50 answers

Remedies for Congestion in a Newborn

My son is six weeks old and has had problems with congestion for a few weeks, but it seems to be getting worse. I use saline drops and try to clean his nose several times a day, but I don't get anything out usually. I also just started elevating his head when he sleeps and got a humidifier. anyone have any other ideas? The congestion is affecting his sleep and starting to affect his ability to take a bottle.

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

you may want to dry rubbing a little baby vicks vapor rub on their clothing. Also my little one kept getting congestion every three weeks after a year I changed doctors and found they did ablood test, he was alergic to whole milk. Something to think about.

My husband read that a cool mist humidifier, if not properly cleaned DAILY, can just send bacteria all over the room. Maybe the saline drops aren't helping and they need to be stopped. They could be making it worse.

S. M

That's about the best you can do at this point. My son's been sleeping in his car seat, since I found it safer than putting something under his mattress. One other thing you might add to what you're doing, is something my Mom told me to try, that she does to her babies at her daycare. Put the Baby Vicks on his feet, and put the socks back on. My son's congestion had been hanging on forever. I did this and it was noticeably better the next day, and gone within 3 days. Hope it helps! I agree with the other advice, also, in that you should probably go ahead and take him to the pediatrician. I waited longer than I wanted to last time, and found that my child's rattle in his breath was bronchitis and he was trying to get pnuemonia.

More Answers

Hi L.,

Congratulations on your precious new son!

There are some great suggestions here that are non-invasive that might help. Realize, though, that a six week old baby is much more fragile than a 6 month old or one year old baby. Your pediatrician needs to know about this since you think the congestion is affecting his ability to take a bottle. Always contact your Pedi when you have questions for such a young infant, because minor colds, etc. can quickly lead to bigger problems in one so young.

Good luck!

Janet B
Parent Coach

1 mom found this helpful

You might ask your doctor about this.. because my baby was really congested and stuffy for the first 3 months of her life and it turned out to be a side effect of acid reflux. He may not be showing alot of signs of reflux, but he may have it. Sometimes the acid secretions from the reflux get up in their little nasal cavities and cause this kind of long term chronic congestion. We got her on Prevacid (i didn't want to medicate, but this can really mess up their GI tract and cause long term problems) and her stuffiness and reflux are MUCH better.
just a thought..

ALSO- don't suction more than once or twice a day becuase it can irritate their mucous membranes in their noses and cause them to swell, which makes the congestion worse.


This might be a silly question, but have you taken him to the pediatrician? He might have something he needs antibiotics for. Babies will refuse to eat if they can't breathe while they drink the bottle. If he is not eating he needs to go to the doctor right away. What we think is a cold can be RSV, which is a dangerous virus for babies. My oldest had it and never had a fever. Undress him and look at his tummy and watch him breathe. If his tummy really draws in, he's not getting enough oxygen. Please call the doctor today if this happens. Good luck. C.

My little one had a couple of head colds too. I put a humidifier in her room & found a nasal asperator at Walmart that is battery operated. It all worked wonderfully! That nose sucky was the BEST thing EVER INVENTED! It has quiet a bit of suction & plays music & vibrates when you use it. It has a clear bulb to catch the yuck & you can see if it is working. She loved it. She actually laughed when I cleaned her nose! I would try that with the saline drops & the humidifier & it should help. Poor baby.... good luck!

My son had the same problem. So I bought a Walgreens brand of the Vicks Medicated Vapor Liquid. You put about a cap full in the water of your humidifier and it really opened up my sons nasal passages.

Hi L.
My first daughter was put in the hospital at ten days old for almost a week, in a breathing tent. She stayed on meds and breathing treatments for constant congestion, phlegmy vomiting, coughing for 3 years! Then I figured out what to do and she's been healthy for the last 5 years (she's 8 now). I went green. I started shopping smarter and safer and I get it all shipped to my house....plus it's less expensive cost per use than the toxic stuff I was using before. Let me know if you want to learn more about it. Visit my blog at jenniferbaird.blogspot.com

Keep using the saline drops - make sure you are covering up the open nare with your finger while suctioning. Elevating the head of bed is also very good, just make sure you do it safely, like placing a blanket under the crib mattress at the head of the bed. A humidifier works great, but use a warm mist one - I KNOW, I KNOW everyone says cool mist, but that is because people have actually burned their children by placing the warm mist humidifier too close to the child. Use common sense with placement of the humidifier. All three of my children have had nasal congestion issues and all three of these interventions have worked well for them - a cool mist humidifier only made the congestion worse. Also, your baby is too young to use Vicks VapoRub - the kind that you actually rub on the baby - DO NOT use it. It is a vasoconstrictor - it makes blood vessels constrict, or become more narrow, for a baby this can be VERY BAD - just don't do it. Second opinions and suggestions from other parents can be very helpful, but always, always do your own solid research. That will enable you to make an educated decision regarding your child's healthcare. Hope things get better soon!!

Congratulations on your little bundle of joy!

My only piece of advice would be to be careful how much you use the aspirator (snot snatcher/bulby thing) -- if you're not getting anything, you may only be stimulating that area and causing more mucus to be made.

You sound like you're on the right track to me. Humidifier, steam, elevation. If you're nursing, try using the football hold to help him be able to breathe easier while eating.


K. H, mama to
Catherine, 4y
Samuel, 14m

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.