27 answers

How to deal with mucus congestion with newborn?

My 7 week old has a lot of mucus and sometimes she vomits it and chokes on it. I am terrified to put her in her own bed in case this happens. Our pediatrician has been told three times about this problem and doesn't seem to share my concern. Any tips or advice on getting rid of the mucus?

What can I do next?


Some suggested to put a cool humidifier in the baby's room, while some suggested to use saline nasal drop to clear the congestion. Consult with your pediatrician, as it could be allergy or something more serious.

So What Happened?™

The doctor has pretty much determined that Ava has a cow's milk allergy, so I am now on a milk protein-free diet. Thank you all for the helful advice! (The saline drops are great, by the way!)

Featured Answers

my daughter's is on Zyrtec. It is an antihistamine. We used Benadryll for a while but Zyrtec is better. It will dry her up and help her sleep.

When my baby was congested and vomiting he was diagnosed with GERD and allergies. We got him on medication for both and it improved. I would see another pediatrician.

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get a second opinion, this is not normal, and can even cause ur child to suffocate and possibly die in their sleep, you should seek another pediatricians advice on this, there has to be a reason this baby has so much mucus in their body, and there is some type of medication that can be given to break it up and get it out of their little system, get a second opinion for ur baby's sake

1 mom found this helpful

Don't be afraid to get a 2nd opinion. A lot of Doc's think women are just neurotic.

Not sure if she's too young or not, but you can try Little Noses Saline drops. It's natural & no side effects that I'm aware of. It's just salt water. Put a drop in each nostile, as many times a day as she needs it(especially before laying down). It will help thin the mucus so it's easier for her to breath. Does wonders for my family. We all use it this time of year.

My pediatrician suggested to use the, Ayr (saline nasal drops) a "snot sucker" and a cool mist humidifier. My son was stopped up so bad it was like he couldn't breathe in the morning. Hope this helps. BTW, my Dr didn't seem too concerned either. I would also suggest to check your air filter in your house.

I recently found out dairy products (along with coffee and soda) produce/create excess mucus. I don't have a clue if this effects babies the way it does adults. Sometimes docs can be insensitive to our concerns. If you have a local WIC office, even if you are not on the program, they often will help you and give you excellent advice.

Little noses saline drops and a nasal suction bulb works with my granson. Saline is gentle and doesnt hurt them it thins the mucus and makes it easier to suction.

I am so sorry your 7 week old is going through this. My baby girl went through this when she was 7 months. She was much older. Each time I nursed her she would get into a coughing attack and she would vomit. I would not let her out of my site. I'm a very overprotect mother. My son, who is now 2 had acid reflux very badly and would stop breathing on me. I'm still not quit over that. The only thing I could do for her is put Vick's on her and set up a humidifier in her or your room. Where ever she is sleeping. This helped ALOT.

I will pray for you and your baby. I'm sure you are sleep deprived and need a break. I am thinking about you. If you need anything please email me: ____@____.com


Hi A.,

What are you feeding her?

My daughter had that problem. She would spit up mucus and gag to the point where she would stop breathing. It would scare me but she eventually stop doing that after about 7 or 8 weeks old. The doctor was not at all concerned but it terrified me. She is 7 months old now and is doing great..


I still have that problem. During the spring when my allergies act up I throw up in the morning, and it gets pretty bad because I'm getting sick off of nothing, so I do a lot of dry heaving and gagging. I started doing it when I was a baby and I'm 25 now and still doing it. Sometimes if I've been doing it for a couple of days in a row I'll take benedryl or something like that in the evening and it helps to keep me from getting sick in the morning. So you might try something along those lines and see if it helps. I only take have the dosage and it still works and keeps me from putting too many chemicals in my body.
Sorry if I was graphic.

If your Dr. isn't listening, time to seek another Dr.'s advice. Sometimes this can be caused from an allergic reaction.

Find another doctor that will listen to your concerns...

My daughter had the same problem when she was little! It was explained to me that a child's throat is loose meaning it is made mainly of like cartilage right now...so anything that gets in it can cause them to gag (the gag reflex) and at times vomit. The best advice i got was to elevate the baby in their beds. For a while she was in a bassinett and i would put books under the wheels (locked of course) on the end that her head was at! Later when she moved to her crib... I did the same thing... Elevating her was the best way to help!

my daughter's is on Zyrtec. It is an antihistamine. We used Benadryll for a while but Zyrtec is better. It will dry her up and help her sleep.

