A stuffed-up nose can make a child miserable and fussy and can affect sleep. Many over-the-counter remedies have warnings about use for children. For many parents, a simple remedy would be preferable. The goal, in curing a stuffy nose, is to moisten the mucous in the nose so that it loosens and will come out easily.
The old chicken soup remedy really does work, but with a couple of additions, it works better. Get some chicken broth and heat it up. Add noodles or rice to make it more palatable. As you heat the soup, add a little cayenne pepper and garlic. Have your child breathe the steam from the soup while eating. It will loosen the mucous and relieve the congestion.
Steam is probably the fastest way to relieve congestion. Turn the shower on and make sure the water is hot. Close the bathroom door until it fills with steam. Bring your child in to breathe the steam for 15 or 20 minutes. Make sure you stay there, too. Put a blanket over the child because the steam will get both you and the child a little damp.
You can purchase a vaporizer at your local drug or department store. They’re fairly inexpensive, and they do the trick. The idea is to get moisture into the air, because many times the dry air will cause a nose to get stuffed up as the mucous membranes dry out. Some vaporizers have a medicine compartment in which you can put menthol or camphor, which also help unstuff the nose. This is also a good way to prevent stuffy noses in dry weather.
Put equal amounts on non-pasteurized apple cider vinegar and water together in a pan. Slowly bring it to a boil. When it starts to steam, take it of the stove, cover your child‘s head and the pot with a towel and have him or her breath the steam. This should loosen up the mucous in the nose. Stay with your child as due to the boiling hot water and the hot pan.
On MotherNature.com, Helen Baker, M.D. recommends mixing “¼ tsp. of salt in a half-cup of warm water. ” She then suggests you position yourself so you are “on the edge of a chair with your legs straight out and your feet flat on the floor. Position your baby’s head down the incline of your legs so her nose points to the sky. Hold her still with one arm….using an eyedropper, place one drop of saltwater in each nostril.” After this, particularly in an infant, you can use an ear bulb and suck the secretions from the nose. Be sure to sterilize the eyedropper and the bulb, before and after use, by boiling them in water. For an older child, have them lay on a bed, face up, with their head over the edge. After administering the drops, have them blow their nose.