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The Eternal Drip of Baby’s Nose

The stereotype of slobbery babies with snotty noses seems a fable when you gaze at your beautiful baby for the first few months. But then one day you realize that baby seems to be mysteriously soaking through her shirts and could that be a tickle of snot coming out baby’s nose? Many parents leap to the immediate assumption that baby is sick and that trickle of moisture leaving the adorable nostril is the sign of parenthood apocalypse – the first big cold. But in truth, a runny nose can be any number of things.

The Anatomy of a Running Nose
It’s amazing how quickly you’ll be able to analyze your baby’s nasal drippings. Of course, for the first time parents just learning to gauge the color and consistency of snot, everything is new. The biggest indicator of problematic nose drippings is the tinge of color. Good snot is clear. Okay snot is pale yellow. Bad snot is dark yellow or even green. The more colorful the runny nose becomes, the more likely it is an infection or cold you’re dealing with. Clear nasal drippings are usually something outside of a cold.

Runny Noses and Colds
The runny nose that accompanies a cold is red, raw and stuffy. Baby has a hard time breathing through the congealed masses of yellow goop that dries around the nasal passages and the congestion goes deep into the nasal cavities usually. If the snot appears green and baby has a very hard time with congestion, see a pediatrician – your little one likely has a sinus infection. Sick snot is thicker than allergy or teething drip, so you’ll need to likely help baby blow her nose.

You do this through sheer force of will the first few times and then it becomes second nature. A few drips of baby saline into the nose will loosen the boogers. Sit baby up and use a nasal aspirator, or the “booger sucker” that looks like a plastic bulb, to gently reach into the nostril and suck out the congestion. Do this as sparingly as possible as “blowing” baby’s nose too frequently can make her nasal passages inflamed or swollen, making the problem worse.

Teething, Allergies and Drips
The constant drippy nose your baby seems to sport for months at a time is more likely associated with teething than a cold. Allergies such as hay fever might be to blame as well. But in all likelihood if the runny nose starts and doesn’t seem to stop for months, it’s teeth. Teething causes all kinds of strange symptoms, but it certainly causes a heightened production of saliva and mucus. Most of this comes out in the form of drool, but the run-off can come out of the nose as well.

During these months simply carry the ultra-soft tissues and wipe gently at baby’s nose to keep it clear. At night, a warm washcloth during bath time can help remove any dried residue from that continuous dripping and the humidity of the bath might also release a bit of the congestion if you feel inclined to “blow” baby’s nose before bedtime. Once the tooth comes in, the nose will likely clear up almost overnight until the next tooth starts working toward the gum line.

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