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How To Ease Newborn Congestion

How To Ease Newborn Congestion

If your newborn is experiencing a stuffy nose, frequent sneezing and occasional coughing, you might be tempted to take him or her directly to the emergency room. Fortunately, this is not necessary in the vast majority of cases because the previously listed symptoms are typically an indicator of nothing more than newborn congestion. However, your baby may become highly irritable as a result of this issue, so it is important to know how to ease their discomfort

1. Use Saline to Soothe a Dry, Stuffy Nose

Saline drops are an easy solution for combating a dry, stuffy nose, and they can also clear and remove dried mucus. You should be able to find saline drops in the over-the-counter section of any pharmacy.

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Simply place your baby on his or her back, and use a small pillow if needed to help tilt their head forward. Next, place two to three drops into each nostril, and then wait approximately one minute before flipping your newborn onto their stomach. This will allow the secretions to drain, and you can use a tissue to gently wipe away the loosened mucus and dried saline. Please be aware that you should not insert a tissue or cotton swab directly into your newborn’s nostrils.

2. Add Moisture into the Air

One of the most common causes of newborn congestion is dry air that makes their nasal secretions harden. This can be especially problematic during the winter, but the good news is that you can easily correct this situation. Putting a cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier in the baby’s room will add moisture into the air, which will provide relief for a dry, stuffy nose. Make sure that you clean the vaporizer or humidifier regularly in order to avoid the buildup of mold and mildew.

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3. Ease Newborn Congestion by Aspirating Dried Secretions

You can use an infant nasal bulb syringe to clear the dried mucus out of your newborn’s nose. If you choose to go this route, you will begin by dripping two to three drops of saline into each nostril, but do not flip your baby over after a minute passes. Instead, squeeze all of the air out of the bulb syringe, and then gently insert the head of it slightly inside the tip of one of the baby’s nostrils. Releasing the bulb slowly will aspirate the nostril, and you can then repeat this process if both nostrils are stuffy.

It is important to note that you must observe your newborn’s breathing after you have completed the aspiration process. In the unlikely event that they showcase any breathing difficulties, you should take them to the hospital immediately.

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4. Remove Hardened Secretions Around Your Baby’s Nose

One of the best ways to provide relief is to remove any hardened secretions that are found around the newborn’s nostrils. This dried-up mucus can be very uncomfortable, which may lead to obvious signs of discomfort. You can take action to remedy this issue by dipping a clean swap in warm water and using it to gently remove the hardened secretions. Again, ensure that you do not actually put the swab into either of your baby’s nostrils.

5. Keep an Eye Out for Serious Symptoms

There are several potential medical situations that do warrant a trip to the doctor or even the emergency room. Figuring out the difference between these scenarios and basic congestion may seem confusing or intimidating to new parents, but if you pay close attention to your baby’s symptoms, you should be able to make the right decision.

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Some of the symptoms that indicate a bigger issue than congestion include a fever, a rash, labored and raspy breathing, green or yellow nasal secretions, swelling, extreme irritability and any major changes to their feeding or sleeping habits. You will also want to get immediate medical assistance if something is lodged in the newborn’s nose or their mouth begins to turn blue.

Aside from taking steps to relieve or prevent congestion, you should also take action right away if you begin to come down with a cold or the flu. This can help prevent your newborn from becoming ill with something that will make them feel much crankier than congestion.

Featured photo credit: Baby Boy Newborn Congestion/Big D2112 via flic.kr

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Holly Chavez

Writer, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner

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Published on January 30, 2019

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

In roughly 60 percent of two-parent households with children under the age of 18, both parents work full time. But who takes time off work when the kids are sick in your house? And if you are a manager, how do you react when a man says he needs time to take his baby to the pediatrician?

The sad truth is, the default in many companies and families is to value the man’s work over the woman’s—even when there is no significant difference in their professional obligations or compensation. This translates into stereotypes in the workplace that women are the primary caregivers, which can negatively impact women’s success on the job and their upward mobility.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of long-term time-use data (1965–2011), fathers in dual-income couples devote significantly less time than mothers do to child care.[1] Dads are doing more than twice as much housework as they used to (from an average of about four hours per week to about 10 hours), but there is still a significant imbalance.

This is not just an issue between spouses; it’s a workplace culture issue. In many offices, it is still taboo for dads to openly express that they have family obligations that need their attention. In contrast, the assumption that moms will be on the front lines of any family crisis is one that runs deep.

