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    Baby congestion: 5 common causes and remedies that work

    If baby sounds congested, knowing the common causes of infant congestion, as well as some tricks to ease baby's suffering can make you both feel better quickly.


    Articles & Guides Child care Baby congestion: 5 common causes and remedies…

    Baby congestion: 5 common causes and remedies that work

    Kate Ward November 30, 2021

    It can be perfectly normal for otherwise healthy babies to go through periods where they sound congested and stuffed up, but when is a baby’s stuffy nose something to worry about? While seeking professional medical advice from a doctor or nurse should always be your first line of defense, knowing what commonly causes infant congestion and learning some ways to ease baby’s suffering can make you both feel better quickly.

    Common reasons baby sounds congested and how to help

    So why does baby sound congested? Here are five potential causes for infant congestion or a stuffy nose and what you can do to help baby breathe easier.

    1. Babies have very small nasal passages and may only sound congested

    “Congestion in babies is caused either by swelling of the nasal passages, so air can’t get through, or by the nasal passages being filled up with mucus,” says Dr. Roy Benaroch, a pediatrician and author of “Solving Health and Behavioral Problems from Birth through Preschool.” “Infant noses are so small to begin with, so even a little swelling or mucus can cause congestion.”

    Kristina Duda, a registered nurse and cold and flu expert agrees. “Sometimes babies just sound congested when there really isn’t anything to worry about,” she says.

    What you can do: For typical congestion caused solely by infant anatomy, Duda says, “Keeping babies noses clear with a bulb syringe can be a good idea. If baby is eating OK and doesn’t seem to be too bothered by their congestion, then there shouldn’t be too much to worry about.”

    2. Babies can’t blow their noses and need a little help

    “Older children and adults can easily clear mucus out of their noses by blowing them,” says Benaroch. “Little babies can’t do that, so they tend to stay congested.”

    What you can do: To clear out baby noses safely and easily, both Benaroch and Duda suggest the NoseFrida baby nostril aspirator because it works well and is safe to use for babies. Generally, it does the same thing as a bulb syringe by clearing out the mucus in their noses, but it’s easier to clean than typical syringes. Parents suck the mucus out of their babies’ noses using the nostril aspirator (don’t worry, there’s a hygiene filter).

    Image via Frida

    Where to buy: NoseFrida The Snotsucker ($17, Frida)

    3. Common irritants like dust, perfumes and smoke can cause baby congestion

    Low air quality can really wreak havoc on a baby’s stuffy nose. “Irritants like warm dry air, tobacco or cooking smoke or other environmental irritants in the air can cause baby congestion,” says Benaroch.

    What you can do: Duda suggests that parents eliminate any environmental factors and “invest in a cool mist humidifier for baby’s room.”

    4. Baby could have the common cold virus

    “Most of the time, baby congestion isn’t really painful for them, but it can affect their sleeping, especially if they get the common cold virus,” says Duda.

    What you can do: If baby is really congested and has a stuffy nose at night, Duda suggests elevating their head while they sleep. “Putting them in their baby car seat or even swing so they are in an upright, elevated position can help drain some of that mucus,” she says.

    Still have a baby with a stuffed up nose on your hands? “Try saline drops for babies’ noses that help clear out some of that mucus, as well,” says Duda.

    5. Baby could have caught Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and need medical treatment

    Sometimes a stuffy nose can mean something more than infant congestion. Keep an eye out for these clear warning signs, says Duda: “If babies are more irritable than normal, they just are not feeding very well, they are lethargic, they don’t want to smile and play as usual or they are sleeping more than normal — these kinds of signs could signal a more serious illness, such as RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, in babies.”

    RSV is one of the most common causes of respiratory illnesses in babies and is signaled by a lot of mucus that doesn’t go away.

    “RSV seems to be more common in premature infants, so parents should be aware of that,” Duda says. “It occurs when the common cold virus starts to attack their lungs and needs medical intervention to treat.”

    What you can do: If you think your baby might have RSV, call the pediatrician immediately.

    Signs baby’s congestion needs immediate medical care

    Sometimes infant congestion can impair a baby’s breathing, which Duda says is a clear signal to take your little one to the doctor — no matter the cause. “If babies are coughing a lot, and there is no relief, then they should really be seen by a doctor,” she says.

