Newborn congestion can be concerning for parents, there is already so much to learn about your new baby that congestion can be intimidating to deal with. But don’t worry, it is totally normal and there are many things you can do to relieve your baby so you can both get some rest.
What is Newborn Congestion?
Newborn congestion is when your baby’s tiny airways get clogged with excess mucus. This can be uncomfortable for your baby and in some cases make them easily irritated and restless.
During the first few months of life babies breathe exclusively through their nose. This is because it supports suckling by keeping the mouth available for feeding. By breathing through their nose babies are able to breathe and eat at the same time.
In order to keep the nasal passage clear, small amounts of thin clear mucus are produced to rid the airways of any irritating pollutants like dust.
When there is an increase in irritants the infant’s body responds by producing more mucus, this can result in congestion.
There are two main types of congestion your newborn could be experiencing, these are nasal congestion and chest congestion.
Newborn Congestion Symptoms
Below is a list of symptoms that will help you determine if your newborn is experiencing nasal congestion:
- If you see more mucus than usual draining from your infants nose
- If the mucus is thicker than usual or discolored
- If your infant has noisy breathing or is snoring while sleeping
- If your infant is sniffling
- If your infant is coughing
- If your infant is having trouble feeding
Here are some potential causes of nasal congestion:
- If your infant is suffering from allergies
- If your infant has a virus or cold
- If your infant is continually exposed to dry air or poor air quality (such as cigarette smoke)
- If your infant has a deviated septum
Below is a list of symptoms that will help you determine if your newborn is experiencing chest congestion:
- If your infant is coughing
- If your infant is wheezing
- If your infant is grunting
Here are some potential causes for chest congestion:
- If your infant has asthma
- If your infant was born prematurely
- If your infant has pneumonia
- If your infant has bronchiolitis
- If your infant has respiratory syncytial virus
- If your infant has the flu
- If your infant has cystic fibrosis
Newborn Congestion Treatment
Now that you have a better idea of what newborn congestion looks like, and the potential causes, let’s talk about treatment options.
Depending on the cause of your newborns congestion the treatment will vary.
Here are some at home tips that may help your baby feel better:
- Use a humidifier in your baby’s room. This helps keep the air moist and break up the thick mucus in your baby’s airways.
- Sit in the bathroom with your baby and run a hot shower, the steam will provide moisture and relieve your baby’s congestion.
- Help keep your baby’s nose clear by removing snot with a syringe and wiping away excess sputum.
- Massage your baby’s nose and head to relieve some of the pressure they may be feeling from congestion. This may soothe your infant and help them relax.
- Be sure to offer plenty of feedings, especially if they are having trouble eating, because they may not be getting as much milk or formula as usual and could be hungry.
It is important that you consult your doctor right away if your infant has a fever and congestion does not go away or worsens.
And remember newborn congestion is common and your baby will get through it with your love and care. Be sure to consult with your doctor if your baby’s symptoms worsen.
If you think your baby is suffering from congestion book an appointment with a PlushCare pediatrician today.