32 answers

Could This Be Allergies or Does My Baby Need to Go to the ENT?

Does anyone have any advice on allergies in infants? My son, who is will be 9 months on the 1st, has had nasal congestion for over a month now. He LITERALLY has had more days with congestion than he hasn't in his 9 months of life. He has had his sinus sucked out (for lack of better words) 3 times now. The doctor inserts a small tube into his nose and turns on a small vacuum like thing, and sucks his sinus out. (although the doc says babies don't have "sinus") He has had 2 rounds of antibiotics because of infection setting in. It seems like as soon as he gets better he gets sick again. It is a never ending cycle. Here is what we have done other that the nose vacuum thing. We run the humidifier (at times with tea tree oil), vicks vapor rub on his chest and feet, saline drops and saline spray in his nose (as often as possible) using the aspirator as much as possible with out causing more harm, and I am sure I am leaving something out. The doctors said when he was 2 months old that it was from reflux (which is now under control and not an issue). And the other episodes after that were due to a cold. His lungs are fine, no congestion. His ears are fine, never an ear infection. There are times when his nose is so stuffy that he can't breath. He is just now figuring out how to breath out of his mouth, so it is a little easier now. When he can't breath, he has trouble eating and sleeping.

So...He has a 9 month check up coming up soon. Should I request to see an ENT (ear nose throat) doctor? Could it be allergies? I know babies who DID develop allergies so early. We live in a brand new house, so no mold. We do have 2 cats that we have had forever. What could the allergy be to? I am sure something enviromental.

What kind of allergy testing do they have for babies? I have a 3 yr old that has recently seemed to develop allergies, what kind of testing do they have for her? Is it a simple blood test, or needle prick?

Thank you for your advice. This is a small nut shell for the past 9 months. I just want him to be better and at this point I think something else is going on.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Definitely listen to Mimi, but also, see if you can arrange to stay somewhere (with local family, maybe? preferably not a motel/hotel) for several days and see if both kids appear to get any relief from their allergies. New homes are FULL of chemicals that can be toxic, especially for babies. The carpets, especially, are likely culprits, but sealants, polishes, insulation, paint, and construction dust are also very likely irritants. Environmental toxins are harder to test for in a doctor's office, but relief from symptoms is pretty apparent, if that's what it is and you can get them out of there for several days to see.

1 mom found this helpful

My son who is now 2 has always had this problem. The Ped. finally referred him to an Allergist who is now sending him to an ENT next week.
Good luck~

He could have a milk allergy--has he been on regular formula or one that is soy-based? Many babies just can't tolerate whole milk and it runs in families. S. B.

More Answers


I can relate. My son had reflux from the day he was born. He had an upper GI when he was 7 days old to verify this. He was on medication for over a year to treat his reflux. He also had a constant runny nose and still does at times. I took him to an ENT and he had tubes when he was 15 months old. This did not seem to help with the stuffiness and runny nose. I took him to an allergist in Macon, GA and he tested him for allergies when he was less than two years old. You can check out his website www.drplaxico.com. I was very concerned about taking my son to an allergist at such a young age, but I emailed the doctor, voiced my concerns and the doctor emailed me back a quick response. I took him in for testing and we found out he had several food allergies and mold allergies. The testing he did was not difficult. My son never cried or even winced for that matter. The MD performed the testing on his back - multiple pricks but the MD and his staff were very good to explain everything to my son on a level he understood. We also had to have sinus x-rays and some other testing (radiological) In a nutshell, we had to modify some things per MD orders,took prescribed medication but eventually my son did get straightened out. He still has allergy flare ups at times but it is nothing like it was when he was a baby. I wish you the best. Just check out all your options. I promise it does get better.

1 mom found this helpful

Listen to Mimi. Until I took massive amounts of immune building cocoa and acai, I had bronchitis four times a year. No joke. After doing that, I went over a year without so much as a cold. Yes, I'm an adult and children might be a little different, but after that, I am convinced that building up the immune system is the answer to a lot of our sickly problems. On top of that, I had four children, one of whom was allergic to most everything, and I myself have had many allergies. After much testing for both of us, I discovered that the two most reactive allergens are dust and cat dander and this is true for most people with allergies. If I were you, I would put the cats in boarding for a week, completely clean the house of all dust, use an air purifier and see if things do not improve dramatically for your child. If things do not improve, at least you can figure the cats are not the problem. The suggestion for you to use an air purifier is a very good one, not taking many antibiotics unless absolutely necessary is also a very good suggestion. I might add to that for you to remove any stuffed animals from his room. And yes, see an ENT or allergist, or both. Pediatricians and GP's are great, but there's a reason there are specialists out there. Utilize them, by all means.