    Duda encourages parents to watch out for nasal flaring. “If babies’ nostrils are flaring in and out every time they breathe, and they have retraction around the ribs, this means that they are working too hard to breathe and need immediate medical attention,” she says. “If they are grunting with every breath, this is also a serious concern, and parents should seek out immediate medical attention for their babies.”

    Source : www.care.com

    Baby congestion: Causes, symptoms, and home remedies

    Congestion is common in babies, often affecting the nose or chest. It is usually harmless but can be uncomfortable. In this article, we look at the causes of and treatments for baby congestion.

    We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

    Congestion is common in babies. Baby congestion is usually harmless, but it can sometimes be uncomfortable, causing a stuffy nose and noisy or rapid breathing.

    Babies may experience congestion in their nose (called nasal congestion), or it may sound as though the congestion is in their chest. The symptoms differ depending on where the congestion occurs.

    Nasal congestion is more likely, and if the baby is happy and feeding normally, this is normal and the baby is likely fine.

    However, caregivers can help relieve a baby’s congestion using a rubber suction bulb to remove excess mucus. Other home remedies, such as using a humidifier and administering nasal saline drops, can also help relieve the baby’s discomfort.

    This article provides an overview of baby congestion. We look at its causes, symptoms, and treatments and discuss when to see a doctor.


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    Cigarette smoke, viruses, and exposure to dry air are among possible causes of congestion in babies.

    Babies can get congested when they breathe in cigarette smoke, pollutants, viruses, and other irritants. Their bodies produce extra mucus in the nose and airways to trap and remove these irritants.

    Exposure to dry air and other weather conditions can also trigger excess mucus production and congestion.

    Babies are more likely than older children to get congestion because their nasal passages and airways are small and not yet mature.

    Possible causes of nasal congestion include:

    breathing in dry air

    changes in weather

    viral infections, such as a cold

    breathing in air pollutants

    a deviated septum allergies

    Congestion that develops deeper in the baby’s chest may have a more serious cause, such as:

    asthma flu pneumonia cystic fibrosis

    bronchiolitis, which respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) usually causes

    transient tachypnea, which typically only occurs in the first day or two after birth

    Premature babies may experience more congestion than full term babies.


    The symptoms of baby congestion may vary based on the location of the congestion. It can be difficult to tell where the congestion is, as babies are small and their airways are not very far apart.

    If the baby has a runny nose or mucus in their nose, they may have nasal congestion. Nasal congestion is the most common. A baby may sound congested in their nose, such as from breathing in dry air, without actually being sick.

    True “chest congestion,” when there is fluid in the airways of the lungs, is less common. It tends to develop only when there is illness. A baby who sounds congested but is otherwise healthy — such as appearing happy, feeding and sleeping normally, and not having a fever — is likely fine.

    When a baby has a congested nose, caregivers may notice the following symptoms:

    noisy or more noticeable breathing

    snoring when asleep

    mild difficulty when feeding

    a blocked nose coughing a runny nose sniffling

    When a baby has congestion in their chest, symptoms can include:

    rapid breathingwheezing when breathing

    labored breathing coughing difficulty feeding Home remedies

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    Giving a baby a warm bath may help to clear congestion.

    Home remedies for baby congestion focus on providing care and comfort. If illness is the cause of the congestion, caregivers can help manage the symptoms of congestion while waiting for the illness to pass.

    They can often relieve nasal congestion using a suction bulb, or a nasal syringe. These are soft rubber bulbs that can suck mucus from the nose.

    People can find suction bulbs in drug stores or choose from several brands online.

    Steps that a caregiver can take to help their baby feel better include the following:

    Provide warm baths, which can help clear congestion and offer a distraction.

    Keep up regular feedings and monitor for wet diapers.

    Add one or two drops of saline to their nostril using a small syringe.

    Provide steam or cool mist, such as from a humidifier or by running a hot shower.

    Gently massage their nasal bridge, forehead, temples, and cheekbones.

    Remove potential allergens or pollutants from the home’s air by vacuuming up pet hair, not burning candles, and not smoking.

    Use gentle suction to help clear the nasal passageway, particularly before feeding.

    Wipe away excess mucus with a soft, dry tissue or cloth.

    Caregivers should not use vapor rubs on babies. Some researchers, who tested their hypothesis in ferrets, believe that vapor rubs can be harmful to young children.

    A caregiver should also never give a baby cold or flu medication. If the congestion is severe or there are other symptoms of concern, they should schedule a medical appointment for the baby.

