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My Baby Has a Cold! What Did I Do Wrong?

New parents, especially new moms, are prone to beating themselves up when their baby gets a cold. As they tend to their snuffly, unhappy babies new moms vow to keep a cleaner house, to have visitors – even grandparents – wear surgical gloves and masks if they want to see the baby and to never take their baby out in public again. These are sincere vows but, they are unnecessary and unrealistic. If you’re a new mom with a baby who has a miserable cold, keep reading!

It’s not your fault!

Babies get colds. It’s not because your house isn’t clean enough. It’s not because Awa loves to kiss your baby over and over again. A virus from someone, somewhere came into contact with your baby and he caught a cold. That’s it. Turn your attention to helping your baby feel comfortable and taking care of yourself too. Colds are not an entirely a bad thing. Babies need to build up their immune system. Do a quick internet search on childhood illnesses and allergies + research and you’ll see that children who are not sheltered from dirt, germs and going out in public fare better in the long run.

Take charge!

Now that you are done feeling like you’ve done something wrong, focus your energy on keeping your baby comfortable. It’s hard and tiring to have a sick baby – even if it’s just a cold. Make the most of your efforts.

Further reading 

Home remedies for baby’s cold

Home remedies Vs Western medicine

Medicine heartWho can suggest home remedies for minor illnesses better than your grandma? If you have a grandmother I am sure she would suggest honey, ginger, turmeric and pepper for cough, banana stem for kidney stones, soaked raisins for constipation, asafetida for digestion and lots more.

Should  you listen to her treatment options or just ignore them as just myths and superstitions?  Listening to and following  home remedies is not wrong.

Here is why :

  • Scientific evidence : Western medicine is on a trip of rediscovering health benefits of centuries old home remedies, which were earlier brushed aside as tall tales.  Drugs manufactured with the same ingredients become expensive because they are processed in factories, packed and marketed. Here is an example. Black cumin seeds, used as a spice in Indian cooking, have a lot of health benefits. They help in improving digestion, in boosting immunity and in treating cancer without any side effects. In the modern days its benefits have been forgotten and ignored. Today researches have proved that they do help in destroying cancer cells. A drug company has got the patent rights for making medicines with black cumin seeds as ingredient. It definitely will charge a lot of money to sell the medicines made form black cumin seeds. Why should you waste your hard earned money?
  • They are safe to use. Medicines with chemicals and synthetic ingredients cause dangerous side effects. Grandma’s home medicines are usually vegetables, fruits and spices from your kitchen shelves. They don’t cause any side effects. While the modern medicines destroy your immunity, grandma’s medicines build your immunity apart from treating the illness.
  • They are easily available. Unlike the exotic herbs used in Ayurveda, grandma’s remedies are easy to find and mostly food ingredients.  Ayurvedic texts too shed light on the benefits of using  these versatile ingredients.
  • They are effective. Most of the home remedies suggested by grand moms have been studied by research scholars and have been proven to be effective. For example turmeric’s benefits have been well established in both western medicine and ayurveda. 
  • They treat the cause and not the symptoms unlike conventional medicines that treat the symptoms.

But this doesn’t mean that you should ignore your pediatricians treatment choices. As in life, there is truth on both sides of the argument. Do not attempt to try every possible  home remedy out there. Use home remedies that has a scientific rationality and a long history of evidences backing it.

Make use of the safest treatment choices available from both Western  and Indian medicine, to help your child . In the end that is what matters.

This is the core principle behind Nasobuddy’s products, safe treatment choices backed by scientific evidences.

 

The Proven Benefits Of Aspirators

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Stuffy nose is one of the most common concerns of parents in their infants’ early months of life. Your newborn can be very cranky when they have a stuffy nose. They will have difficulty in breathing, sleeping and feeding.

Nasal aspirators have proven to be the best option to relieve your baby from stuffy nose. If you are skeptical about using aspirators for your little one, you should know about the proven benefits of using aspirators.

  • It is a hygienic way to get rid of phlegm in the baby’s nose.
  • They help in clearing the nasal congestion in a jiffy.
  • It gives instant relief to kids when they have trouble in breathing due to obstructed nasal passages.
  • It facilitates better breathing, sleeping and feeding.
  • It is easy to use.
  • It is affordable.
  • It is safe to use. It is suitable for newborns as well.
  • When you use manual aspirators you have full control over the suction.
  • It is recommended by doctors because of its effectiveness.
  • It has soft tips to make sure that the tender skin of the baby is not hurt.

If you follow the right instructions to use the aspirators and if you clean it properly, aspirators are really beneficial.

Breast Feeding Difficulties When Your Baby Is Having A Stuffy Nose

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Breastfeeding is a must when your baby falls ill because

  • Breast milk is easy to digest when compare to formula.
  • Breast milk contains antibiotics that help in quick recovery from illness.
  • Breast milk helps in keeping your baby hydrated.
  • Breast milk provides the baby with plenty of nutrients.
  • Breast milk gives comfort to your baby.

