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My baby has a stuffy nose at night, what to do?

A runny nose or a nasal congestion in a baby is a problem that every parent knows well. The real struggle starts when it happens at night making it impossible for the whole family to catch enough sleep.

Be ready to arm yourself with patience, and make sure to follow a couple of guidelines to get rid of a stuffy nose as fast as possible.

Smiling little girl in a baby nest holding a Nosiboo Go portable electric nasal aspirator


Saline solution

Putting a few drops of saline solution in the baby’s nose can help to thin the secretion.

Wait a few seconds after using it, then wipe the excess discharge with a tissue.

Nasal aspirator

By using a manual or electric nasal aspirator you can clear the nose effortlessly and enable the baby to breathe freely.

Here is our hint: clear the child’s nose before bedtime to make it easier for them to fall asleep. It might be better to choose a manual (mouth-operated) nasal aspirator for the night, as it makes no sound and will help the child to get back to sleep. Click here to learn how to choose a nasal aspirator.

For details on how to use a nasal aspirator against a stuffy nose in your baby, click here.

Do you want to become a nasal hygiene expert? Check out our guide for parents here.

Somebody holding a Nosiboo Eco manual nasal aspirator above a baby sleeping peacefully


Running a humidifier in the baby’s room while they sleep helps to loosen mucus.

Cool mist is the safest choice as there aren’t any hot parts on the device that could cause accidental burns.


Gently rubbing the bridge of the nose, eyebrows, cheekbones, hairline, and bottom of the head can be soothing if the baby is congested and fussy.


Don’t prop your baby on a pillow or put their mattress on an incline

Doing so increases the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and suffocation.

Don’t underestimate the importance of air quality

Avoid smoking near your baby just as well as taking long walks when your child can be exposed to high levels of air pollution. Those are factors that might increase the risk of nasal congestion and runny nose.

Don’t use scented candles, as strong fragrances can be irritating to the baby’s airways. Don’t let pet dander build up in your home – it can be an allergy factor, causing a stuffy nose, among other symptoms.

We hope you find these tips helpful when your baby has a stuffy nose at night.

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Main picture: @mowmi_juju


Noris T. (2020) How to Treat Nasal and Chest Congestion in a Newborn? https://www.healthline.com/health/newborn-congestion

Stukus D. (2015) Are Scented Candles and Air Fresheners Harming Your Child? https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/family-resources-education/700childrens/2015/12/are-scented-candles-and-air-fresheners-harming-your-child

Rapaport L. (2020) Air pollution may aggravate nasal suffering with colds and seasonal allergies https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-pollution-rhinitis-idUSKBN2072RX

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