    Source : www.medicalnewstoday.com

    Baby Sounds Congested but No Mucus? Causes, Treatments, and More

    If your baby is congested, but you can't see boogers, you may wonder what's causing it and how to help. Check out these causes, home remedies, and more.

    What to Do When Baby Sounds Congested but Has No Mucus

    Medically reviewed by Karen Gill, M.D. — Written by Rhona Lewis on December 17, 2020

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    Brandon Bell/Getty Images

    While the sniffles and snuffles that go along with congestion aren’t a medical emergency the first time you hear them from your own baby, it can sure feel like it.

    Especially if your baby sounds congested but you don’t see any boogers or mucus in their nose, it may seem like a problem without a solution.

    So what’s going on with your baby and how do you help them?

    What makes a baby sound congested even though they have no mucus?

    Healthy babies can often sound congested simply because they’re tiny new people with baby-sized systems, including miniature nasal passages. Just like those itty-bitty fingers and toes, their nostrils and airways are extra small.

    It doesn’t take much for these teeny pathways to become affected by minor dryness or by just a bit of clear mucus. This may simply be a normal part of their growth and development.

    But there are things that can affect the amount of congestion they have, and knowing what those are may help you relieve some of their sniffles with home treatments — or signal when you should call the doctor.

    Here are some factors that increase the chances of chances of congestion:

    Preemie babies. The air passages of preemies are even smaller than those of your average newborn. This may make slightly noisy breathing even more likely.Air irritants. Think tobacco or cooking smoke, heavy perfumes, room aromatherapy diffusers, or fumes from household cleaning products, paint, or varnish. These can irritate your baby’s nasal passages.Dry air. Low humidity can dry out and irritate nasal passages. This can be a result of using your home’s heating system or simply living in an arid climate.Weather changes. Waving goodbye to summer heat may sound like fun, but when the drop in temperature brings low humidity and dry air, your baby is more likely to sound congested.

    What about illness?

    Not all congestion is part and parcel of nasal passages that need to grow up. Sometimes, congestion can be related to illness and may even develop deeper in your baby’s chest.

    This congestion can be due to illness such as:

    a cold flu

    respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)

    Congestion that affects your baby’s breathing or moves into baby’s lungs may signal a more complex condition such as:

    bronchiolitis pneumonia asthma

    cystic fibrosis (typically identified during newborn screenings.)

    What happens when a baby is congested?

    Several things can signal that your baby has congested nasal passages. Here’s what to look out for:

    sniffles and snuffles

    slightly blocked or runny nose

    noisy breathing snoring when asleep

    touch of difficulty when feeding

    light coughing

    With these light symptoms you, at least, can breathe easy. Look for other signs that may indicate illness, like fever or vomiting, to determine whether to call the doctor.

    If your baby has any of the following symptoms, you’ve got some reason for concern:

    The sniffling turns into labored breathing.

    You can hear wheezing that makes it sound like each breath is an effort.

    Your baby’s nostrils flare in and out every time they breathe.

    Your baby’s chest retracts with each breath.

    If your baby is demonstrating any of these symptoms, call the doctor right away.

    What should you do when a baby sounds congested but doesn’t have mucus?

    Sometimes your baby may sound congested, but, try as you may, you can’t see much mucus. What gives? The first step is to look for any other signs of illness.

    Does your baby have a fever?

    Is your baby listless?

    Have your baby’s diapers been sufficiently wet and frequent?

    Does your baby refuse to breastfeed or reject their bottle?

    Does their congestion interfere with their sleep?

    If you see any of these symptoms, talk with your doctor to determine the best treatments to help your baby.

    On the other hand, if your baby seems generally content and is eating, sleeping, and dirtying diapers regularly, you may not need to do anything but wait for the congestion to pass. In some cases doing too much (like frequent use of a nasal aspirator) can irritate the nose further.

    If you’re looking for a way to help a fussy congested baby, you may want to start with some of the home remedies below.

    Home remedies to ease congestion

    You may not see any mucus in your baby’s nose, but that doesn’t mean it might not be there. Since your baby spends so much time lying on their back, mucus can easily collect in the back of their nose or throat, causing the sniffling you don’t want to hear.

    These home remedies may ease congestion:

    Warm baths. A calming bath in warm water can help clear congestion.Saline drops. A few saline drops in each nostril can help to loosen and thin the mucus. Thank your lucky stars if your baby sneezes and releases the mucus independently.

    Source : www.healthline.com

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