Tips to Soothe a Dry Nose in Infants

A dry nose in infants is usually caused by excessively dry air. When the nose membranes dry out, the tiny blood vessels may crack and bleed. Frequent bleeding from the baby’s nose (not related to a nose injury) is a common symptom of a dry nose.

The condition often occurs during the cold winter months when the indoor air is extra dry due to heating. It may also happen if a family moves from a humid climate to a very dry one. In fact, the whole family might get nose bleeds for a couple of weeks before it adjust to the new environment. The infant will gradually adapt as well, but in the meantime you should help her to cope with the dry nose.

The easiest way to soothe the infant’s nose is by moisturizing it using warm water or saline drops. It is recommended to place a couple of drops in each nostril three to four times a day and before bedtime. You can either purchase saline solution made specifically for infants (in a special dropper bottle) or make your own by mixing 1/2 teaspoon of table salt with 8 ounces of water. To dispense, use an eye or medicine dropper. Do not use moistened q-tips to rub inside the baby’s nose – it may irritate it even more.

Another way of soothing the baby’s nose is to put a cool-mist humidifier in the room. Make sure the water container is big enough to last all night. Otherwise, you may have to refill it in the middle of the night. If your baby’s bedroom is colder than other rooms of the house, instead of heating it with an electric heater, try using a warm-mist humidifier. It will warm up the room while raising humidity at the same time. If you can’t afford a humidifier, try air-drying your laundry in your baby’s room. It will help you to increase humidity in the room while saving you money on drying clothes at the same time.

Breastfeed or bottle-feed your infant more often to keep her hydrated. If your baby is six months or older, you can offer her some water or juice between feedings.

Insulate your home. This advice may seem to be completely unrelated to the subject. However, by preventing heat loss and cold drafts (especially near the thermostat) your furnace will turn on less often and the humidity in your home will increase.

It is not uncommon for a baby to be congested while having a dry nose. The nose may look clean and dry, but deep inside it may be clogged with thick dried up mucus. You will know your baby is congested when she refuses to suck on the breast or bottle. It is very important to remove dry mucus. You can do so by using the saline solution (two drops per nostril) and then suctioning out the fluids with a rubber suction bulb. Allow the saline drops to stay in the nose for about one minute. It will help to loosen the mucus and make it easier to suction it out. Repeat the procedure until your baby breathes easily. Also, take care when you insert the bulb into the nostrils. If you put it too far, you may cause a nosebleed.

After a week or two, your baby should get adjusted to the drier air and the nosebleeds should stop naturally. However, if she has a persistent dry nose accompanied by nosebleeds, dry mouth and dry eyes, you should contact your doctor.