Consider an example from my company. A few years back, one of our team members joined us for an off-site meeting soon after returning from maternity leave. Not even two hours into her trip, her husband called to say that the baby had been crying nonstop. While there was little our colleague could practically do to help with the situation, this call was clearly unsettling, and the result was that her attention was divided for the rest of an important business dinner.

This was her first night away since the baby’s birth, and I know that her spouse had already been on several business trips before this event. Yet, I doubt she called him during his conferences to ask child-care questions. Like so many moms everywhere, she was expected to figure things out on her own.

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The numbers show that this story is far from the exception. In another Pew survey, 47 percent of dual-income parents agreed that the moms take on more of the work when a child gets sick.[2] In addition, 39 percent of working mothers said they had taken a significant amount of time off from work to care for their child compared to just 24 percent of working fathers. Mothers are also more likely than fathers (27 percent to 10 percent) to say they had quit their job at some point for family reasons.

Before any amazing stay-at-home-dads post an angry rebuttal comment, I want to be very clear that I am not judging how families choose to divide and conquer their personal and professional responsibilities; that’s 100 percent their prerogative. Rather, I am taking aim at the culture of inequity that persists even when spouses have similar or identical professional responsibilities. This is an important issue for all of us because we are leaving untapped business and human potential on the table.

What’s more, I think my fellow men can do a lot about this. For those out there who still privately think that being a good dad just means helping out mom, it’s time to man up. Stop expecting working partners—who have similar professional responsibilities—to bear the majority of the child-care responsibilities as well.

Consider these ways to support your working spouse:

1. Have higher expectations for yourself as a father; you are a parent, not a babysitter.

Know who your pediatrician is and how to reach him or her. Have a back-up plan for transportation and emergency coverage.

Don’t simply expect your partner to manage all these invisible tasks on her own. Parenting takes effort and preparation for the unexpected.

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As in other areas of life, the way to build confidence is to learn by doing. Moms aren’t born knowing how to do this stuff any more than dads are.

2. Treat your partner the way you’d want to be treated.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a man on a business trip say to his wife on a call something to the effect of, “I am in the middle of a meeting. What do you want me to do about it?”

However, when the tables are turned, men often make that same call at the first sign of trouble.

Distractions like this make it difficult to focus and engage with work, which perpetuates the stereotype that working moms aren’t sufficiently committed.

When you’re in charge of the kids, do what she would do: Figure it out.

3. When you need to take care of your kids, don’t make an excuse that revolves around your partner’s availability.

This implies that the children are her first priority and your second.

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I admit I have been guilty in the past of telling clients, “I have the kids today because my wife had something she could not move.” What I should have said was, “I’m taking care of my kids today.”

Why is it so hard for men to admit they have personal responsibilities? Remember that you are setting an example for your sons and daughters, and do the right thing.

4. As a manager, be supportive of both your male and female colleagues when unexpected situations arise at home.

No one likes or wants disruptions, but life happens, and everyone will face a day when the troubling phone call comes from his sitter, her school nurse, or even elderly parents.

Accommodating personal needs is not a sign of weakness as a leader. Employees will be more likely to do great work if they know that you care about their personal obligations and family—and show them that you care about your own.

5. Don’t keep score or track time.

At home, it’s juvenile to get into debates about who last changed a diaper or did the dishes; everyone needs to contribute, but the big picture is what matters. Is everyone healthy and getting enough sleep? Are you enjoying each other’s company?

In business, too, avoid the trap of punching a clock. The focus should be on outcomes and performance rather than effort and inputs. That’s the way to maintain momentum toward overall goals.

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The Bottom Line

To be clear, I recognize that a great many working dads are doing a terrific job both on the home front and in their professional lives. My concern is that these standouts often aren’t visible to their colleagues; they intentionally or inadvertently let their work as parents fly under the radar. Dads need to be open and honest about family responsibilities to change perceptions in the workplace.

The question “How do you balance it all?” should not be something that’s just asked of women. Frankly, no one can answer that question. Juggling a career and parental responsibilities is tough. At times, really tough.

But it’s something that more parents should be doing together, as a team. This can be a real bonus for the couple relationship as well, because nothing gets in the way of good partnership faster than feelings of inequity.

On the plus side, I can tell you that parenting skills really do get better with practice—and that’s great for people of both sexes. I think our cultural expectations that women are the “nurturers” and men are the “providers” needs to evolve. Expanding these definitions will open the doors to richer contributions from everyone, because women can and should be both—and so should men.

Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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