How to handle infant congestion?

Updated on February 29, 2008
S.G. asks from Fort Worth, TX
61 answers

My 5 month old son has been constantly congested for 2 months, and it has turned into two ear infections so far. He carries a fever of 100 - 102 with it, and it has only somewhat disipated during his constant antibiotics rounds. I hate having him on medication constantly, and would much prefer a different remedy, but NOTHING IS WORKING. The following have become daily regimines: humidifier, saline spray follwed by aspirator (about 5 times a day), steam shower with menthol salts to fill steamy air, increased fluid intake.

Anything else?!?!?!?

I have gotten some GREAT responses! The Vicks on the feet is intersting btseems to help a little more. I have also had the idea of maybe allergies, but I can't stand the idea of having him on medication every day. Im fine with medication to treat symptoms, but a daily regimine bothers me. Will his body eventually get used to allergens or do I need to get used to medicine?

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Summary

Some parents suggested keeping the head elevated will keep the fluid from settling in his ears and causing infections. The safest way is to check with your pediatrician and Pediatric ENT specialist.

So What Happened?

Thanks for all of the great advice. I noticed a lot of suggestions to take various things out of his environment (i.e. milk, food, dust(which I obviously do anyway)...For the most part my goal is to find resources that can minimize medication and increase his body's tollerence to his environment while keeping him healthy.

After finding a new pediatrician, he feels if we can break the chain of congestion, his lungs and ears will clear up as well. We have him on a TEMPORARY medication regimine that I hope will help and move him past it.

Also, we live in N Texas where our winter weather this year has ranged from 40 degrees one dy to 80 the next. I have several friends with babies around 4 - 8 months old. They are ALL SICK like my sone has been, and there is no taking the weather out of his environment. I am confident we will end up on the upside.

THANKS TO ALL

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D.L.

answers from Amarillo on

My son went through a lot of this same thing. He was in and out of the hospital when he was little and he had chicken pox pnemonia when he was 10 month old, we found out that he had asthma at the age of 4 and he is now 14. We go through the medicine everyday. They do grow out of the allergies but unfortanly if you or a family member have allergies he most likely has them also. It will be an ongoing battle, but just remember that he needs the medicine because it can be life threatning if he is not on the meds he needs. I almost lost my son when he was 4 to his asthma because he was not dignosed with it until he was very sick. Allegey medicine is just like the shots the kids need when they are little. You would not let him go with out shot, so he may have to be on meds for allergies. Also, his allergies can make him moody if not treated. I hope this helps you and good luck with the baby.

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K.H.

answers from Dallas on

My son had problems with this--except it was sinus infections. We finally were sent to an ENT after several months of being in the Doctor's office. They did a CT scan and found his sinuses absolutely full of congestion! They put him on a strong antibiotic for 3 months and ended up removing his adenoids. His adenoids were not particularly swollen in any xrays, but when they came out, they found they were pretty nasty. Since then, we have had no problems!

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L.M.

answers from Dallas on

One of the things that might help break the cycle you are in is if you son's head is elevated above his chest. The way we accompished this was to put a pillow or two between the springs and the baby bed mattress where his head will rest. keeping the head elevated will keep the fluid from settling in his ears and causing infections. We did this with the last 3 kids and only 1 of those three ever had any ear infection - and that cleared up quickly.

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K.T.

answers from Dallas on

S.,

I so understand how you feel. My oldest ds was a lot like that. it wasn't until I switched him to soy milk AFTER he weaned off formula that he stopped. The antibiotics are probably making it worse because they are killing everything in his body that is good so that he CAN fight disease and build immunity. Low immunity makes it very hard to even fight allergies. And from my experience, the more exposure to allergens the more likely they will get worse. There are natural antibiotics out there that you can use. One natural antibiotic is called collodial silver. It is very safe especially with a baby. I would do this before garlic (although babies often do like the taste of garlic.) if you are open to this, visiting a chiropractor might be the best and safest route. I just had my one year in there because I couldn't figure out why he was crying and clinging so much. turns out he had fluid on his ears. She popped the ears to drain it and he was a very different kids. Sometimes a very simple and gentle adjustment can help relief systems and build the immune system to fight the infections that come with the congestions. Are you breastfeeding or formula feeding? is you baby in daycare for any period of time? How much cow's milk is in the babies diet, whether through formula or through what you are eating? Cow's milk, in my opinion, is the number one cause of congestion in MOST people. When I stopped dairy all together several years ago, ALL my nasal allergies stopped (including those times of year where the allergens are highest.) If i could go back again to being a first time, I would have found a great chiropractor that adjusts children (they are very gentle. I hardly notice my chiropractor adjusting my baby. He's been adjusted since he was a newborn.) I would also search out a naturopath that I could have worked with. Now that I have a naturopath I am able to find natural remedies for even my babies that are safe and often more effective than an Rx that th dr might give me. I also searched long and hard for a ped that would allow me to use my natural medicine on my children before I turned to drugs to do it. After 8 years of searching I finally found one.

