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Does a Humidifier Help a Baby's Post Nasal Drip?

by Chelsea Fitzgerald

When your baby cries due to the discomfort and annoying symptoms of post-nasal drip, it is often frustrating because you do not know how to help her. Using a humidifier is one way to help soothe the baby’s symptoms and make both of you feel better. This appliance is often recommended by pediatricians as a safe way to reduce the symptoms.

Causes of Post-Nasal Drip

It is normal for mucous from your nose to drip down your throat throughout the day. This helps keep your nasal passages and throat moist. When the mucous becomes thick or increases in amount due to other problems, it causes the post-nasal drip. Colds, allergies, influenza or sinus infections, low humidity or changes in the weather can all cause this condition, according to the WebMD website.

Symptoms and Complications of Post-Nasal Drip

When your baby has post-nasal drip, her voice may sound hoarse or rattle because she needs to clear her throat. It is likely to make her cough and this generally increases at night, thus disturbing her sleep and yours. Post-nasal drip can also result in a sore throat that will make her cranky and irritable. If this condition doesn’t clear up, it can cause a painful ear or sinus infection in your baby. Check with your doctor to make sure the condition isn’t due to a bacterial infection. If so, it needs to be treated with antibiotics.

How Humidifiers Help

Thinning the mucous naturally is an effective treatment for the annoying symptoms of post-nasal drip. One way is to make sure your baby drinks plenty of water or formula. These help keep her hydrated and allow the mucous to become thinner, thus less irritating. A humidifier sends moisture into the air. The extra moisture helps thin the thick mucous in the baby’s throat and nose.

Choosing the Right Humidifier

Discount stores and pharmacies sell humidifiers that send out a cool or warm mist into the air. According to the Mayo Clinic website, it is best to use a cool-mist humidifier for a young child or baby. This is because those that blow a warm mist contain a heating element. This heats the water before sending it into the air. If your baby grabs hold of the humidifier from her crib or accidentally turns it over when she pulls up near the appliance, the hot liquid can spill and burn her. A cool mist is just as effective as one that is heated and it prevents this type of accident.

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