Monday, January 05, 2009

Salty vs. The Stuffy Nose: Round 1

Poor Nathaniel has a stuffy nose. He's had it on and off for about a month. He is not sick, he is just stuffed up mostly at night. I have tried everything--saline drops in the nose, breast milk drops in the nose, humidifier, propping his head up a bit in the bassinet, nursing him in a steamy bathroom--only to get very temporary relief. Not only does it cause him discomfort but it keeps us all from getting a good night's sleep. Nathaniel's first three or so hours of sleep are good, but then after that when he's stuffed up we're lucky to get 2 hours at a time even after drops in the nose and aspirating. It's been two really stuffy nights in a row here and I am pooped! Both nights he started waking so often I just pulled him into bed with me so he could nurse ever 45 minutes or whatever and I didn't have to get out of bed. It stinks because just last week we had our best night ever: he only woke up 2 times during the night to eat (4 hrs, 4 hrs, 3 hrs). I don't even mind getting up every 2 or 3 hours but anything less than 2 hours and it hurts! Plus, Nathaniel sleeps in a co-sleeper hooked up next to our bed so it's tough to sleep well when he's snorting and rolling around all night. Poor baby!!!

I am fighting the problem from several angles: eliminating the causes, mitigate the causes, and treating the result. This means I am working to eliminate dust and potential environmental irritants. I am trying to humidify the dry air. And I am trying to treat the stuffiness with drops and steam. So far, I am winning a few battles but apparently losing the war.

I am studying what happens on good days and what on bad days. The difference between his best night and every other night was that we turned the gas fireplace on for a while so the forced air heat didn't come on until well into the night. I have since taken to turning down the heat at night and bundling Nathaniel a little more at night but that hasn't seemed to help at all. I smelled something funny in our room last night so I took apart the humidifier to clean it and it was so gunky! I was sure all the gunk was poisoning the poor kid! Mrp assured me it was just sediment from our hard water but I still feel bad that whatever that nast is was getting into the air and into my poor baby's nose! Also, yesterday evening I snuggled with Nathaniel for a while in our recliner cuddled under a fleece blanket. He seemed to be more stuffy after that. That could be because the recliner is next to a heat duct, but I am also worried that maybe it's because the fleece had attracted cat hair and he could be allergic to my cats! I don't think he's allergic to my cats because I think he would be a lot worse if he was. He has no other symptoms of any allergy or illness--just nasal congestion. This problem is totally stumping me!!!

So if any of you momma's have any experience with knocking out a stuffy nose, please let me know!


jessica said...

wow, i just got back from the pediatrician, and we were talking to her about this. she didn't really have any unique suggestions -- her main advice was to keep him upright as much as possible, don't fret, and just wait for his respiratory system to mature (gee, thanks). she did say this is her absolute #1 concern from parents, and that it's rarely due to allergies or environment. so, i guess we're supposed to be reassured that it's so common?

The Salty One said...

Hi Jessica! My ped said the same thing :( Easy for her to say as I'm kept up all night and poor Master Nathaniel is deprived of being bragged about as a good sleeper! At least I know someone else who's dealing with it. Thanks!

TrainingtoTri said...

Poor Peanut! I have no advice, just feel for you. Hope you get some sleep soon and Nate gets some relief.

If he is feeling better, maybe this weekend of the one after MLK, Gary and I could come by and see the little guy? Maybe bring a pizza?

DC Running Mama said...

Hey--Our little man Nate had the same problem...we use a humidifier, air filter, and he sleeps in his bouncy chair every night. If he is really stuffed up, I sit in the bathroom with him with the shower running. The saline and aspirator--while traumatic--does seem to help. I'm sorry! Isn't it awful to have your little guy be in pain and not be able to do anything about it!

Mindi said...

Yeah, I had the same thing. There is not a whole lot you can do about it until they grow out of it. And unfortunately then there is something else (there always is!). My suggestion (since you asked) is to put him in his crib. It may help you all sleep better. My second son was super noisy and I couldn't sleep at all when he was in the room with us. Lo and behold (for both of my kids actually) he slept better in his own bed. Maybe if he doesn't sense you / smell you, he won't "need" you as often during the night. Every baby (and parent) is different, but it worked beautifully for me. Miraculously both my kids slept though the night by 8 weeks old. Of course they both started waking up in the middle of the night multiple times when they we 18 mo.... but, like I said, it's always something.

The other thing I know people have done is get a sleep wedge. I know I tried it, but don't recall it being much of a success as they move off it or get all scrunched up. May be worth a try though - I believe they are only $10-15 or at least were 7 years ago...Good luck!

And enjoy those little snorty noises and soft baby smell. I miss those.