22 answers

Best Ways to Treat Congestion in 3 Month Old

Hi Mamas! I need some help. I will be returning to work on Thursday and my little one has a cold. I took him to the doctor last Thursday and they assured me it was just a cold that needed to run its course. I REALLY do not want to go back to work and it is going to be so hard to leave my son. Having him sick is making this harder! It seems to me that this cold is really hanging in there. I just want to cuddle with him non-stop. What can I do to help with all the nasal congestion (and occassional chest congestion in him)? My son woke up at 4:30am horribly congested and was literally unable to move any air through his nose. Any advice on how to make using the nasal aspirator less traumatizing? Also, my son has been sleeping through the night since 7 weeks but for the last two weeks has been waking up around 4am. I can get him back to sleep without a bottle but it takes a while and by then I am wide awake. Any ideas about that? Thank you!!! :-)

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So What Happened?™

Thank you so much for all the great advice! Here is what we did: cool mist humidifier with one of those vick scent pads in it, Baby Vicks on chest and on feet covered with socks, saline nasal spray and aspirator and elevated head with a crib wedge (use one for reflux anyway). My son slept wonderfully! He could breathe so well!!! Every time I checked on him he was breathing normally and was not stuffy or wheezy. He made it all the way through the night like he was before this runny nose set in. He is in such a great mood this morning! Thank you for all your advice - it worked great!

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My daughter had her first cold at about that same age. We called the doctor and they told me to use a saline drop to loosen the mucus before we used the aspirator and it also keeps the nasal passages moist. They also told us about a special VICKS for babies. It specifically says for ages 3 months and up. That seemed to help some too. Good Luck

are you using saline in his nose before you use the aspirator bulb? also run a humidifier at night. I would but just a little vicks vapor rub on the top of his shirt at bedtime, I would not put it on his chest just yet because it may irritate his skin.

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We went through the same problem with our daughter, who is now 10 months (today). It stinks that there is nothing you can give a baby...however, when she was diagnosed with a sinus infection, she did get Amoxicillin. It worked wonders.

What to do. Turn on a humidifier in his room. We have a warm air mist one (Vicks) that we love, and some days it runs all day long to keep her room humid. Do your research about the pros and cons on warm vs. cold air humidifiers to see which you prefer.

Eleveate his mattress. You have a couple of options. You can buy the wedge at Babies R Us and put it under one side of his mattress; you can elevate it with a rolled up blanket; or you can do what we did and stick some books under the legs on on side of her crib. The elevation helps with drainage, and really helped our daughter.

I'm not sure if your doctor mentioned this, but sometimes a cold can lead to an ear infection. We, unfortunately found this out the hard way. Tell, tell signs for us...baby did not want to lay down and fought to stay upright and her appetite changed. (Our daughter never ran a fever.)

As for the aspirator, I found that using the Little Noses saline spray with the aspirator made it more effective. I still haven't found a way to make it easier to use. My mom can cradle her in her arm and use the other hand to work the aspirator and it seems less invasive. I'm not that good.

I'm not sure I'm the right person to give advice about sleeping. We didn't try to get our daughter on a schedule until four months and we used Dr. Ferber's book to help us establish one. If we got seven to eight hours straight from month 3 to 7, we were happy. We finally started putting her to bed later so the 4 a.m. (we had it, too) waking became a 6 a.m. or 7 a.m. waking. She now goes down at 7:30 p.m. and wakes at 7:30 a.m. with two naps (2 hrs in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon).

I apologize if I was too wordy. I hope this helps. Good luck with the cold (I know they are not fun) and with your transition back to work.

J. S.

Hi L., sorry to hear that your sweetheart is sick. When they are having trouble breathing that is terrifing! I have a 21 month old, but when she was younger she had the croup and head colds several times. Saline nasal drops helped a little, always elevate him on a pillow (make sure to keep him close to you though) Another thing that helps is to get the bathroom really steamy and sit with him in there. That will help open him up. However, when my daughter was that congested, I insisted that they give her something to help. (even though it is a cold and can't be "cured" they can recommend or prescribe something to help clear the congestion. Best of luck.

PS Our babies are only young once, I say if you want to stay home with him then do it. I work part time as a speech therapist at an elementary school, and I just make it clear that my family comes first. It will be hard at first but, most people have been there and will understand. I hope your son feels better very soon! God Bless!

When my kids were little, I placed a phone book under one side of their crib to elevate their heads. This helped with their congestion and breathing during colds. My daughter, especially, responded right away to this.

Also, as disgusting as I always thought it was, it works..use one of those little nasal bulbs to suck out the congestion from the nose and rinse in warm water each time you take it out. My kids hated it, but then in a minute they could breathe again.

As far as getting back to sleep, try this relaxtion therapy I learned at a working woman's seminar. It works! Clear your head as best as you can. Tell yourself your child is fine and does not need you for now. No one needs you right now. You need you to sleep in order to be at your best. Pretend that you are tucking in every single part of your body one at a time slowly. Start with your toes. Tell yourself they are very sleepy. Actually picture yourself tucking your toes into bed, covering them up and watching them drift off to sleep. Then go to your feet, your ankles, your calves, your knees doing the same thing each time. I tell ya, when I want to fall asleep, this works! I've never made it past my knees! ha ha. Good luck!

I am the mother of 6 children. I always had good luck with warm salt water drops. Just mix some salt in a small amount of warm water and drop two to three drops in each nostril with his head tilted back. You will then be able to use your bulb syringe to suck the stuff out of his nostrils. He should be able to breath better immediately.

A little about me:

I am a working divorced mother of six beautiful children, ranging from 15 years to 33 years and 3 beautiful grandchildren ranging from 4 to 15.

Are you using saline solution with the nasal bulb? that usually helps my baby with his nasal congestion more. My baby absolutely hates this procedure, and I've never heard of a baby who liked it. We also have a humidifier (adds moisture to air) in his room when he's congested. It helps a little bit, but not much. my baby is having congestion & allergy problems now so I'm sympathetic to what you're dealing with. It's hard to see your own baby sick. hang in there!

L. -

If you have a small bathroom or a closed in shower. turn the water on really hot and let the steam get real thick in the bathroom and then sit in the bathroom with your baby. It is just a BIG humidifier and has worked really well in the past for my oldest 2

I'm no doctor, but I say flush, flush, flush it out with saline nasal spray. It is not a fun task, I know. But it will help break everything up & get everyone back to getting good rest.

Hi L.,
I just saw your post after posting a similar post. I sometimes put some "little noses" saline drop in his nose and then let him stay on his tummy, this helps a lot of loose mucus to come out. Also for the past 2 days he lets me suction him.....(not sure if he finally realizes that i was only trying ot help him breath all these days) instead of directly suctioning, I play with him by blowing the aspirator air on his cheecks and hands, and sometimes let him hold it a few mins and the quickly suction him.... Hopefully he will continue this :) Good luck and know that you're not the only one going through these painful moments...I too am starting work next wk...:-(
Good luck!!!

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