's nose.

2. Suction

Suction is another one of the fastest and easiest ways to clear mucus that has been clogged in the infant's nose besides using saline drops for infants. Since a baby cannot blow his/her nose, suctioning is the best way to remove the secretions from the nose. It will easily clear the nasal passage, helping an infant breathe well and comfortably. It is best done before and after eating so the infant will enjoy meal time. Avoid suctioning when the baby is sleeping.

Things you need: You will need a bulb syringe or a suction bulb with a long tip at the end, a bowl of tap water and a tissue paper.


  • Hold the bulb. Make sure that it is in between your thumb and forefinger. Before inserting, pus out air from the bulb.
  • Gently insert the tip of the bulb inside the infant's nose and gently release your thumb. As you release the thumb, suction was made due to pressure.
  • Remove the bulb from the infant's nose. Pus mucus out of the bulb syringe on a towel or tissue paper.
  • Make sure that you clean bulb syringe with a tap water. Remove the excess dirty water inside the bulb. Pull water into the bulb and squeeze it out.
  • Repeat the procedure as necessary.
  • After suctioning, check the infant's nasal passage and adverse reactions.

When to Worry

If any of these symptoms appear or persists, do not hesitate to call for immediate medical attention. These symptoms include:

  • Ÿ  Difficulty breathing
  • Ÿ  Trouble eating
  • Ÿ  Baby seems to be in pain
  • Ÿ  Fever​
  • Ÿ  Rashes
  • Ÿ  Stuffy nose
  • Ÿ  Swelling of the forehead, eyes and sides of the nose or cheek
  • Ÿ  Stuffy nose for two weeks or more