How do I get my infant to sit still with the Nebulizer mask on his face?

Heather - posted on 11/13/2009 ( 32 moms have responded )

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My 7 month old baby has asthma and needs to do a treatment with the Nebulizer twice a day. We are having an extremely hard time getting him to keep the mask on his face. Does anyone have any tips?

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Shelly - posted on 11/22/2009

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The only way I could get my baby to 'be still' was if he was asleep. Naptime worked well for breathing treatments. If he was awake, however, I got rid of the mask. We would play games like peek-a-boo and just hold the hose in front of his face. As he laughed, he would breath in deeper. Also, the dr told us that doing a treatment while he was crying worked better, because he was taking deeper breaths. I personally didn't want to hear my baby screaming because I was worried about him being afraid of the machine. As he got older and more used to the machine, it got much easier. Now, he is 19 months old and holds the hose, with the mask, by himself and it's NO BIG DEAL. Just hang in there.

Maria - posted on 11/14/2009

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Hi Heather,
I work in the early childhood feild, and have often had to administer ventalin among other medication to infants and young children. Try laying your young baby on his back and begin with a tickling game and continue this while administering the ventalin. This position will also help him to recieve more of the ventalin while his arms are above his head.
If you are still having difficulties have someone administering the ventalin while you are continuing with the tickling game, or vice versa.
I hope this works for you.
Good luck :)
kind regards Maria

User - posted on 11/22/2009

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my daughter developed bronchitis at 10 months. She had to use a nebulizer and when she gets a bad cold I have to start using it again. The best advice I have for you is just hold it by their mouth and nose and let them breath it in. The respitory therapist told me this was a great way to ensure they stay seated without getting irratated and to also get the medicine they need. Try sitting them on your lap and read a book to distract them while the treatment is done.

Danielle - posted on 11/14/2009

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Try to swaddle him in a blanket and cradle him and hold the mask there. Talk sweet to him and try to comfort him. If he crys, believe it or not, that's great. It helps the meds get deeper into his lungs. And make sure you finish the tx. I did the above with my own children and when they where alittle over a year old they would just get comfortable and I would hand them the mask and they would hold it up to their mouths and sit there until it was done. Good Luck with everything.

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Vance - posted on 08/03/2012

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I think in some ways this can be true, but sometimes these drugs (like albuterol) are needed. My daughter, whenever she gets even a cold, it moves straight to her chest and the nebulizer opens up her airways so she can breathe. Without them her illnesses would become FAR worse.

Personally I either do them when she's asleep or I take off the mask while she's got Bottle. :)

Bethany - posted on 11/16/2009

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Boy do I have experience in this one. we have twin boys who were premies and both had to take the nebulizer three times a day plus meds. We had to get very creative with our boys, they watched movies on the portable dvd player, bribed them with sweets (their idea of sweets were gummy fruit snacks), let them have their pacifier, finally the one thing that worked the best was I would give it to them when they were asleep. My doctor said that it was fine as long as we held the mask in place. Once they got older that was not as easy. Also on one of our visits to the hospital we were able to get a dinosaur mask, they thought it was so cool that they loved putting it on. Also we would buy hotwheels and not let them open them until they took their meds. Hope it helps.

Corrie - posted on 11/16/2009

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He would always give up a fight and scream so I would just hold it close to his nose and the doctor said that if he's screaming/crying during it, that's fine. They're usually breathing deeper and getting the medicine into the chest better. Sometimes it would become too much of a fight though and I'd wait until he was asleep before giving him the treatment.

Jodie - posted on 11/16/2009

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Maybe it would be better to use an aerochamber and mask with a meter dose inhaler instead.
Otherwise you can just put the mask on and play games with he and see if when you need too she is better with it.

Alex - posted on 11/15/2009

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Quoting Heather:

How do I get my infant to sit still with the Nebulizer mask on his face?

