4 Ways to Help Your Congested Newborn

Portrait of a newborn girl sleeping.
Image via iStock

 

The congestion probably isn't a sign of some insidious disease lurking in your baby’s airways, but you still want him to be comfortable! So what can you do?

If you've spent a lot of time with a newborn before, then you know that newborns often spend the first few weeks, or even months, of their lives a little stuffy. Why is that?

According to an article by Howard J. Bennett, M.D. on the Huffington Post, newborns tend to be stuffy for completely harmless reasons. The most common of these is that newborns can’t breathe through their mouths. Newborns only breathe through their noses, and those noses are tiny!

{ MORE: How to Relieve a Baby's Stuffy Nose }

Some other things that lead to congestion in newborns include:

  • Amniotic fluid. Newborns float in amniotic fluid while still in the womb. This can end up in their noses during labor and might take several days to clear up.
  • Spitting up. Sometimes the milk newborns spit up ends up coming through their noses, which can cause swelling and therefore stuffiness.
  • Breathing habits. Newborns tend to breathe irregularly. Some breaths are shallower and some are deeper. “The deeper breaths create turbulence in their nasal passes, which makes their breathing sound stuffy,” says Bennett.
  • Ability to clear nasal passages. Along with breathing through their mouths, newborns also lack the ability to snort, sniff, or otherwise get rid of stuffiness like adults and older children can.

{ MORE: When Your Newborn Has a Cold }

Basically, according to the University of Minnesota Medical Center, you don’t need to worry about your little one's stuffy nose unless:

  • He has a fever over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • His symptoms get worse
  • He has yellow or green mucus
  • His breathing is quicker than usual
  • He isn't able to nurse as much
  • He seems like he's in pain
  • He touches or pulls on her ear a lot 

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What do you think?

4 Ways to Help Your Congested Newborn

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4 comments

  1. Melissa says:

    Every parent needs to get a Nose Frida to use for mucus in baby’s nose. The bulb syringe just irritates the nose making more congestion.

  2. Kayla says:

    The bulb always seems to be to big for my sons nose

  3. Mamasita says:

    Very importan . Thanks

  4. Isaiah says:

    Very helping

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