1 mom found this helpful

Hey S.,
I'm with the others...listen to Mimi. I also have a couple of suggestions. My pediatrician told me not to use the aspirator because it just causes more mucus and that vacuuming the sinus is not a good idea. We used the saline drops constantly (especially before eating and sleeping) and had fewer issues. And let me say, we didn't use just a couple drops either...we would go through a bottle every week. My pediatrician said it was better for the baby to sniff than to blow. The mucus goes out the other end after the baby swallows it away. The "mucosal membranes" (I think that's what he called them :)) have a certain ph balance and sucking out the sinus just drys the membrane out and causes more mucus to form to protect the "dried out" membrane. So, the saline protects the membrane from getting "dried out" and keeps the ph in balance. (That is the layman's explanation of what the doc told me :)). As far as the immune system goes, the first year is so hard anyway. Add to that antibiotics and you've got a mess. My children are older, but we use "Esperitox". It's an immune booster. I have been told that there is a liquid form of it to use with children under 2. I would agree with the air purifier and allergist. I have a couple friends who had similar issues with their children. They each made the appointment with a pediatric allergist without the referral and it's been the best decision they've made. Both friends took their children before they turned one. I would ask your doc about an allergist and even some of your church friends for recommendations. Good luck and God bless!

1 mom found this helpful

Hey S.,

It sounds weird, but it could be your cleaning products. There are a lot of toxins in your laundry soap, dishwashing liquid, windex, comet, etc. They have even discovered that SAHMs are more at risk for cancer than working moms because they are exposed to these toxic cleaning products for more hours. I have been buying my cleaning products for 15 years from a company called Shaklee. I have been able to completely de-toxify my home using their effective products. I was so excited last year because even Oprah discovered them and claimed that the Basic Household cleaner is her favorite! Even if the cleaning products being switched doesn't clear up your son's sinuses, they can't hurt! I would try it and see what happens. You can email me at ____@____.com if you want to know how to order them; I can send you the contact information of my distributor.

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I have absolutely seen allergies this young, regardless of how firm the doctors think they are. Allergy testing is done a few ways, the skin prink tests immune reaction that happens in the first 30 minutes (I think) and is called an IGA. The IGG is a blood test and it test for digestive sensitivites as well as allergies (why we need to distinguish I am not sure, but it makes the docs happy to not call them allergies). You can have the test run through an ENT or you could actually order an IGG kit from www.greatplainslaboratory.com and take it to your pediatrician, who could code it for you and draw the blood.

There is something you can do now that may really help him as you wait for your appt:.
1) remove all casein (protein from cows milk) by substituting rice milk or almond milk (add 1 tbsp cod liver oil for fat and omegas). Milk sensitivities will immediatly cause congestion and runny noses. My friend with her 6 month old would know within minutes of him having something with milk because his nose would start running. It is easy to do and you will have results within 2 weeks to a month of doing it.
2) Keep two windows that cross ventilate cracked slightly open so the air will clean. New houses off-gas and are actually worse than old houses in this way. The chemicals and toxins that come off floors, walls, trip, furniture, etc are huge. . Formaldehyde, lead, and many other dangerous toxins are known to affect the immune in a negative way.
3) If you are vaccinating, you may want to get educated on that topic. If a child begins ear problems, that is the first red flag of weakened immune. Yes, they are common, and yes, there are very common lots of health problems and behavioral disorders. I say this because I did not know what to do about my sons, and he paid for that ignorance. He isnow very healthy, but it took extreme measures which I would not wish for anyone. Check out www.generationrescue.com.
Good luck, J.

1 mom found this helpful


Dr.'s are not perfect and they don't know everything. I'm sure your Dr. has been good, but ..... Moms feel a problem. Go with your instinct, not the Dr.'s.

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,

Your name sounded familiar when you asked this question so I went back and realized I had talked to you before. I wrote you back in July when you were having a problem with the rash and the doctor said the problem was yeast. I said:

"Yeast is a VERY common problem today and if it is visible, then your little one is eaten up with it. Yeast is not dangerous for a short period of time but can cause MAJOR immune problems if not taken care of.