I am not sure I helped you much. I do understand what you are going through. I have changed so much about how we live and it's made a huge different in the health of my children. It's taken me nearly 7 years to learn what I have AND I much more to learn. God Bless.

K.

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A.H.

answers from Dallas on

I have a family herbalist cert, and can tell you truthfully that your son suffers from toxicity. The first thing you should do is break the fevers. You should give your son a gentle laxative or enema. I know of many cases where children with fevers have been cured of their ailment by flushing the bowels and lower intestines. You can find lots of suggestions for how to make garlic enemas on many websites. Personally, I prefer laxatives such as Senna and Cascara Sagrada. However, for children, I use a Senna pod soaked in a small amount of water with raisins soaked in the solution. Add a little powdered ginger to it as well. Soak the senna, ginger and raisins for a few hours, then feed you son a raisin every few hours until he has a movement. Here's an article about treating ear infections. Very good suggestions...I use the same herbs and others, but it's a good place to start. http://www.glenbrookfarm.com/herbs/ear.htm
Medicines and antibiotics in particular destroy the useful bacteria in the gut, and can lead to further complications. I wouldn't use antibiotics at all in such a case. As far as herbs, there are two particular herbs I use for my children during times of congestion. So, the next thing you should do, apart from keeping him clean and warm, is to make teas of Slippery Elm and Mullein. These herbs are gentle for children, yet extremely effective for breaking up the congestion. These are gentle enough to use as often as you need to. Keep food as healthy as you can....vegetable soups, broths, yogurt (to replace the lost probiotics that the antibiotics destroyed), and lots of these teas. If you take these steps, you should see a dramatic improvement. Here's another good article: http://www.bulkherbstore.com/GM

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M.J.

answers from Abilene on

Immediately google natural and alternative meds for allergies you could be using for your baby.I took my 3 year old off of her steroid inhaler for her asthma and it is fully under control by way of a vegan diet and herbs now.My best advice is see what you can do differently for yourself about alternative meds.I give both my kids ,especially when they get sick,daily probiotics,garlic(it is great for allergies also)and mullien for congestion.I wish you the best of luck.Once again get educated for yourself.The web has everything you need to know.Trust me I have been through all of what you are saying more than once with my two kids.
Feel free to e-mail me [email protected]____.com

--M.

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L.K.

answers from Dallas on

My 18 month old has been going to a chiropractor for the last 7 months and it has done wonders. My four year old was bringing the colds home to us from preshcool and his would always turn into an ear infection. It just wasn't draining properly. Well after 6 infections and a recommendation for tubes, someone recommended the chiropractor to me. So with some scepticism I said I'd try it for a couple of months, and he hasn't had an ear infection since. Now we just go when he gets a cold, the doctor makes sure everything is still aligned and applies pressure on the sinuses and it drains out. All of the stuff stuck in his head just drains out over the next couple of days. I would say it is worth a try. I was also tired of antibiotics and really wanted to avoid surgery and it works for us.

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

Wow.... you have lots of great suggestions. I also had the same issue with my son. I was told we would have to to the tube route. I choose elevating his crib, chiropractic visits and rice based milk. These were all suggestions by the chiropractor. After months of antibiotics and Zyrtec by the pedi the cure was the what the chiro suggested. I was certainly amazed and felt very blessed to have tried what I thought seemed very odd. Could it be a milk allergy?

