Your doctor will probably prescribe one or more drugs for your baby. Drugs known as quick relievers are used to stop an asthma attack. These fast-acting medications relieve the spasms in the airway, making breathing easier. Quick-reliever drugs such as albuterol are administered using either a nebulizer machine or a metered-dose inhaler (MDI).
A nebulizer is an electric or battery-powered machine that turns liquid medicine into a mist that your baby can breathe into his lungs through a mask. Nebulized breathing treatments usually take about ten minutes.
An MDI is a small aerosol can that's inserted into a long tube called a holding chamber or spacer, which has a small mask attached to it. The albuterol is sprayed into the holding chamber and then inhaled by your baby as he breathes through the mask. This type of breathing treatment can be given in less than a minute.
The choice of a nebulizer or a metered-dose inhaler depends mostly on which device is easiest for you and your baby to use. In general, they are equally effective in getting the medicine into your baby's lungs to stop an asthma attack.