All the baby foods and the formula you listed is full of sugar and sugar feeds yeast (the sweet potatoes and the prunes should have enough fiber to contradict the sugar.)"

I don't know how you took care of the yeast but if it lasted a while or if it wasn't taken care of completely, it could have caused a weakened immune system so you are seeing symptoms now. If this is the problem you can still build his immune system so he can fight these things off by himself. Antibiotics may help an infection at times but they also break down the immune system and make the problem worse the next go round.

I was a sickly kid and so were my kids. My kids don't get sick anymore, not even a sniffle. It's really not a difficult or expensive fix but it needs to be taken care of now before it goes any further. Get back to me, I'll be glad to help you.

God bless!


1 mom found this helpful

My son also suffered from multiple sinus issues when he was younger (he is 2 1/2 now). My pediatrician sent us to an allergist (I believe it was just after age 1) and she really helped us get things under control. I will say that there are two things we have done that make all of the difference. First, don't just spray saline spray up his nose, use a sinus rinse. I believe they sell one at drugstores, but we got ours from the allergist. My son didn't and still doesn't like it, but it has made a HUGE difference. It really clears out the bad stuff that causes the infections. My daughter (4) uses it also, and she has fun getting all of the mucous out of her nose.
The second thing that has made a difference was changing him from milk to soy. I know that sounds weird, but all along the doctor thought some of his allergies were caused by a mild milk allergy. Since he has been on soy, his sinus issues have really declined. He still has milk in cheese and yogurt and the like, he just drinks soy milk. If your son is formula fed, try one without milk. If you are breast feeding, try limiting your milk intake just before you feed him.
I know it is frustrating and a little scary when your child cannot breath out of his nose. It also leads to throat issues. I would keep up with the humidifier, but make sure you really clean it. Mold can build up easily and that is a major culprit causing allergies. You might also try lifting up one end of his crib. We kept the big phone books at one end and always put his head on that end. You can also buy a wedge to put under the mattress. I wish you the best of luck. I keep my fingers crossed every year that my son's allergies will not start up. We have been lucky so far this season.

1 mom found this helpful

Definitely listen to Mimi, but also, see if you can arrange to stay somewhere (with local family, maybe? preferably not a motel/hotel) for several days and see if both kids appear to get any relief from their allergies. New homes are FULL of chemicals that can be toxic, especially for babies. The carpets, especially, are likely culprits, but sealants, polishes, insulation, paint, and construction dust are also very likely irritants. Environmental toxins are harder to test for in a doctor's office, but relief from symptoms is pretty apparent, if that's what it is and you can get them out of there for several days to see.

1 mom found this helpful

Sounds like he needs some probiotics in his body due to the antibiotics taking the good away. My favorite kind is the Jarrow Brand. You can go to a local health food store and find that and just open the capsule and put it in something that he eats or drinks.

What I do with colds for my 2yo is give her a drink called Emergen-C (it has 1000mg of Vitamin C in each package). I mix two packages with water and she calls it her juice and her runny nose, etc., goes away. I only give her one sippy cup of this a day. Vitamin C is great for the inflammation from the cold.

I would definitely do the probiotics. Good luck!

Request to see an ENT. Also, new houses don't mean clean houses, just like one of the other ladies stated.

Good luck.

I know this sounds kooky, but, my 3 year old nephew was repeatedly going to the doctors due to sinus infections. He had several rounds of antibiotics, but the infection kept coming back. He too couldn't sleep well and he smelled funny. Finally, after about 9 months my sister-in-law insisted that the doctor strap him down and look up his nose. The doctor was irritated and didn't want to do it but he relented. What he found was a clear candy wrapper (like from a peppermint) stuck up my nephew's nose. The bacteria kept collecting on the wrapper and making my nephew sick. I know its bizarre and gross, but maybe there is something else going on inside your baby's nose.


I think you should get him tested for allergies first and if nothing shows up then schedule an appt. with the ENT. My son is 2 1/2 and we have been having problems with nasal congestion as well and we thought it was allergies but we tested him and nothing showed up. His doctors gave us the option of doing the blood test or the pricks on the back. We decided to go with the blood test because it would test for more things and he would only have to get stuck once. The doctor also advised us that just because nothing showed up that did not mean he did not have allergies. I hope your son gets better soon!

