L.B. asks from Fremont, CA on February 24, 2010
Newborn with Congestion and Cough, HELP!
My poor 1.5 week old daughter has been congested for about a week now. Shes got a really bad case of congestion, and its gotten so bad that shes got a gagging cough to go along with it. I've tried everything from saline drops, to nasal aspirator, to battery operated nasal aspirator, to humidifier, to putting blankets under her crib to elevate her head and rubbing baby vicks on her chest and feet and putting socks on and nothing seems to be making it any easier for her. I went to her pediatrician and she gave me the same old "It's normal, just keep using the saline drops and nasal aspirator." I feel like I'm going to go nuts if I can't help my baby and its heartbreaking when it sounds like shes choking and I can't do anything to help except dropping salt water down her nose and sucking out the gunk with an aspirator. Do any of you have any home remedies that you have tried that works amazingly well? Or have you used any products that relieved the symptoms quickly? Anything is appreciated!
So What Happened?™
Thanks to everyone for the advice!
My daughter is finally getting over the congestion and phew am I relieved! I used the cool mist humidifier, saline drops, and aspirator and things worked out fine. I tried the steam in the shower and although it worked for a little bit, her congestion didn't get any better. But I guess all my patience and suffering was well worth it!
S.B. answers from San Francisco on February 25, 2010
S.H. answers from San Francisco on February 25, 2010
If your baby isn't getting any relief, you should ask for a referral to a pediatric pulmonary specialist. My son had breathing problems as a newborn and he was put on a nebulizer, but it wasn't until I asked for a referral to a specialist that anyone took me seriously. I think your baby is way too young to let this go on too long.
C.P. answers from Dallas on February 24, 2010
Congrats on your new baby. Sorry she's congested. if you have some peppermint oil you canput a few drops on a tissue and put it in the room.
Also, remember that babies do not know to breath through ther mouths until they're about 6 months old. keep her head elevated. you can rub the vics on her feet too and put socks on. could she be allergic to something? I'd stay away from latex products and gloves for now. that's how my daughter started... congested and after a few months became asthma when she was in contact with latex balloons/gloves, etc. try and minimize any use of chemicals in the home so it doesn't irritate her. Good luck! and if she's not improving, call the doctor again. follow your gut. if you're breastfeeding, skip milk products for now. drink anise seed tea (natural expectorant) you can add some thyme your tea too... ~C.~
J.P. answers from Chicago on February 24, 2010
When you're sucking out her nose, is there anything in there? If it's the congestion on its own, it may be acid reflux. My baby sounded congested for the first two months, but it was a mild case of reflux. If it's really a cold, you should continue the humidifier and raising her crib mattress. Another poster wrote about a nose product that I ended up buying- and I LOVE it. It works better than I had hoped! It's pretty disgusting, but it's safe and is amazing. It's an alternative to the bulb suctioner, and leaves my toddler and baby cleared out. Check it out- you can google it- Nosefrida. Good luck!
S.H. answers from Honolulu on February 24, 2010
Just a head's up: using a bulb syringe/aspirator too much, can abrade the inner nose of a baby... making it sore or giving it a sore.
That is what my Pediatrician said and recommended.
Maybe take her to the ER?
Sometimes, ER Doc's have different approaches... and views.
K.M. answers from Boston on February 24, 2010
You are doing all the right things (with the possible exception of the baby vicks, I am not sure that really helps) so I would just keep on trucking but also keep your eyes peeled for any symptoms of asthma/respiratory distress. If her lips or fingernails look blue, take her in right away. One thing you can do before you call your pediatrician is count the number of breaths she takes in a minute so they can evaluate that on the phone.
Poor little mouse, what a lousy way to get started. Hang in there.
S.L. answers from San Francisco on February 25, 2010
Newborns are always congested. They just came out of a wet environment, your womb, and their nasal passages are drying out and learning how to work. Some babies are more snuffly than others. Skip the Vicks (it's full of tons of nasty chemicals) and just keep doing what you are doing with the aspirator. I'd even skip the saline drops right now because it's not that she is making too much mucus that needs to get thinned out and passed, it's that her mucus membranes are drying out. Bu the doctor is right, this is normal. My DD was congested for about a month, and slept best in her bouncy seat or on someone's shoulder because it kept her sitting up. It seems scary, in part because babies are obligatory nose breathers. They haven't learned how to open their mouths to breathe when their little noses are stuffed up, so they snort and snuffle and cough and sputter and our hearts break for them. Keep using the aspirator, keep elevating her when she sleeps. The congestion should ease up over the next few weeks, and you'll be taking her to well-baby check-ups, too, so you can keep the doc aware of what's going on. Good luck!! And congrats on your new baby!
T.S. answers from San Francisco on February 25, 2010
You could try Ipecac homeopathic. It is completely safe for young babies and indicated for a congested cough with lots of mucous. Just dissolve 5 pellets in a small amount of warm water and give it to your baby in a dropper or bottle. You can repeat this every 15 minutes. If symptoms don't improve within an hour or two it's probably not the right remedy.
You can also do steam inhalations with essential oils (thyme, eucalyptus, lavendar). Put 15-20 drops of essential oil in the shower and get it going as hot as it gets. Sit in the bathroom and nurse your baby or give her a bottle or pacifier for 10-15 minutes. You can do this 2-3 times a day.
If you are interested in further help I am a naturopathic doctor in Berkeley and work mostly with children. Please call if you would like to set up an appointment.
T.W. answers from San Francisco on February 25, 2010
GO TO THE E.R, AND HAVE THEM CHECK HER FOR RSV NOW!!! Get her oxygen levels checked, is there a chunky, moist or wheezy sound in her chest? I took my son to the urgent care when he was 2(he is now 8) because I thought he had an ear infection and figures I would have my 1 month old son (now 6) check foe a LITTLE chest congestion, they had an ambulance called for him before they even looked at my older boy. He had a sever case of RSV, almost died and spent 10 days in the hospital. Your daughter may be fine with only a cold but please do not take the chance, go now. Good Luck!