Gross—but satisfying—TikTok shows how nasal irrigation helps congested babies and toddlers

We all know that one of the worst things about having a cold is that congested feeling in your nose and sinuses — especially when you lay down and feel like you just can’t breathe. It’s even worse when your kiddos are sick. Watching them struggle through feeling like crap can be heartbreaking. Moms will do just about anything to give their littles some relief—which is why you should watch this viral video.

It’s a little bit controversial, but in the video, mom Jimi Wilson shows how to use nasal irrigation to give some relief to a congested toddler with a cold. If you’ve ever heard of a Neti pot, it’s just like that—only she uses a syringe to make things a little easier with a toddler. In the video, Wilson’s daughter takes it like a champ, even laughing as water goes in one nostril and shoots out the other.

According to Cleveland Clinic, nasal irrigation is a “safe and easy way to rinse your sinuses” that can relieve symptoms of “sinus infection, allergies, a cold or other upper respiratory conditions.”

Doctors say you can do nasal irrigation daily (or even twice a day) as needed to relieve symptoms like stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, or trouble breathing. In her videos, Wilson assures her viewers that she’s gotten her pediatrician’s approval to do them with her kids, starting when they’re about six months old.

She notes that it’s important to only use distilled water (never use tap water — it must be sterile) and mix the water with a packet of medical grade saline for the best effects. Then, you just sit your baby or toddler on the edge of the sink (with a towel handy, because this will be messy), lean them forward, make sure their mouth is open, and use a nasal irrigation syringe to shoot the water and saline solution up one of their nostrils. If they’re leaning forward and their mouth is open, it’ll drain out the other nostril, bringing all kinds of snot and mucus with it. After two or three rinses, your baby should be able to breathe much easier with less congestion.

And yes, adults can do this too.

“the best thing I learned after my third baby was this, they act like it’s torture but it helps so much, now that they’re older they even ask for it before bed when they are congested,” one commenter wrote on one of Wilson’s videos.

Another added, “This is exactly what my pediatrician told me to do with my kids and it really works! It took me a little bit to get over the fear but it helps them so much!”

It may be scary at first, but it really does work. And if you’re nervous, you can always ask your pediatrician to walk you through the steps before you try it yourself.

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