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D.W.

answers from Amarillo on

Have your tried seeing a PEDITRITION? Having an allergy does not mean your baby will be on medication. Most often, it is removing the allergins from the babies' environment. A peditrition is a specialist for babies and children. Their bodies do not work the way adults do. I would strongly suggest that you take your baby to one. It can be a simple matter of changing your laundry soap! Best of luck to you and your baby. D.

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J.F.

answers from Dallas on

First did he get a flu shot? all 3 of my kids got sick after thiers. Dr. said it was conicidental but I disagree. Or, the flu shot broke down their immune system. My one year old was sick for 2 months after her flu shot. Ear infections included.

If not that then, I guess I would ask if your baby is breast feeding or on formula. I agree with Karen that dairy (including formula which contains casien, a big allergan) can wreak havoc on babies. Some Dr.'s poo poo this but when I stopped giving milk to my 1 year old a few years ago, her ear infections stopped. My friends with heavy milk drinker kids all have had their kids tonsils out and tubes in and still have issues. They refuse to associate it with milk, one of the biggest allergans. Those same kids suffer with ADHD and hypersensitivity which I believe (and many alternative practitioners do as well, is associated with milk and citrus). My kids dr. even says "milk is the best source of calcium" which may be true but if the swap for calcium is ear infections and medications, then something has to give.
Make sure you don't put baby to bed with a bottle (laying flat for example as that can allow fluid to pool in the ears).

Now since you have a little baby (not a 1 year old or bigger), your issues are different. You may wish to talk to your doctor about soy, if that is an option or possibly goats milk formula (although it does have casien as weel), or try an organic cow's formula which doesn't have all the junk in it (Whole Foods). Soy does have it's own issues as well but it may be worth a try if the ear infections continue (soy is also a big allergan plus, due to it's mild estrogenic effects, may eventually cause breast buds in boys and girls. There are studies done on this).

With regards to allergies, babies typically don't acquire enviromental allergies until they are a bit older, closer to 3 years old according to my pediatrician. So allergies (seasonal or environmental that is) may not be it (casien could be it). And, if associated with a fever, that typically means virus or bacterial infection. Allergies alone won't cause a fever (I could be wrong on that one but it's not my experience).

With respect to antibiotics, you do need to build up his immune system. It is perfectly safe to put a little bit of powdered acidophlis (the good bacteria that gets killed along with the bad guys when one takes antibiotics). You can spike his formula with a bit of it. Find it in fridge section of Whole Foods or Herb Mart (called Primadopholis for children). It is supported by pediatricians. Take it 4 hours AFTER you give antibiotics. This will help rebuild his immune system by replenshing his gut with good bacteria. Talk to your doctor about it first if you are not sure.

Finally, it is cold and flu season so if he is exposed to other people, he will catch stuff which can turn to ear infections. Kids can get virus on top of virus on top of virus....there are so many floating in the air and on surfaces. They can have a cold one day and pick up a different virus/cold immeidately after. Milk/diary formulas can add to that because milk causes mucus in addition to the casien allergy part. More conservative approaches are waiting 10 days before administering antibiotics which some pediatricians follow after a recent study by the pedatrics journal (whatever their policing agent is, I forget).

I personally don't agree with herbal formulas, enemas or collidal silver at that age. Too much of either can effect kidneys and digestive systems. Plus you have the issue of whether the herbs you are getting are standardized and safe for a little baby. A 5 month old is too young (immature digestive systems) in my opinion for that, but I am not an herbalist (I do study nutrition though). So I would really do your homework on that one and maybe take more conservative approaches first. The other gals who have commented in that department may have much better insight than I do. I take a lot of supplements but I would use extreme caution on that one. That's just my personal opinion but again, I don't have personal experience with that one.

My 1 year old drinks almond milk instead of cow's milk and that works for her, no ear infections or anything like that. However, 5 months is too young as there is not enough protein in almond or rice milk.

Document as much as you can and try to detect a pattern. If you don't feel great about your pediatrician's answers, then I would definitely interview other doctors with more open minds. Check around and see and study as much as you can on the internet (knowing that 50% is good, the rest bunk....try Dr. Sears.com and other pediatic sites). Read books on allergans (check out amazon.com for some suggestions and go with your gut).