This probably won't be much help to you, but I have found when my little boy is stopped up we could suction him and he wouldn't gag as much. Don't know if this is the same situation, but I found a product that really works for us. It sounds really gross, but like I said, so worth it because it works. It is called the NoseFrida and the website is www.nosefrida.com. My little boy is 2 and 7 months and I wish I had this when he was your child's age. Good luck.

Could it be reflux? Look at this website and see if her symptoms fit.


My son had reflux for about the first 8 months of his life. It was hard for me to find a doc who took me seriously because he didn't spit up and he was gaining appropriately. But when ever I laid him down he got a stuffy nose and I could hear fluids slosh up into the back of his throat. We finally found a doc who listened to me and we started medications and it helped immensely!! I'm not big on medicating babies, but in this case it was worth it! Most babies will out grow reflux by the time they are 1 year old....but that website was very reassuring to me during that time.

I would suggest a few drops of a saline nose drops. The saline works on mucus the same way pouring salt on a slug works, it just melts and dissolves it! Like magic! Because she is little, I would only do maybe 2 drops in each nostril, and it will travel down the throat and help with that also! Oh and a word of advice, have a wash cloth handy to catch any that might miss, you don't want to get any of that salty stuff in her little eyes. Hope this helps!

try running a cool mist humidifier in her room at night (with the door open) and put baby vicks on her chest. you can also prop her up on a pillow when you can watch her to let it drain. also clean it out her nose with some type of nose solution and a bulb suringe a lot during the day. after a few days of this, she should get better. i know every kid seems to have congestion/mucus problems right now because of the weather and it is so hard to see your sweet baby all stopped up. i think it is harder on the parents than the baby though. good luck!

by the way...this is normal. i saw that one mom wrote that this is not normal. i have a few friends with newborns that are going thru the exact same thing you are right now. this has been a wild season for colds, congestion and the flu. do not let her get you all worried about it. if it doesn't take care of itself in a week, you may want to see if it is gerd or acid reflux. try having the baby sleep in her infant carrier or a swing at night. that works great for babies with gerd, colic or congestion because they are at an angle and everything doesn't just drain down.

First of all... If you think there is a problem and you are not comfortable with your doctor's choice of concern - seek a different opinion!!!!!

My daughter came into this world congested - had multiple ear infections, RSV twice, and constant sinusitis. I don't think she knows anything other than being sick. We (daddy and I, plus Doctor) were convinced she had allergies, but would not be able to test them until she turned two. Two days after she turned two I headed to the Allergy clinic with her. She was tested - no allergies. I was - at this point - beyond frustrated!!! Luckily the allergist we saw had enought sense to find what the problem was. He sent us to Children's for a complete immune system test. Turned out - some of her booster's didn't take. We reboosted her - and she hasn't been near as sick as she was. Now she gets the occasional cold that is going around school or that she catches from us.

I am not a Doctor so I do not know if this is your problem - but if you are not happy with your pediatrician - you need to find a new one!!! A second evaluation doesn't ever hurt!

C-section babies are more likely to have mucus after birth because they did not go through the trauma of going through the birth canal. If the vomiting is coming out with formula, this is the normal process of her body clearing the mucus. Use a bulb syringe prior to feeding to clean out any mucus she might have. This will aid in her feeding and keep your baby from sucking the mucus back down only to need to work it's way out again. Mucus can be expected to be expelled through both the diaper area as well as the nose and mouth. 7 weeks does seem like a long time, so to rest your mind, get a second opinion. Take your baby to either a different doctor or a different doctor in her pediatrician group. Call and see when your doctor is not available and schedule an appointment the his associate. Do not concern yourself about "offending your doctor" instead be concerned about the fact that he is not giving you any valid answers or comfort about the situation. Remember doctors have hundreds of patience with but you have only one baby. Do not ignore your instinct.

We had this same problem and a couple of times we actually thought our daughter would choke to death before we could get the stuff out of her throat. IT IS TERRIFYING!

