Infant Congested Nose: Causes, Remedies & When To Worry

  • Learn how congestion can affect your baby in a negative way 
  • Find out what to do to help soothe a baby with a stuffy nose 
  • Plus, know when it’s time to take your stuffy baby to a doctor 
  • Bonus video - Congested Infants: What You Need To Know

Do you have an infant or a very small baby at home who is suffering from a congested nose?

Is your little one having trouble breathing because of the congestion?

Are you looking for ways that can help your baby feel better and breathe easier?

As a new parent or for someone who is caring for an infant, congestion can be quite a lot to deal with. Not only does it affect you but it takes a toll on the care giver too. If you are searching for ways that can help make things easier for baby and not cause any more breathing difficulties, you’ve reached the right place. We are first taking a look at why congestion in an infant can turn into a problem and what all you can do to help your baby out of this situation. Also, don’t forget to check out when you should get in touch with the doctor and take immediate medical advice for your little one in case of a congestion.

Is infant congested nose really a problem?

As a newborn, your little one may often show the classic signs of a regular cough and cold, which are quite common in the first few weeks and months even. While this can come and go and mostly gets better on its own, or in a few days, without much of a problem, what can actually cause quite a lot of the problem is when your infant has a congested nose.

  • When your infant is suffering from congestion in the nose, he or she will start breathing from the mouth. This means that it can disturb them when they are sleeping and make them wake up in the middle of the sleep.
  • Also, trying to breathe with the mouth can make it very difficult for your little one to feed, especially as it can interfere with suckling and latching on.
  • When your infant has a nose congestion, it can also lead to a buildup of mucous in the nasal passage. When that happens, it not only causes more difficulty in breathing, but can also cause a lot of dryness, itchiness, discomfort and in some cases pain in your baby’s nose.
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    If your infant is not able to feed properly, it can pose the threat of dehydration. This can mean that your baby passes less urine through the day and you will notice fewer wet nappies as compared to when your baby was better.
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    Not getting enough sleep and feed can make your infant very cranky and uncomfortable. As a result, it can also become more and more difficult for you to calm them down and help them.
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    If it does not get better, this can also lead to a more serious cause of ear infection or even temperature in your infant.

What to do when baby has stuffy nose

Here are some of the things that you can do to help ease and cure your infant’s congested nose:

1. Find out what is causing the nasal congestion

baby stuffy nose at night
  • While you may be trying out other home remedies, one of the first thing to do in this case is to find out what is causing the problem for your little one.
  • Is the air too dry in your home or in the room where your infant sleeps or spends most of the time? If so, you can use a humidifier or a cool mist vaporizer to add back moisture into the air, which will make it easier for your baby to breathe.
  • If you feel this is because of an infection or some other health issue, speak to your baby’s paediatrician without any further delay.
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    Check your baby’s bedding and other things in the room to make sure there is no dust, as this can also often trigger an allergic reaction that could lead to congestion in the nose.

2. Remove any sticky, hardened mucous around the nose area

  • Your infant has a very narrow nasal passage which already makes it hard for your baby to breathe as easily as an adult.
  • When there is congestion in the nose, it can cause a lot of mucous to build up inside the nose, which then hardens up and chokes up the already narrow nasal passage.
  • You can speak to your baby’s paediatrician and use a saline nasal drop that can help to thin out the mucous and help it run out of your baby’s nose.
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    You can also use a nasal bulb syringe which will help you to suck out the mucous that has built up inside your baby’s nose.
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    Doing these can help to open up your infant’s clogged nose path and make it easier for your little one to breathe.

3. Turn on your humidifier

baby congestion at night
  • Using a humidifier or a cool mist vaporizer in the room where your baby spends the most amount of time can be a good idea as it will help to add back the necessary amount of moisture in the air in that room.
  • Doing this will also prevent the air in that room from getting too dry which can often make it difficult for your baby to breathe and can also lead to congestion in the nose.
  • You can check from a range of humidifiers that are specifically meant for use for a baby room and that are also considered to be safe by most of the paediatricians and baby care authorities. In case you have any doubts you can also speak about this with your baby’s paediatrician.
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    One thing that you should definitely avoid while using a humidifier or vaporizer for your little one is that you should not add any essential oils to it, as these can also pose a threat of triggering an allergic reaction.
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    These are known to increase the production of mucous and if that happens, it will further clog your baby’s nasal passage.

4. Use the steam method

  • This is another easy way of opening up your baby’s congested nasal passage and also helping to calm down your little one at the same time.
  • You can run a hot bath for your infant and stand in the bathroom with your infant in your arms.
  • The steam in the room can help to unclog your baby’s nose and also soothe them.

For extreme congestion in my child, should I consult with a doctor?

If your little one has just a mild congestion and does not seem to be too uncomfortable, and if it is not causing any interference with your baby’s feeding or sleep patterns, or breathing, then you may be able to safely try out these remedies at home.

However, do remember that if your baby is less than 6 months of age or of you notice that there is extreme congestion that your baby is suffering from, no matter what the age, you should immediately get your baby examined by the pediatrician instead of waiting at home and trying to use these remedies by yourself without proper medical and professional supervision.