16 answers

Congestion in 6 Week Old Infant -- Possibly a Food Allergy or Environmental?

My 6 week old son has sounded congested for the past 2 weeks. We saw the dr two days after it started and she didn't seem concerned because he has no other symptoms: no fever, no cough, no hives, his nose isn't runny, and he is eating well (he's exclusively breast-fed). He is not fussy at all either. However, he sounds very "snorty", like all the congestion is in the back of his nose/throat and occasionally he will gag on the phlegm, like he has post-nasal drip. My husband, daughter and I all suffer from seasonal allergies and have had stuffy noses, itchy eyes and post-nasal drip for the past few weeks, too, but I didn't think infants developed seasonal allergies so early in life.
I wondered if the other cause was food-related. I don't eat a lot of any one food, especially not dairy, peanuts or soy, but I DO eat all that stuff. Food allergies run in my family; my nephew was severely allergic to dairy, soy, peanuts and tree nuts for the first three years of his life and my husband is very sensitive to dairy.
I should also mention that we have a cat, but take special precautions because my husband is slightly allergic to cats. I also don't wear perfume or have scented candles, air freshners, etc. in my home because they cause me to get migraines.
Anyone else had an infant with a similar problem? What was the cause? Was it food or environmental? Any input would be appreciated!

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Thanks for all the advice and suggestions! I suspect that the whole thing bothers me more than it bothers my little guy, particularly since he seem so happy and content. We have his 2-month appointment in a couple weeks, and I plan on addressing the issue with the dr then. Now that I think about it, I recall a friend's daughter being really congested for the first few months of her life for no good reason; this is probably the same sort of thing. But it's comforting to know that I am not alone in my experience with this! Thanks again!

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Hi E.!
I don't think that it is food related or allergy related. My son (who is now one and sometimes still has this problem) had those same exact symptoms when he was that age. It would freak me out at night because I was afraid with the junk running from his nose down his throat and him occasionally gagging that something might be wrong. I brought it up to his ped and she suggested saline drops and using a suction bulb, that did wonders!! I think it's just normal, I don't know what causes it and I can't say that for certain but I wouldn't be too worried about it.

Sorry, I probably wasn't much help. :)

1 mom found this helpful

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Hi E.!
I don't think that it is food related or allergy related. My son (who is now one and sometimes still has this problem) had those same exact symptoms when he was that age. It would freak me out at night because I was afraid with the junk running from his nose down his throat and him occasionally gagging that something might be wrong. I brought it up to his ped and she suggested saline drops and using a suction bulb, that did wonders!! I think it's just normal, I don't know what causes it and I can't say that for certain but I wouldn't be too worried about it.

Sorry, I probably wasn't much help. :)

1 mom found this helpful

I agree it's probably nothing but a little case of the sniffles, and it sounds like you do an amazing job of keeping allergens to a minimum. However - if it continues you may want to stress the allergy issue. Are baby's eyes red/runny? Is he developing a rash or swelling as would likely be the case with a food allergy? My sister had a several page list of allergies when she was young (two is the earliest I remember seeing the list, I don't know if she had one earlier) so I know you can develop allergies, etc young. My son developed asthma at two and my baby sis was earlier than that. With such a strong family history of allergies, it is best to keep an eye on it. However, there's no sense worrying over nothing either. Sometimes little bodies just do wierd things as they work out thier own personal kinks. My kids all developed symptoms that mimiced a cold when they were teething. People were constantly commenting on their "bad cold" when all it was was excess mucus, etc from teething! Each child/family is different. If it continues for too long, and your baby does seem to be experiencing allergic symptoms, ask your doctor about safe antihistamines for infants, etc. If baby keeps suffering and doc keeps brushing you off, get a second opinion from someone who treats more cases of allergies in children (not *necessarily* a specialist -though that's an option, in a lot of practices, there tends to be one pediatrician who treats the bulk of these cases because word's gotten around that they are "good") at the very least, the extra input will put you at ease. :)

1 mom found this helpful

Hi E.,

My son had the same symptoms at about the same age. I stopped nursing him and the symptoms continued. It wasn't until he was just over 1 yr that we got him on allergy medicine and his symptoms got 100% better. Your baby is probably too young for allergy meds but I would definitely keep up on it. We ended up on steroids, nebulizers, anti-biotics for ear infections until finally I got the ped dr. to refer me to a pulmonary dr who thought his astham type triggers were allergy related. It's definitely possible it's allergies with your family history. Good luck and keep at the ped dr. They don't know everything like we wished they did.

I feel your concern because, I have allergies and now asthma. My doctor told me that my asthma came from the fact that I had allergies, so please becareful about subjecting allergiens to family members to known allergiens.

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Probibly just bringing up some left over gunk from being born or a slight cold...
Your doing good by keeping an eye on it. If it doesn't lessen soon or you notice anything else,then listen to your mommy sense and go back to DR...
Everyone I know has really been hit this year by runny noses and coughs. Not suprizeing to me that your little one, even though he's nursing may have ended up with a light case of something. Your protecting him from being hit hard by nursing him...:-)

Hi E.. I had the same problem with two of my three children. By the time they hit ten weeks, this cleared up. I was so worried about it, we made about 6 trips to the doctors office. In the end, the doc told me that you have to remember that they are newborn and their bodies are just reacting to the very many things in the air that we have surrounding us. I would suggest that you just watch him and make sure his phlegm doesn't get any worse. I know how difficult it is to watch your baby suffer with even the most minor ailment. I just wish us moms had a magic wand we could take to just make it all better! Good luck and congradulations!!

My son just turned 1 in April and has started having a lot of congestion also. His doctor thinks that it could be allergies. We have started children's claritin and an antibiotic to try and clear up the congestion. We take him back to the doctor Tuesday. If the congestion is not better then the doctor is going to start allergy testing. So allergies can appear at a very young age. If it persists I would take your child back to the doctor because severe allergies in a young child can cause asthma.

You might want to consider it to be time to have your ducts cleaned out. That could be a major part of everyone's problems. Check where mildew might be a problem, like bathrooms or basements.

But yeah babies get stuffy. You could try using a vaporizer in the baby's room. Or some Vick's on his chest to help clear the breathing passages.

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