S. is right. My son and daughter were allergic to milk in their formulas. I had to change to soy formula. Their allergy to milk continued until they were about 21 years old. Every time they ate or drank anything that had milk in it, the next day they had congestion. Year after year I had to let the school know that they were allergic to milk. I am glad that their allergy to milk has ended.
P. S

Hi S.,
I'll agree that Mimi has offered great advice. I will add the same advice I did when he had a stuffy nose at 10weeks. Your problems will only continue to build if you dont get them fixed instead of covered up temporialy! Take him to a Chiropractic, it WILL help! More than you can possibly imagine, its amazing! You can add probiotics to help boost his immune system too. It is certainly weak right now... Vit C would be good too. If you are vaccinating, research this outside of your peds office. You'll be amazed at what you will discover that even your MD may not know. I hope this advise will help resolve his problem, you really have nothing to loose.

Oh poor little guy. I am sorry your family is experiencing this.
The house is likely filled with new synthetic materials including the rugs. I think this bothered my daughter at one point.
I think testing for food allergies through a blood test is a very good way to go. Not sure if a ped will do this, but they should. They are generally too quick to use drugs without finding the cause. Meta Metrix is a lab who once processed the tests. Not sure if they still do it. You might be able to have the blood test taken at an out-sourced lab.
He could be becoming sensitive to animal dander. Something to definitely consider.
Are you using all natural cleaning products in your house (including carpet cleaning)? Are you perfume/cologne free, eating organic, natural shampoos, conditioners, soaps, deoderants, dish soap, auto cleaning and freshener? Were the air ducts thoroughly cleaned before you moved in?
I would think if all this has been taken care of, it might be allergies. Have you gone to a good healthfood store where they can offer good intestinal bacterial for his intestines because the antibiotics can destroy those and before you know it you are on a cycle. I am not a Dr. but it seems your son's body is creating mucus to get rid of something bothering him.
I wish you the best of luck in this! I hope is is resolved soon!

My son who is now 2 has always had this problem. The Ped. finally referred him to an Allergist who is now sending him to an ENT next week.
Good luck~

Take him to an ENT. SOunds like my son. He has to have his tonsils & adnoids out and improved dramtaically. But before that we did tubes and his congestion went away for the most part. But he also has asthma (very mild) and has to do a breathing treatment every once in a while. Try the tubes if possible. We only did the tonsil things later because his were so large. Good luck

I don't know if this helps buy my sister is allergic to dust, cat dander and things like that. She runs an air purifier in her home and the hubby does the dusting for her or she wears a mask. I understand that you are in a new house but dust is everywhere all the time. It could be that. Make sure you check ceiling fan blades and the top of the doors. I just moved into my new house and was told a cleaning crew came in. I saw the receipt for the cleaning crew but the celing fan in my daughters room looks like it hasn't been cleaned in 5 years and the top of the doors were dirty too. Everything else looked fine. But I would try the air purifier too. My daughter breaths easier since we bought one for her room. We bought her the little one for $35 at walmart. Just big enough for her room and it has a fragrance thing with it too.

It's allergies! The pediatrician told me that my daughter was too young to have allergies, however another pediatrician saw her one day, walked into the room and said fair skin, light hair, blue eyes, she's more prone to allergies isn't she? After that, her pediatrician was finally convinced that it was allergies. She has been on Claritin ever since and it has made a world of difference. I have never had her tested for specific allergies, but we have noticed that she experiences more problems around pets (cats) from pet dander and in the spring when the pollen count is high. The air quality around Savannah is not the greatest and just about everyone has allergy problems. So it is not impossible! Just keep after your doctor.

My daughter had the same thing as a baby and finally grew out of it many years later...but she was put on Zyrtec..I think I am spelling that right...
Anyway, it did help and finally as she got older she outgrew all of her allergies and no longer needs to take allergy medicine.

I don't know about the testing but Dr Rashleigh is good.

Hey S.,

Please make sure you see an ENT or allergy specialist. Allergies do develop very young. My son had similar problems starting around 6 months. Unfortunately, the allergist may not be able to do allergy shots for treatment at such a young age. But at least you will know what to avoid. They may prescribe Zyrtec or something similar. I wish you all the best.

