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remedies for a very congested baby

Mom’s question:

I wonder if anyone can help me with remedies for a very congested baby?

My baby boy just turned 7 months and is getting over the 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 Helpline:

How To Help A Congested Baby

How long can congestion last?

Just as you have noticed, congestion often lasts long after the actual flu or cold is over.

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.

6 Home Remedies for a Very Congested Baby

It is tough to have a very congested baby. Just like with adults, the congestion makes it difficult for them to sleep and eat.

Here are some home remedies to help your congested baby:

1. Hot Shower and Steam

Run a hot shower and sit in the bathroom and let him breathe in the steam. This helps with congestion.

2. Saline Drops

When he has a stopped up nose, you may want to use saline nose drops.

You can make saline drops by adding ½ teaspoon of table salt to 2 cups 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 bedtime. This will make it easier for the child to breathe.

3. Breastmilk Drops

If you still breastfeed, you can use breastmilk drops too. Use breastmilk the same way as you would saline drops. Breastmilk is very efficient in reducing congestion in babies.

4. Elevate the Head End of Baby’s Bed

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 under the mattress or use something very stable beneath the bed’s legs.

5. A Warm Bath

A warm bath in a bathroom with warm, humid air can also help congestion and make it easier for your baby to sleep.

This can, of course, be a lot more fun for both you and your baby than just sitting in the bathroom with the shower running.

6. A Warm Vapor Humidifier

Finally, putting a warm vapor 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.

I would start it maybe 30 minutes before putting your baby to sleep, to get the humidity up.

Just do not use any essential oils with it, because some of those may be dangerous for the newborns or cause an allergy.

I hope he feels better soon.

Paula
(Answer approved by our Medical Reference Team)

More On Babies With Cold Or Flu

Hey moms and dads, do you have any more tips on remedies for a very congested baby? Add them below! 🙂

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Avatar
    new mommy

    My baby is almost 3 weeks old and she sounds congested. She’s not coughing but when she cries it sounds like she’s sick and I’m really worried and don’t know what to do. She also won’t stop crying.

    1. Paula @ EasyBabyLife

      Hi,
      In newborns, noisy breathing that happens occasionally is normal. On the other hand, noise breathing caused by troublesome breathing problems is usually persistent and hence you would most likely hear it all the time. Nevertheless, if you are concerned about any breathing problem in your baby, be sure to contact your pediatrician. And really that pays for any age baby. It is always better to get information and reassurance from the doctor.

      There are some interesting facts about the normal baby crying that would be useful for you to know. The time spent crying for baby peaks in the first three months. A baby normally cries about 2 hours per day during the first three months and the crying occurs more frequently in the late afternoon and evening. Most babies cry for 30 minutes or less in any period of the day.

      There are several reasons that could explain baby crying. For example, it is possible that babies are less able to regulate crying once started. If your baby appears healthy, does not have a fever, is not lethargic and if you are able to calm her down, the most plausible explanation of your baby crying is that your baby has a bit of tummy pain or other discomfort and the two of you haven’t really learned how to communicate yet.

      It takes time to recognize the different cries a baby makes, hunger, discomfort, fear. And the more anxious you are, the more baby picks it up and will be unsettled.

      If your baby cries for extended periods every day and can’t be settled, it can be infant colic, which you can read more about here.

      So the best thing is to get her checked out, then if nothing is wrong you can relax and focus on lots of body contact and getting the hang of feeding, etc. It is a pretty full-on time with a newborn, and she will need heaps of cuddle time and feeds while she adjusts to being out in the big wide world!

      Hope this helps,

      Paula

      1. Avatar
        new mommy

        The advice given here has truly settled me down. I was really upset and praying what did I do wrong, 4 am feeding and what I heard from her will still keep me cuddling her to keep listening and once I moved her a little and readjusted the way I was holding her, she sounded better but if she starts the cough again I’ll go to the hospital. Better to get her checked out and feel reassured if on doubt take to hospital.

        Advice you’re given made me feel much better

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