My 7 month old baby has asthma and needs to do a treatment with the Nebulizer twice a day. We are having an extremely hard time getting him to keep the mask on his face. Does anyone have any tips?



I've haven't had the same experience as you but my son has cerbral palsy and needs daily physio, splints to be put on and lycra gloves.  I've alway found Cbeebies great as a distraction.  I have no idea if it would help but I know my son has always been mesmarised by the t.v.  Even now at 13 if he's watching something he loves I can do almost anything to him and he doesn't complain. It's worth a try anyway!  Good luck.  I'll be thinking about you.  Alex

Danielle - posted on 11/15/2009

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Remember that we and our children should follow our instincts. They are trying to avoid something that is not good for their bodies (a steroid). There are many other modalities for treating asthma that are far more effective and healthier. Unlike most conventional medicine, that only treat the symptoms and note the source of the problem. Try working with a Nathropathic or Homopathic doctor for a real cure, instead of supporting these drug companies that are just about making money and not cures.

Patti - posted on 11/15/2009

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Try to do it when there sleeping because they breath the best when there sleeping and you know that strap doesn't have be on. Also if the baby isn't tired try to rock it to sleep with the mask on so it gets use to it. I had to do it for a while she didn't mind..

Nana - posted on 11/15/2009

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As an EMT and mother but not experienced with an asthmatic child, We tend to hold the mask close enough to get treatment but not put the mask on which is the same way we give oxygen to an infant. Sounds like a lot of mothers with experience with Nebs have good advise.

Danielle - posted on 11/14/2009

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there is no easy way at that age.. we took the face mask off and just let him breathe in all the vapors... even like that he wasnt happy but he had no choice..

Laura - posted on 11/14/2009

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Yes, the counting worked great. I had an infant doing the treatments and he learned that a certain number of breaths and he was done. I sang to him, sibling helped distract, etc. He learned to take it like a pro. act like you think it's fun and he'll pick up your attitude. :)

Stacey - posted on 11/14/2009

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Two of my children has to use the machine as well. I hate it. WEhen they were that age I would cradle them tight, hold the mask on there face a sway them. They may start out screaming but try for a few min. usually they calm down or try it when he/she are asleep. I found if they fight to much it does more harm them good. My kids have asthma and now that my youngest is 2 I am able to give him the medicine in syup form and love it because he is much to big to hold tight and rock now. Good luck

Carol - posted on 11/14/2009

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There is an natural reaction to try and uncover their face for fear of being smothered...that is mostly what you are fighting...cuddle time and placing it right up to their face is a great idea..My son started at 10 months, so we had to really get creative, good luck

Karen - posted on 11/14/2009

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I don't think you can especially if it is short periods of time. I had an infant that needed treatment every four hours (even at night) for about 3 years straight beginning from when he was just 4 months. What I did was made it kind of snuggle time. I wrapped him in a blanket, told stories, sang, bounced him, kissed him, but kept the mask tight like it should be, and eventually he got used to it where he started holding the mask himself while still sitting on my lap when eh got older. Crying during the dreapment is probablby a good thing as they inhale it more, so that part is frustrating but can work for good.

Debbie - posted on 11/14/2009

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My three year old had asthma. He had to have those treatments too and it was a nightmare! I would just follow his face with the mask as he moved it. My daughter would dance and sing in front of him to try to keep his attention in one place, but that didn't always work either. On top of the fact that the medicine made him irritable too!



Last September, I found an online wholesale club that manufactures non-toxic, greener products. We got all the toxic chemicals out of our house, I mean everything. Laundry, cleaning supplies, shampoo, lotions, even down to his toothpaste and he hasn't had a breathing treatment in over a year! It's been a life saver! I could go on forever about this stuff, so if you'd like to know more, just let me know! I'd be happy to share everything with you!



Good luck!

Cheryl - posted on 11/14/2009

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Even at the young age of 9 months my son saw me take the mask and put it on my own face. He then accepted it.
I'm not sure if it will work for you. I'll you can do is try.

