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If your baby is scratching their nose, this is what it might mean

Your little one loves to explore. Once he or she finds their hands, your baby has to touch everything. But you’ve noticed your child has been rubbing and scratching at their nose more than normal. At first, it might have seemed like it was only an itch, but now it’s turned into your baby constantly touching their nose.

If you have seen your little one grabbing at their nose and getting whiny, there are a few things to check to try to get them back to a happy baby. An itchy nose outside could mean something inside needs a deeper look. Let’s see what the reason for your baby’s extra interest in their nose could be.

A little child holding a tissue in their hand and crinkling their face up.

Check their nose

The first thing to do would be to check up their nose. Your baby might have a bit of dirt or a baby booger in there that is irritating them. Get the sucker and make sure that all is clear. If your baby shows signs that they might be willing, you can teach them to blow their nose. It might seem too obvious or too simple, but sometimes it just is. If only all baby cries and cues were that easy to fix.

A father wiping a fussy baby's nose.

Check their bedding

You love to sleep on fresh, clean sheets, right? Your baby’s nose could be getting irritated from dirty and dusty bedding. With all of the excitement and then all of the sleep deprivation that comes with a new baby, it could be something that is easily overlooked.

It can be hard to remember to do everything with a new addition at home. Write it down on the board, set new sheets out to remind yourself, or whatever else you have to do to get it done. You don’t like sleeping on gross, stale sheets and that could be something that’s messing with your baby’s nose.

Baby asleep with mouth open
Aida Jeddi/Unsplash

Your baby could have a cold

Your little one could have a cold and as a result of that has a runny nose. Your baby doesn’t know what else to do but to keep rubbing at their nose. Getting your little one some medicine and keeping their nose clear will help your baby to leave their nose alone.

When you have a runny nose from a cold, it seems you blow your nose every five minutes. Your baby needs you to do all of that for them. Keep their nose clear and moisturized, so a dry nose isn’t adding to their discomfort. If their cold gets unbearable, talk to your doctor.

A mother comforting a sick and crying baby.

It could be a tooth

Ah — the sneaky tooth coming in. This might be overlooked, but if your baby has a runny nose and is always messing with it, your little one could be cutting a tooth. A runny nose could be a symptom of a tooth coming in.

Be careful, but open up your baby’s mouth and feel around in there. If you get bit, then that could answer your question. If you don’t feel a tooth, feel for a bump and look for a reddened area. If you find any of these clues, this could be why your child is worrying at their nose. Cutting a tooth is some serious work!

A teething baby chewing on a teething toy.

Your babe needs a nap

This is what every parent wants to hear – to put your baby down for a nap. Your baby scratching at their nose could mean they don’t want to rub their eyes anymore. If only a nap was the answer to everything, right?

If your baby is overly tired and doesn’t know what else to do with their hands, they’ll make their way to their nose. Getting your little one to take even a small nap could reset their little brain and get them back to normal. We all get cranky and sometimes a nap is the answer to our problems.

Upset baby in bed
Aikomo Opeyemi/Unsplash

Your baby could have allergies

This isn’t the option you want to hear, but you can’t ignore the signs. Do allergies run in your family? Has your baby been rubbing their nose for way longer than when a normal cold would last? Your baby could have allergies and doesn’t know what to do to get the symptoms to stop.

If you think your child has allergies, go ahead and make an appointment with the pediatrician. Remember that you can’t just buy any allergy medicine for your babe. If you child is under 2, you’ll need to get familiar with some natural allergy relief for toddlers because most medicines won’t be safe yet. Talk with your doctor, but there are plenty of non-medicinal ways to help your little one.

Things to try when your baby has an itchy nose due to allergies

  • Watch your child’s reaction when outside
  • Nice warm baths at night to drain their nose and get dust/dirt off
  • No pets in the room at night
  • Warm compress

If you have tried all of the basics, checked every fold and nook for any sign of a reason why, and your baby is still going at their nose, take your little one to the doctor. But like with any reason your child cries or is fussy, it’s best to go through the basic checklist of what could be bothering them. So, if you notice your tiny tot won’t leave their nose alone, make sure you check off everything on our list to get your baby’s hands back on their toys.

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