26 answers

6 Month Old Is Always Congested

My 6 mo. old daughter has been congested to some degree since birth. It is mainly in her throat/chest, NOT her nose/sinuses. Initially I related it to her acid reflux...thinking that the acid was irritating her throat...and it got better to some degree when she started the medication for reflux. Then she started Day Care (yuck!) a month ago and got her first real cold...then an ear infection. She seemed to be doing better, but never got rid of the congestion. Now, 2 days after stopping the antibiotic for the ear infection, she has this croupy cough and the chest congestion is worse. I took her to the pediatrician yesterday, and they were unconcerned (as usual) making me feel like a crazy 1st time mom. She is generally happy and doesn't have a fever. I suggested to the pediatrician that she may have allergies, and again was made to feel like I didn't know what I was talking about. They just told me to get a humidifier. I hate humidifiers because they are a pain to clean and they are a breeding ground for germs. I have an air purifier and a vicks vaporizer in her room now, but she is still congested. I also bring her in the bathroom with the hot shower running for the steam. Does anyone else have this problem? Am I overreacting by wanting some answers from the pediatrician (other than "some babies are always congested"). I expected she would get sick once she started day care, but this has been going on for over a month.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Chiropractor!! I know it sounds silly but my little girl is almost 2 1/2 and I had this exact problem. I was exhausted with doctors appointments and feeling like i was crazy. I finally asked around at my daycare and another mom took her daughter to the chiropractor for congestion and it helped. I was skeptical...but tried it. My daughter had three sessions and I am happy to say has not coughed since, going on two weeks with no cough. It is silly to say about a child this young but a chiropractor worked.

Just a side note about humidifiers. Cool humidifiers will help reduce swelling in any areas like the throat, lungs, nose etc. Warm ones will increase the inflamation. You would still have the cleaning stinky problem but it would reduce any immflamition caused by alleriges or whatever.

My grandson was the same way. We switched his formula and that helped. Think he was having a alergic reaction to the other formula.

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First of all don't feel stupid. She is your child and checking up on her is what you pay the doctor for. My son has had ton of breathing problems since birth and has been in and out of the hospitals. If it seemed to help with her acid reflux medicines maybe she needs something a bit stronger? We had to try three different ones for my youngest until we got his acid reflux under control.

I agree that having a baby in a daycare setting unfortunately they may be sick all the time. My first was in daycare until for awhile and always seemed to have something he caught from the other kids until we had a sitter who just came to the house to watch him.

My youngest has some very bad breathing issues, but I know the first thing that began working for us was using a nebulizer. Also a humidifier is a pian, but helps because if used properly helps their little lungs.

If you feel something isn't right, maybe check with another doctor. You are her mom and you just want to protect her.

Best of luck!

Hi J.,
I feel your pain. My one daughter was sick with respitory infections from the time she was born until she was about 5. We even went through a bout of penumonia when she was 4. The cool mist humidifier is really the best idea and worth the cleaning time spent. She had to have her tonsils and adnoids out when she was 5 because she also kept getting strep throat and other infections of her throat. She hasn't really been sick sinse then.
I have allergies myself, and it may be possible that she has allergies. She may have a sinus problems that you cannot see. It may be draining directly down her throat and it's passing into her lungs and causing the congestion.
You may want to ask a pediatrician about the nebulizer, it also is a really great tool and has worked for my son when he was sick.
Good luck with your little girl, I hope that you are able to get her well.

My oldest daughter, now 2.5 was congested for the first couple months after being born. We ended up getting a humidifier. We figured out her problem was allergies from dust mostly. My little one a couple moths back started acting the same way until I switched our laundry detergent over to non-toxic and now she's fine. The humidifiers get nasty, yes but only after a awhile of not being cleaned. Easiest thing there is fit it into everyday tasks of cleaning. I clean mine once a week, but I only need to use it now 1 or twice a week.
You are not overreacting. Sometimes I think doctors see first time moms as hypocondriacts because you are a first time mom. Follow what you feel you should do. If your doctors are making you feel belittled in any way, look around for a new doctor. They are there to help your child, that's what they get paid for not to dismiss any suggested problems you might have. A second opinion never hurts anyway and better safe than sorry. Just because you are not a doctor doesn't mean you don't know what you are talking about.

Good Luck to you n daughter!

Does she cough alot? Not to make you worry, but maybe go to an asthma clinic. They will generally check her for allergies and athma. All three of my children (8,5, 19 months) have a mild case of asthma. In mild cases, sometimes it sounds like a cough or rattly congestion. My first had more classic symptoms. So, you would think that I would have recognized it in my second. But, he had more of a chronic cough. Between the two of them, you would think that I would have recognized it with my third. But, she had a rattly congestion sound. The key difference, that I have noticed, is that you will hear the rattle more on the exhale rather than the inhale.

I would say that there is something going on here. There is always a possibilty that she is just getting colds, which can take about 2 weeks to clear. But if it has been going on for longer than she should be seen by someone else.
My 3rd child suffered through the same thing since almost birth. And his pediatrician kept blowing me off. He seemed to out grow some of the problems though. But I am just now taking him to a specialist.
My 4th child, who is 8 1/2 months old, started this about 4 months old. We now see a different doctor and she put him on singulair and he is on a nebulizer using albuteral and pulmacort. I am not sure as to what the official diagnoses is because it is very difficult to diagnose babies and very young children with both asthma and allergies. They try to say that babies can't have allergies yet, but they can if asthma or moderate to severe allergies runs in the family.
But my suggestion is to you, take her to an asthma and allergy doctor. You have to be the one to fight for your child, no one else will!! I personally know of several times where there have been issues/problems that pediatricians simply overlooked.

By the way, the humidifier is good when a child is sick. But it does NOTHING for the baby and my 7 year old who has asthma.

I have an 18 month old son who was congested since birth also. He had constant ear infections and sinus infections and we had tubes put in his ears at 1 year old. That didn't even seem to help the congestion, he continued to get ear infections despite the tubes. We always had the humidifer running -- didn't make a difference. The doctors weren't concerned about allergies, he was breastfeed, and supplemented with formula then switched to whole milk at a year. However, several other moms asked if I had ever tried switiching him to rice milk. I hadn't but thought I'd give it a try when the congestion just would not stop. He has been on rice milk for 3 months and within 3 weeks of switching, his congestion was gone! My husband and I couldn't believe it! We have not had to visit the doctor since that time, with the exception of a well-baby visit. So, I do believe there was some type of allergy that was causing all of the congestion. Now, we still give him cheese and yogurt every now and then, which doesn't seem to cause a problem. But, all the milk that he drinks throughout the day is rice milk (enriched with calicum and vitamins). So, based on my experience, it might be worth talking to the doctors about possible milk allergies.

Best of luck, I'm sure things will turn around!

Chiropractor!! I know it sounds silly but my little girl is almost 2 1/2 and I had this exact problem. I was exhausted with doctors appointments and feeling like i was crazy. I finally asked around at my daycare and another mom took her daughter to the chiropractor for congestion and it helped. I was skeptical...but tried it. My daughter had three sessions and I am happy to say has not coughed since, going on two weeks with no cough. It is silly to say about a child this young but a chiropractor worked.

My daughter, now 2, had that congested sound in her throat area until she was almost a year old. Other than one bout of a bad cold in that first year, she really wasn't sick but she always sounded to me like she was so congested. It turned out she outgrew it as she got older. At 2, now in daycare, she gets more colds and had RSV this past winter (as well as pneumonia and flu), so was on nebulizer treatments for that. However, if your baby's lungs are clear and nose is clear, could be the reflux, but don't hesitate to think about getting a second opinion.

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