However, breastfeeding a baby with stuffed nose is not easy. It can be very challenging. There  are difficulties that you may face when you nurse a baby with stuffed nose.

The baby latches on your breast. He tries to suck. However, he finds it difficult to suck because he has to breathe through his mouth when his nose is blocked. Breathing and sucking through mouth at the same time is impossible.The baby gets upset and lets the breast to go.The baby starts to cry.When the baby cries the nasal passage becomes more congested. This makes breastfeeding more difficult.

When the baby does not feed on the breast milk, the mother too has to suffer from a lot of discomfort and pain.

One simple solution is to clear his nasal congestion before feeding. 

Nasal aspiration  along with saline drops before feeding your baby will help him to breath better, allowing  him to feed better.

 

A Short Guide For Using The Manual Nasal Aspirator

Nasal aspirators combined with saline nasal drops is the recommended remedy for nasal congestion , by pediatricians worldwide.

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The two types of aspirators available  are the bulb syringes and the manual aspirator types like Nasobuddy, Nosefrida, Narhinel. We saw earlier about the limitations of bulb syringes. 

Manual aspirator is the most gentle and most effective way to clear tiny stuffed noses and to improve breathing.

  • It solves the bulb aspirators problems of inadequate suction . You can control the amount of suction generated. A low , steady and continuous suction can clear out the hardest of mucus.
  • The aspirators tips are designed to stay outside the nostrils,  virtually eliminating the risk of injury. 
  • They are easy to dismantle and clean. Just warm water and soap is sufficient.  No risks of molds and infections.

Simple two step process :

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Keep the aspirator at the opening of baby’s nostril.

 

 

NASOBUDDY ins 2Suck in air through the mouthpiece.

 

 

 

The mucus will collect inside the aspirator.  The filter inside the aspirator stops the mucus from going higher up.

Tips & Tricks

  1. Always use a few drops of saline before starting  to aspirate. Hard mucus gets liquefied by saline. This will make it easy for you to clear it.
  2. Before using it on your baby, practice  sucking in a couple of times and feel the suction from the aspirator tip on your palm. This will help you adjust the suction depending  on the need.
  3. The position : Be comfortably seated and put your baby down on your lap, with the baby’s  neck slightly tilted upwards.  Gently hold both the baby’s hand down with your left arm. Keeping the other arm free , to place the aspirator  tip on the opening  of baby’s nostril.
  4. Fussy baby ? Do not despair,  some babies are naturally averse to any meddling.  You can use the following tricks (shared by parents) to make him comfortable.
  • Familiarize the object . Allow the baby to hold it in his hands.  But only under your supervision, prevent them from taking it to their mouth.
  • Play with him. Before using the aspirator,  blowing the air through the mouthpiece produces a whistling  sound , something  that would grab your little one’s interest.
  • Before you use it on the nose Suck in and keep the aspirator tip on his tummy, hands, cheek . He will find it as a ticklish fun rather than as a object to dread.

When to use it ?

Use it before feeding the baby and putting him to sleep. This will help the baby feed and sleep better.

Most babies accept  the aspiration meddling immediately,  some don’t.  Be patient with him, take it slowly,  he will accept it once he gets familiar with it.

 

The issues with bulb syringes or aspirators

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It can be really disheartening to see your baby finding it difficult to eat and sleep because of nose congestion.  Most parents use bulb syringe/aspirators that are given to the new moms in the hospitals to unclog their baby’s nose. It is true that they are helpful in clearing nasal blocks but is it safe to use bulb aspirators? Are there any issues with bulb aspirators? Let’s find out.

The issues with bulb aspirators

  • Inadequate suction : Bulb aspirators by design can generate only a limited, short burst of suction. This is insufficient to remove the mucus. So repeated attempts are needed. This will frustrate both the parent and the baby. There is no way to increase the suction when needed.
  • Unsuitable tips : The tips of the bulb aspirators are often narrow and hard, it can enter the nostrils and injure the baby’s soft nasal tissues.

  • Risk of reinfection : Its virtually impossible to clean the inside of the bulb aspirator because of its design . After a few uses, if you cut it open and see there will be unsightly yeast mold like growth on the rubber material. This can cause a reinfection .

How to clean the bulb aspirator ?

It is recommended to soak and wash bulb aspirators with hot soapy water for some time. The next step is to draw in the water and squeeze it out a few times before leaving it to dry.

Now, is the bulb aspirator clean and devoid of mold and bacteria after this process? No, it is not. Even if you wash the bulb aspirator regularly and thoroughly after every use, you are not guaranteed that the aspirator is clean. Why is it so?  It is because,the inside surface of a bulb aspirators can’t be dried . Dampness and moisture are the breeding grounds for mold. Bulbs in aspirators provide the perfect breeding ground for mold. If you are living in humid places, the risk of mold and bacterial infection is very high. Mold in the aspirator may cause breathing problems and increase the risk of frequent colds and allergies to your little one.

A simple solution  is to use a manual nasal aspirator which provides adequate, continuous suction which you  can control easily. It’s safe design ensures that it can be cleaned without much fuss.

