Newborn Snotty Nose: How To Know If Baby Has It & What To Do

  • Discover the difference between snotty, stuffy, and runny noses 
  • Read the telltale symptoms of snotty nose in a newborn baby 
  • Find out how snotty nose affects a newborn, and how to treat it 
  • Plus learn the various factors that affect newborn snotty nose

Small babies and newborns are often prone to cold and cough, and this could be a cause of concern for the parents.

Is your newborn down with a cold and a stuffy nose?

Do you want to find out whether this is just a cold or something more serious?

Are you worried about your newborn’s health and the discomfort it’s causing and looking for some solutions?

With newborns, you have to be extra careful and caring. Also, it is important to ensure they are not uncomfortable, as that could also interfere with your baby’s feeding routine. If you too are worried about any of this, make sure to get all the information you’re looking for right here. We talk about a few ways in which you can understand whether your newborn has a stuffy nose or if it is something else, and we also share with you some of the main symptoms. We also tell you about different ways in which you can make your newborn comfortable and how long it will typically take for your little one to get comfortable.

Is snotty nose the same as stuffy or runny nose?

newborn runny nose
  • A snotty nose is also the same as a congested nose. Your baby may suffer from a stuffy nose if the tissues that are present in the lining of the nose get swollen.
  • This usually happens when the blood vessels in the area have become inflamed due to some reason.
  • If your newborn has a snotty nose, you may notice mucous buildup inside the nose which mainly leads to the stuffy and congested feeling.
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    In most of the cases, there will be no fluid discharge from the nose of your newborn is suffering from a stuffy nose.
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    Only in a few cases a stuffy nose may also have some discharge from it. The discharge that does come out from a snotty nose will not be very runny, but will be thicker in consistency. 
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    On the other hand, in case of a runny nose, there will be a lot of fluid coming out of your baby’s nose, either while sneezing or otherwise.

How do you know that this is what your baby has?

If you notice any blockage in your baby’s nose and if you see that your baby seems to have a cold, then it is most likely the case of a snotty nose.

What are the characteristics and symptoms of a snotty nose in a newborn?

Here are some of the symptoms of a snotty nose that you can look for in your newborn:

  • Your baby has been discharging green snot from the nose for longer than two weeks.
  • Your baby has trouble feeding and is not taking enough feeds.
  • The number of wet diapers in a day has gone down from the time when baby did not have a snotty nose.
  • Your baby may have a slight temperature along with the nose issue, where the temperature may reach up to 100 degree C.
  • Your baby seems to have discomfort or pain in the ear.
  • There is also some amount of coughing or more sneezing than normal.
newborn nasal congestion

How does a snotty nose affect your newborn?

If your baby is suffering from a snotty nose, it can make it difficult for your little one to breathe properly, especially if the problem lasts for a few days or even weeks. Having a snotty nose can cause a general feeling of discomfort, and as a result, your baby may feel feverish or have other signs of a cold. In some cases, it can also interfere with the way your baby usually feeds and sleeps and hence can make your baby more irritable and uncomfortable.

baby blocked nose sleeping position

What can be done to help ease the effects of a snotty nose in newborns?

Is it safe to give medicine to a newborn?

  • It is not considered safe to give medicines to a newborn for anything, unless it is a medical emergency and the baby’s paediatrician has recommended the same.
  • Giving your newborn a medication at this age will not really work much on the virus, but can actually cause more harm than good.
  • If you are still interested to check about this option, please make sure to speak to your baby’s paediatrician first.

Can you use a saline solution?

  • You can definitely try using a saline water or salt water solution to treat the congestion in your newborn’s nose.
  • You can easily find paediatric saline solution in the pharmacy, but to be absolutely sure that what you are using is going to be safe for your little one, it is always best to first check with your baby’s paediatrician.
  • You can add a few drops of the saline solution to each of your baby’s nostril by placing the head a little backwards. This will ensure that the solution goes in the nostril and stays there, instead of coming back out.
  • Check with the paediatrician to find out how often you can do this through the day or night.
  • In addition, you can also use a bulb syringe that is used to remove the mucous from the nostril. This will help to clear out the blockage and will reduce the snotty nose problem.

How about using a humidifier?

  • If your baby is finding it difficult to breathe because of the blockage and the snotty nose, you can try and use a humidifier or a cool mist vaporizer in the room where baby mostly stays.
  • Adding these will help to bring back moisture in the air in the baby’s room. As a result, your baby will not experience dryness in the nose, which can cause further irritation and discomfort.
  • Alternatively, you can also run a hot or warm bath and be inside the bathroom with your baby in your arms. The steam from the hot or warm water will also help to clear out your baby’s nostril.
baby blocked nose at night

What about using a rub like Vicks?

  • While a lot of parents do rely on using Vicks rub to ease the congestion in their baby’s nose, paediatricians and doctors do not deem these safe to be used in children below the age of 6, and definitely not for newborns or for very small babies.
  • In fact, a lot of these rubs contain ingredients that may be soothing for adults but can actually irritate your newborn’s sensitive nose.
  • If that happens, it can worsen the inflammation. In some cases, these are also known to cause more production of mucous, which can worsen the condition. 

How long can newborn snotty nose last? What factors affect it?

If your newborn’s snotty nose is because of a regular baby issue and not caused by some other illness, it should get better within a week, or at the latest, within two weeks since you first noticed the symptoms. If it is due to something else it can take longer. 

Should you be worried if your newborn’s nose issues last longer than this?

If the symptoms last longer it can interfere with your newborn’s feeding and sleep. It is best to consult a doctor as soon as you notice something like this.



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