Tips for Nebulizing Your Baby

Our Son Jack is currently on a combination of medications to help with his lungs. He needs to take Pullmacort nebulizers twice a day and when he is congested and coughing he also needs to take an Albuterol nebulizer every 4 hours. 

Each nebulizer is about 15 minutes in length and requires him to stay still. There is a mask that they make but he has never been able to wear it. It was too big at first and was cutting into his face, and now he's too old to want to keep it on. This has been a lot to manage so I wanted to contribute some tips to other parents. 

Here are a few tips we've found to make this a little more manageable:

  •  Nebulize when in the highchair or playing with a favorite toy or book. This keeps them from moving too much. They should not be eating while being nebulized. 
  • Purchase (or ask your doctor or hospital for) a blow-by kit (picture directly below if your child) isn't able to use a mask. We've found that the masks are too small or uncomfortable, and when your baby gets a little older they don't want to wear them so they take them off. This attachment makes it much easier to nebulize since there is a tube that you can put right at your child's mouth and nose, rather than trying to hold the cup flat and directly below their mouth. This also allows you to put it through the bars of a crib and nebulize while the baby is asleep.
  • Try nebulizing when the baby is asleep. Ask you doctor about this to make sure it will work for your child. If the baby has apnea or is a shallow breather when sleeping he/she may not get as much of the medicine as when they are awake. If they are very squirmy or noncompliant while awake (or you have just run out of time in your day) this might be a good alternative. Either hold the tube or find a large clip (try home depot) to clip the tube to the crib rail. Don't leave the child unattended. The clip will just allow you to observe hands free.

Blow-by Tube for Nebulizer

Typical Child Mask for Nebulizer

The picture above is what some of the typical child nebulizer masks look like. Our son is 18 months and still too young to tolerate using the mask.



**These tips and comments are provided by parents and caregivers of infants that have been hospitalized in a NICU (self-identified). They are not intended to serve as medical advice and you should consult your child's physician before attempting any of the advice offered on this website.**