An ENT or allergist is a sugestion, either may help with a diagnosis. I have found that chiropractic care for babies/children and your whole family helps with these types of issues. It may seem crazy but my 3 1/2 month old has been 100% healthy and my first daughter also benefited from chiropractic care. There is a great family chiro named Dr. Heather Wyantt who specializes in kids/babies. She is located in Summerville on Trolley Rd and the name of her practice is Atlantic Coast Family Chiropractic. She has a website, you should check it out it will improve the overall health of your children and family.

S.- you could try eliminating milk and wheat since those are mucus causing foods-(all milk- yogurt, cheese, etc..) It could definitely be allergies- I could recommend a naturopath if you are interested in going that route. I am currently taking my son to one and they are elimiating his allergies thru a process called NAET- it's totally non-invasive and I know she sees newborns- I've seen them there...it's worth a try- a regular ped will probably not refer you to an ENT until your baby has had multiple ear infections.. your are completely correct with blaming our enviroment...we live so toxic! the naturopath is in Roswell- you can look at the website- it's
nature-heals.com and her name is Deb McIntyre...she's great. If you would like more info please contact me- I've been doing a ton of research on allergies- asthma...etc and can direct you to some informative resources.
Good lUck

I would definitely see an ENT very soon! I'm surprised your pediatrician hasn't already recommended it. My daughter has suffered from allergies (food and environmental) since she was a baby. She did not have the congestion, but other symptoms such as swelling, vomitting, etc. They did allergy testing on her by taking blood and then when she was older they did the testing on her back. I'm sure an ENT can better guide you and help you determine the problem. Sometimes nasal congestion can be due to a milk allergy, but it could be a number of things. Good luck!

My kids have both had pollen allergies since they were very small. My daughter was put on Zrytec when it first came out she was about 8 or 9 months old.So yes it could be allergies.
I also have bad pollen allergies so it was inherited from me.

He could have a milk allergy--has he been on regular formula or one that is soy-based? Many babies just can't tolerate whole milk and it runs in families. S. B.

Okay -- in order to develop an allergy, you have to have been exposed two times for your body to have developed a sensitivity to it. So, while it is possible, it's not really that likely, that your 9 month old is already having allergies.

You know, actually the first thing I thought of when I read your post was your humidifier. Humidifiers, if not cared for properly, are breeding grounds for all sorts of microorganisms -- which you then blow back into the air all night if you haven't cleaned it the day before. http://www.allergyconsumerreview.com/humidifiers-use.html

Most people don't seem to know that, though. Also, you need to be changing the filter regularly. It's a maintenance hassle -- but it's all in the interest of the health of your child, so I'd say it's worth it!

That may or may not be the culprit. But, at the very least, I'd make sure I was doing everything right...

I'm sorry your son is having such a hard time. I know it's so frustrating to watch your child struggle and to be at a loss as to how to solve it. Good luck!

This sounds so familiar. My son, who is 2yrs now, was conjested from 2weeks to 9 mths. We were constantly taking him to the doctor and the medicines never worked. We eliminated some enviornments and he cleared up immediately. We moved into a house with Hardwood floors (No carpet anywhere)& I placed him in a new daycare (in home with only 3 other kids) within a week of each other. Here are some suggestions...Have your carpets cleaned, have someone come in and sterlize and clean everything. My son got better within a day of moving into our new house and after 48 hours of being in the new daycare it was gone. He has been fine (except for the occaisional cold). We were told by his doctor some kids are just more acceptable to a cold and can't shake it, we kept him in a bouncy seat at night to sleep so he could breathe. I hope this helps.

Hi S., I know this is a miserable time for your baby.
I would recommend taking him to an ENT. Babies sinuses does
not fully develope until about two years of age. Also I re-
commend elevate the mattress where he rest his head and not
to lay him flat. Good Luck with the ENT.

I would ask to go to the Ent. Both of my children have been with an Ent for 3 years now. Just this year he told us to go to a Allergie dr. to have them tested to see if that is why we have been having problems with their ears. We took them to be tested and guess what they have allergies. My children are 5 and about to turn three next month. They did the prick on the back for the testing and if something came back from it they got a shot in the arm to see if it was postive for an allergy. with the back prick it is not as bad as I thought it would be. The nurse that was doing the test would do to prick thangs at one time. It looks like a claw and they are not sticking them like a shot. I do not know if they can do that for a 9 month old or not but the 3 year old they can.
good luck.

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