I hope that helps, I have 3 kids and I practice lots of healthy things...sometimes you just can't avoid some things. Go with your gut as you know your baby better than anyone does. If you don't find the answer, keep on looking. Good luck!

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C.M.

answers from Dallas on

Vaccines break the immune system down and set the child up for many visits to the doctor. Antibiotics destroy the friendly bacteria and again, set your child up for just about every disease we are dealing with today. Vaccines prevent NOTHING except making big Pharma rich. My son's life has been ruined by vaccines. He's 23 and started out just like your child. With many ear infections. He is now disabled and will never go to school or get married or leave my home. Please educate yourself on vaccines. Oprah had a show on autism and the mom's on her show had connected their childs autism to the vaccines. This doesn't surprise me as i've known this for a long time, but to have it on Oprah is HUGE. If vaccines can cause Autism what else might they cause. The effect of the vaccines on the health of the child depends on how healthy or unhealthy the child was before the vaccine was given. We are really playing Russian Roulette with vaccines. My grandchildren will NEVER be vaccinated with ANYTHING. And they are VERY healthy!!! They have never been on ANY legal prescribed drug.

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L.S.

answers from Dallas on

First Time Mom can be a tough go. My first concern is that he's on constant antibiotics, which you need to get him off. You say you're bothered by daily meds, but haven't you been doing that with the antibiotics? It could be allergies, what is he eating? What happened 2 months ago? Did you introduce a new food? Milk?
Try looking into taking him to a natropath or homeopathic doc to get to the root of his congestion. Constant ear infections are hard on both of you. But if you can get this figured out it will be better in the long run.

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E.D.

answers from Dallas on

I have started to take homeopathic remedies (I was a skeptic until I took a remedy for migraines - and it worked better than the prescription medicine)

Go to 1-800homeopathy.com. They have remedies for everything including babies on up to elderly people. Even pregnant or recovering from pregnancy. And even pets! Try them out! It's amazing and not expensive. It's also not medicine (it's like herbal) and non addicting. And you can take it with medicine. Just take my advice and read up on it. It's worth it.

E.

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D.C.

answers from Dallas on

You may want to ask your pediatrician if it could possibly be caused by enlarged adenoids. Enlarged adenoids can cause chronic sinus and ear infections and can only be seen through an x-ray. Our son had his adenoids removed when he was about 18 months of age. He had ear tubes at 10 months which helped with ear infections but then at about 12 months of age, the chronic sinus infections began. An x-ray revealed that his adenoids were chronically infected and enlarged. Once they were removed, his stuffy sound was gone. Adenoids can grow back and our son's did. He had to have them removed again in November of 2007 as they were once again causing chronic infections and apnea. He sleeps and sounds so much better when he is not dealing with the swelling.

Just a thought as this may not be the cause of your child's problems.

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E.

answers from Dallas on

Don't use Vicks or other products that contain Camphor. Dr Isadore Rosenfeld on the Fox News Sunday morning show said that products containing Camphor are highly toxic to children and can cause serious side effects including seizures, gastric problems and more. Also, some pest controls have camphor in them and they should be stopped as well. He said the New York Health Department issued a warning about camphor recently.
So, though it is an old remedy, it isn't safe for children to breathe the vapors, have on their skin or be around. There are other products without the camphor you can use.

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C.P.

answers from Dallas on

DOes he have reflux? Reflux causes congestion in infants.

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K.J.

answers from Dallas on

Have you tried taking him to a Chiropractor? I know it sounds kinda strange and a lot of people are skeptical about them but if you can find one that specializes in Pediatrics/infants they really can be wonderful and just as helpful as your pediatrician with out all the medications. I have been taking my son to one since he was born and he is 7 months old and hasn't been sick yet. Believe it or not alignment can have so much to do with the ear drainage and congestion. I go to Erin Stark, DC and she is great! I went to her for my prenatal treatments as well. She has the special certification and really knows what she is doing and she loves pregnant ladies and babies!

She is located at the corner of Preston and Beltline and her phone number is: ###-###-####. She is on a lot of insurance plans too!

good luck!