Our doc and the nurse hotline both said to do these steps:


Get some infant saline drops and put about 2-3 drops in each side of her nose. Let her lay there for a little bit so it can do it's thing, then suction out her nose with one of those bulby things you get at the hospital. Use the suction thing from the hospital or another big one like that. The small ones from the store are useless.

2) Give her juice and water a couple of times a day to help loosen the mucus. Maybe her last bottle of the day if it's really bad, because it builds up overnight.

3) Make sure she goes to sleep on an incline; don't lay her down flat to sleep. Our daughter slept in one of those bouncy hammock things for weeks when she had a cold because it kept her a little bit upright.

Keep that mucus suction thing close AT ALL TIMES. You can suction it out of her throat if she's really choking and can't get it loose. We were frantically searching for it once and I finally had to reach into my daughter's throat with my finger to dislodge that mucus because she was choking and couldn't breath.

If your doc doesn't think this is a concern, find a new doc. There is nothing more horrifying that the look on that baby's face when she can't breath and you can't help her. We thought we'd lose our little girl about 3 times before she outgrew this problem at about 5 months.

Just be diligent, keep your supplies close and your little girl closer! It will get better.

Children who are allergic to dairy products usually have the following complaints: my baby was collicy, had recurrent ear infections/sinus infections, always had a snot nose, complained of stomach pain, had an increased production of mucous, child does not talk, child with frequent temper tantrums, diarrhea.
Necate is a good formula substitute. If you are breast feeding, stay away from dairy products (milk, cheese, butter, yogurt) and substitute with rice milk, almond milk, or potatoe milk. You can purchase the potato milk from Kirkmangroup.com and I would also purchase some probiotics (probio gold) from them and use them as well.
If the dairy is the problem you should see it start to clear up within 1-2 weeks.
If you have any quenstions just email me

A., for a 7 week old infant to have these problems and your doctor doesn't seem to share your concern, two words. Change Doctors.

Hey A. I know your plight with your baby I have three girls all of which have suffered this common issue .
I'm sorry you have a ped. that doesn't seem to know the import. on your baby needing to be comfy to sleep as well as you. However I would suggest sitting in the bathroom with only hot water running you could try in the sink ( no I'm not telling you anything to harm your baby) fill the sink then with a large towel drape it over your head and the baby's over the sink to form an enclosure over the sink and hot water.
I did it with the water running I didn't stop the sink.
I sat there over the sink holding my baby under the towel taking in the steam. It'll help break up the mucas.
Then get simply saline solution and this is the hard partput about three to four drops of it in each nostril; Then with a bulb syringe suction the solution out of each nostril.
NOTICE the baby will more than likely not like this it kinda gives a feeling of breathlessness but it will not harm. I would lay her on the floor flat on her back; I would sit on the floor in front facing her, then gently place the legs on each side of your hips not too far apart just resting on your hips really with your legs slightly elevated place baby's arms under the bends of your kneews not applying too much pressure just enough to hold her there. with the lower part of your legs brace the sides of your baby's head so she can't turn her head on you. Now try it I hope it will help ease some of your problem..I would deff. check with another ped. though, usually if there is mucas there is infection it could be ears or tonsils adnoids. This is just to ease some discomfort not to get rid of the problem .. M.-Tupelo,ms

When my baby was congested and vomiting he was diagnosed with GERD and allergies. We got him on medication for both and it improved. I would see another pediatrician.

you can give her water to help thin out the mucus, just dilute her bottles a little more or give her an oz or 2 in between feedings, water won't hurt her. you could try a vaporizer and let it run at night. you can also elevate the head of her crib matress with like small pillow or folded blanket so that she's slightly propped up. she's a too young for allergy tests and allergy meds, but continue to keep an eye on it and follow up with your doctor if it worsens. both my kids had this problem, i understand your concern about putting her in her own bed, i used to do saline drops and suction them really good in the nose and mouth before bed and then when i changed diapers. and i suppose it doesn't hurt to get a second opinion if things don't improve. good luck!

If your pediatrician didn't suggest anything, you may want to consider another pediatrician. Is the mucus from colds, drainage? I know she's only 7 weeks old but see if she'll drink some water to try to thin out the mucus. I know you are suctioning so keep doing that. Did the ped. suggest an antihistamine to dry that up? Maybe some saline drops could held thin out the mucus as well.

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