Donna - posted on 11/14/2009

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She hated the "taste" of the medicine in the nebulizer and hated the mask, but after talking with the doctor, he gave me a mouth piece that worked wonders. The other thing I found was moving the nebulizer box as far away as possible, it seemed she was also bothered by the noise the machine made as well.

Good luck. It was a struggle for a while, but thankfully she's really outgrown most of the need for one, she's 12. She still has an albuterol and pumilcort in case. So there's relief coming later and hopefully your son will outgrow the need for one too.

Cindy - posted on 11/14/2009

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I found that with both my baby boy and daughter I taught them to suck on a lollie pop while having mask on it became a pleasurable experience although i used to get covered in lollie drewl and rather sticky they never struggled all i did was push the stick out of the hole so i could hold it for them and they just sucked away(a pediatrician started my son on this at about 6mnths old....It worked for us...goodluck!!!

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hello, my boys twins both had asthma and i was told that if they cry the medicine gets in better...sounds awful but makes it easier on you if you know that they getting medicine in properly. You could swathe him with a nice cosy blanket or towel so he can't grab and sing him his fav song. He will get used to it, better tat he gets enough meds than you compromise and he gets really ill. I know nurses who swathe babies for medicine etc. It helps them feel safe and cosy too. Try and make it special mummy cuddles time with a fav book, tv prog/vid or music songs. Hope that helps

Jodi - posted on 11/13/2009

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I used to have the same problem with my son. I literally had to restrain him as best I could while I held the mask on him. He did eventually get used to it, though, and eventually, he would quite happily sit and hold the mask himself, so I promise, it does get easier!!

Ashley - posted on 11/13/2009

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ohh yes we went through this last winter with my son. twice a day and an emergency one as well. my bf would hold his head and arms and we'd kind of do a count. we'd go on the count of three, he'd grab him fast and i'd put the mask on. he'd cry really hard but we figured that when he cried hard he was able to get the medicine in better. it got to the pt where he'd see the mask and put his face up because he knew what it was for. he still didnt like it but it started getting better near the end. it's hard but helped so much

Rachel - posted on 11/13/2009

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Hi Heather, My son to has asthma and i found the best way for me was to take the whole face mask off and just let the vapors woft under the chin.. he would still fight and struggle but not as much as when you try to put the face mask on and they think your trying to suffocate them. hope this helps rachel

Brenda - posted on 11/13/2009

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Two of my G-kids had to have the breathing treatments. Little Enstine DVD's worked well. It doesn't take long for them to assoiate the FISH FACE mask with the fun DVD.

Sharon - posted on 11/13/2009

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When my baby had to have neb treatments, it was a total rodeo. Basically we just wrestled him still and did the treatments. Eventually he just gave in, but with crying. fine by me. I figure the deep breathing helped get the medicine in!

SHAMEKA - posted on 11/13/2009

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I honestly don't know what the tell you at that age but, my baby was a little bit over 1 and she didn't quite like it , So i jus turned it on and let her hold it and everything worked out okay

Connie - posted on 11/13/2009

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Neb's were torture for both my boys. Neither of them would keep their masks on - When my oldest was an infant, because of his asthma he kept getting RSV. I spent days in the doctors office - arbuteral, palmicort, prednisone, ugh.



I literally, with the instruction of his doctor at the time (because he would just scream and fight) would have to sit in a chair, cross my legs over his, use one arm to restrain him while I'd use the other to hold the mouth piece right up to his face - me streaming tears and sobbing the whole time, right with my baby. The only comfort I got from the MD was that the hollering will help break up the mucus in his little chest :(



I suggest you use the mouth piece, and hold to his face instead of using the mask....I pray that he's not a fighter like mine - it is the most terrible memory for me with my son as an infant. The good news, he's 11, and takes it like a pro :)

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