What to Know About Your Toddler’s Nose

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As parents most of you are frequently advised to watch out for your baby’s eyes, ears, and throat. Not many of you pay attention to your infant’s nose. But it’s more than justa cute spot on your baby’s face. Thenose is an important gateway to discovery and good health.

Did you know?

A toddler’s nose helps the little learner explore.
Smelling, like tasting and touching is your toddler’s way of learning about his surroundings. It’s been that way since his/her earliest days. A newborn finds his mom’s nipple by its scent and can distinguish the smell of her milk from a stranger’s. That sense of smell grows fastest during the first six months of life and peaks in early childhood. But his/her smell senses aren’t totally reliable yet. It can’t characterize bad smells, which can pose a danger. Very young children usually don’t realize that poisons or expired food smells as ‘bad’. This will change when your little one turns two. Then he/she will recognize foul-smelling odors.

A toddler’s nose helps him/her form memories.
The brain uses lots of data to imprint memories, including that collected by the nose.This is the one reason why your little one is soothed by the scent of your clothes and you during a tantrum. The next time you want to help him/her remember an event, spend some time describing the smells (ex: grandma’s delicious turkey or the smell of freshly baked cookies)

A toddler’s nose helps him/her sweetie stay healthy.
As he/she breathes in, tiny hairs in the nose remove germs, dust, and other irritants from the air, and then the nasal passage warms and moistens that air to keep the lungs healthy. Clogged breathing can make him/her miserable. So clear your baby’s nasal passage as best you can and prop up his/her head with pillows under the crib mattress or put extra pillows on his/her bed to make breathing easier.

A toddler nose is always changing
The nose is a feature that continues to grow right through your little one’s teenage years.

Given the many important functions of a toddler’s nose, always make sure you know how to keep it clean, react toinjuries and nosebleeds, and manage even the tiny things that might make your baby uncomfortable.