My baby boy just turned 7 months and is getting over a flu and cold. His nose is still stuffed and runny, and he's got chest congestion badly. I've been to doctors and they seem to keep giving me cold type medicine, but I don't think he needs it anymore. I just want to help his congestion, so that he sleeps and eats better.
What can I do ?
Baby Help Line:
How To Help A Congested Baby
It usually takes up to two weeks for the congestion to go completely away after a bad cold. Your baby may cough and wheeze some until all the congestion is gone. He should be fine, just keep an eye on his temperature. If he starts to run a fever you need to take him back to your pediatrician. If he has rapid breathing more than 70 times per minute or you notice he is using all his chest muscles to breathe then he needs to be checked again.
Here are some thing you can do to help your congested baby:
Run a hot shower and sit in the bathroom and let him breath in the steam. This helps with the congestion.
When he has a stopped up nose, you may want to use saline nose drops. You can make these by adding ½ teaspoon of table salt to 1 cup of boiled water. After the solution has come to room temperature, put one drop in each nostril then suck with the 1 ounce rubber syringe (suction bulb). Do this before each feeding and at bed time. This will make it easier for the child to breathe.
In addition to saline drops (or breast milk, which is actually also great for stuffy noses), you can try to help your baby breathe better at night by elevating the head end of his crib a bit. Don't do it by placing him on a pillow, though, since he could fall under it during the night.(Even if the risk of sudden infant death syndrome is quite low for a 7 month old, it is a very unnecessary risk to take.)
Instead either put a pillow below the mattress or use something very stable beneath the bed's legs.
A warm bath in a bath room with warm, humid air can also help congestion and make it easier for your baby to sleep.
Finally, putting a warm vapour humidifier into your baby's room may also be a good idea, as it will help decongest his nose and will make his sleep healthier. Just do not use any essential oils with it, because some of those may be dangerous for the newborns or cause an allergy.