The different types of saline nasal drops

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Saline nasal drops are a great option for anyone who is suffering from nasal congestion. It is a blessing to little kids who do not know how to blow their noses and for infants who are too young to be given cold medications. Although there are other nasal sprays like decongestant spray and steroid spray, they are not recommended for little children. Saline nasal drops are the best and the safest for kids.

What are the different types of saline nasal drops? Which is the best one? Where to buy saline nasal drops? Can you make them at home? If yes, how to make it? I am sure all these questions are popping up in your mind. Do you want the answers? Go ahead.

What are the different types of saline nasal drops?

Saline nasal drops are nothing but a mixture of common salt and water. There are three basic types of saline rinse based on the amount of salt in the solution. They are isotonic, hypertonic and hypotonic.

  • Isotonic – ‘Iso’ means equal. It matches the saline content in your body. That is why it is called isotonic. What is the proportion of water and salt in isotonic? Eight ounces of water and quarter teaspoon of salt is the proportion.
  • Hypertonic – ‘Hyper’ means high. When the salt concentration is more in the solution and it has a salt concentration higher than that of your body, it is called hypertonic. Eight ounces of water and half teaspoon of salt is the proportion for hypertonic.
  • Hypotonic – ‘Hypo’ means low. When the salt concentration is less it is called hypotonic.

Which is the best?

  • Hypotonic saline solution is generally not used in practice because they do not yield any results. What about hypertonic and isotonic – which is the best?
  • Hypertonic solution is recommended by doctors when the congestion is severe. When the salt content is high it draws fluid and clears mucus more effectively. Salt has the property of diffusing water from the bacteria that result in shriveling of bacteria. Eventually, it causes the death of bacteria. However, it may cause burning or stinging sensation. Here is a warning: Don’t use hypertonic nasal sprays for kids below 5 years.
  • It is clear that isotonic is the best option for children.

Where to buy saline nasal spray?

It can be bought at pharmacies . It can be made at home if you feel preservatives in the spray are not good for your child.

How to make saline nasal spray at home?

Take eight ounces of hot water and add ¼ teaspoon of natural sea salt. Avoid adding iodized salt because it may cause burning sensation. Mix well. Fill the solution in a spray bottle once it reaches cool temperature.

Will the preservatives in nasal spray harm your baby ?

The short answer is no. They serve a important function of preventing bacterial growth in the solution. Their concentration levels are low enough and do not cause any deleterious side effects.

If your child has fever, cough and trouble in breathing etc. along with nasal congestion, you should consult a doctor.

Is it safe to use nasal drops on my baby? 

Nose drops for sick baby

When blocked nose causes a lot of discomfort even to an adult, what can you say for the babies? It is sure to a cause a lot of discomfort. Nights become miserable for the kids and the parents as well. I am sure as a parent you are desperate to get rid of the blocked nose of your baby. Many nasal drops, with the promise of giving instant relief from blocked nose, are available in the market? Is it safe to use nasal drops on my baby – This is a frequently raised question. Do you want to know the answer? Here is an analysis.

There are three types of nasal sprays available in the market.

  • Decongestant nasal sprays – They contain medications like oxymetazoline or phenylphrine or xylometazoline or naphazoline etc. They help in narrowing the blood vessels in your nose. This helps in reduction of swelling in the nose and gives instant relief from nose congestion.
  • Saline nasal sprays – It is a spray containing a mixture of salt and water. It works by softening and loosening hardened nasal mucus and clearing it out from the nasal passages.
  • Steroid nasal sprays – Medicines used in this spray include Fluticasone, monetasone, triamcinolone or beclomethasone.

Which of the above are safe for your baby?

Saline nasal sprays are the safest for your baby because they do not contain any drugs.

  • A saline nasal spray loosens the mucus. You can then extract the mucus with a nasal aspirator.
  • Saline drops don’t cause any side effects.
  • Saline drops can be used in babies from birth and in older babies and children.
  • You can use it as often as needed to clear your child’s blocked nose.
  • They do not affect other medicines.
  • You can use a saline spray or drops, both are effective.
  • Saline drops combined with nasal aspiration can be done before each feed and bedtime.

However, you should be careful to follow a few basic tips to avoid undesired side effects.

  • You should make sure you clean your hands to avoid further infection in the baby.
  • You should not share droppers. One bottle per baby.
  • You should not place the dropper outside the nostril and should not insert inside. Keep it right at the opening of the nostrils and squeeze one or two drops.

Decongestant nasal sprays

Decongestant nasal sprays are not recommended for little ones below the age of 6. If your child is above 6 years, it is not advisable to use them for more than 3 to 4 days. When you use for 5 days or more it may cause a rebound effect. When the effect of the nasal drop wears off it may worsen the congestion.

Steroid nasal sprays

Steroid nasal sprays are not advisable because they cause side effects like burning and stinging, itching and soreness.

Verdict

When helping your baby to overcome his nasal congestion or blocked nose, saline nasal drops are an essential aid. When combined with a nasal aspirator, it can be a real help .

Further reading :

The different types of saline nasal drops.