Newborn Nasal Congestion - SmartMom

What to do About Newborn Nasal Congestion?

Some parents wonder why their baby has a cold or signs and symptoms of it just after birth. It’s not really a cold; it’s nasal congestion – a common condition that babies experience. Constant sneezing, stuffy nose, and even snoring are the clear hints that the baby is suffering from it.

But my baby’s nose and mouth have been suctioned well right after birth, so how come this still occurs? It’s not all about suctioning the mucus out, really. Newborn nasal congestion occurs because they continue to have mucus in the upper respiratory tract (nose, sinuses, and larynx) and the posterior pharynx (throat) until about two weeks after birth. That snoring you hear when your baby is fast asleep is due to aforementioned mucus. Another cause for the snoring is the irregular breathing of newborns. It is normal for them to have it during the first month of life.

It is alarming and daunting to see your precious little one breathing like that. Worry no further! You can help ease away the nasal congestion of your baby by doing these steps at home:

  • If you’re smoking, quit. Even if you smoke far away from your baby, the residue left on your clothes is enough to make the nasal congestion worse.
  • Prior to suctioning the mucus using a bulb syringe from each nostril, put a few drops of saline solution first. Don’t start suctioning without moistening the nose with the drops because mucus turns into hardened crusts. When this happens, you’ll have a harder time suctioning it out. If you do it too much, the nasal tissues will get irritated, inflamed, and there’s a good chance that it will bleed. Here’s how to do it:
  • Tilt your baby’s chin a little while she is lying down
  • Place two to three drops (or one spray) of the saline solution on each nostril
  • Keep her head still for about a minute
  • Squeeze (negative pressure) a clean bulb syringe before inserting the tip to one nostril
  • Gently release the bulb syringe to suction out the mucus
  • Check your baby for any distress during the process. Stop is she starts crying or can’t seem to breathe properly.
  • If your baby’s nose is still stuffy, repeat the process. Take head, though. You won’t be able to take out all the mucus in one session. It’s better to do it only once a day only; preferably before the baby goes to sleep at night. Too often is not good. You will only make the congestion worse.
  • You can place a warm mist humidifier inside the baby’s room to alleviate the nasal stuffiness. Another benefit of warm mist humidifier is its ability to eliminate germs as well. Just make sure that the humidifier is far away from the baby as possible for safety reasons.
  • Alternatively, you can run a hot shower. Contain the steam by closing the door and window shut; block any gaps as well. Stay inside with your baby for ten minutes. The steam will help your baby breath better by loosening the mucus.
  • Place your newborn baby in a semi-upright position when sleeping. You can do this by putting him on a car seat. Do not try to prop up your baby’s head with a few pillows on his crib. This may cause suffocation.

Go to the baby’s pediatrician if the symptoms mentioned above are accompanied by the ff: Fever or temperature of 100.40 F – this is considered a medical emergency if the baby is less than 3 months old; from transparent, the mucus turns to yellow or green mucus; the baby is irritable and cries all the time; the baby is drinking milk poorly.  

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