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C.M.

answers from Dallas on

My son had the same problem.. I didnt think we would ever get him well. Our problem was that our doctor wouldnt give him anything to take care of the problem b/c of all the fuss about giving kids under 6 months medication. So, after getting fed up we took him to another pedi. they put him on a 14 day schedule of breathing treatments and OH MY ! After just a few treatments it was like night and day. We had him doing Xopenex and pulmicort. Just a suggestion... but I am telling you it rocked! Then on top of that there is this thing that reminds me of those suction cups you use to flip inside out when you were a kid and then when they popped out they would go flying in the air.. it looks like that but bigger and you can pat them on the back with it (or you can just cup your hand) and it releases all the gunk off of their lungs. If you have any other questions.. PLEASE feel free to ask.. Im just letting you know this was a blessing for me! (suggestion.. they tell you to not let them have a pacifier while they are taking the treatment.. but I let my son keep his in.. and it worked fine) Good Luck..

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K.A.

answers from Dallas on

We have been using Baby Vicks on my six month old and my four year old, and it really seems to help them sleep better. It is made by Vicks, but it does not have the methol that is in Vicks Vapor Rub (recommended for ages six and up).

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M.S.

answers from Dallas on

I also say a chiropracter. They do so much without the use of drugs.

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J.M.

answers from Dallas on

My son went through this, and we finally got tubes in his ears. What a difference. It was wonderful. A big decision, so talk to your doctor.

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A.D.

answers from Tyler on

I have found that Wally's Ear Ointment treats an ear infection better than anything eles, and it is all natural. I get it at the health food store. Hope your baby feels better soon. It is tough having a sick child!

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K.S.

answers from Dallas on

If you want to go a more natural route, you could drop the antibiotics (with permission from your doctor, of course) and start on quality probiotics from Whole Foods, Shaklee, or another reputable company. The antibiotics do not only kill bad stuff, but they also kill good bacteria too! If the antibiotics are not working, maybe the good bacteria will overcome it. Just a thought.
~K.

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B.H.

answers from Tyler on

I went through exactly what you are dealing with in my now 31 year old son. As it turned out, he had massive childhood allergies. In fact, he was allergic to almost everything they tested. We opted for allergy shots, which I learned to administer, rotational food diet and permanent tubes in his ears. While this sounds drastic, it changed everything! By the time he turned 5, most of the allergies had been eliminated and tubes were removed. Although he still has seasonal allergies, they are all treatable with OTC meds. Once we started the shots and diet regimen, the symptoms went away and we had a much happier and healthier childhood.

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K.R.

answers from Dallas on

If it is allergies, you may need to get used to daily medicine. Check with your doctor regarding putting him on a prescription or otc med for allergies. Because of the recurrent ear infections, you should also request that your doctor refer you to an ear/nose/throat specialist. Your son may require ear tubes. Your son's congestion and ear fluid may just not be dissapating on its own. Antibiotics clear up the infection, but if the fluid never goes away, you end up with "sterile" fluid in his ears that can flare up again with an infection at any time. That was our problem - My 2 year old just had tubes inserted last fall. No more ear infections and no more antibiotics!

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T.D.

answers from Dallas on

S.,

I had the same problems with my son when he was an infant. This was several years ago, but he had constant congestion, ear infections, fever. He was constantly on antibiotics and breathing treatments to the point even these were not working. After several months he also started developing tonsilitis. I did not know what to do. I took him to an ear, nose, and throat specialist and he suggested to take his adnoids, and tonils out and to put tubes in his ears. I was a little concerned and worried about having all of this done at the same time but he assured me that this would correct the problems he was having. I went ahead and scheduled the surgery. The surgery went great and after several weeks of healing time, my son has not been sick since. This is an outpatient surgery and has cured all of his problems. He hasn't even had a cold in years. This was the best thing I could have done for him. He is now a happy healthy child with a perfect bill of health.

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J.F.

answers from Dallas on

Hi S.,
When my son was six months old, my son had the same symtoms. For six months we battled ear infections and congestion. His doctor said this was normal but something told me their was more. We tested him for food allergies, and sure enough he had food allergies. After we removed dairy from his diet, he has not had an ear infection in six months. I know this is not easy, good luck, and if you need more information please let me know.

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S.V.

answers from Dallas on

you may have already heard this, but we had the same problem, and my son's ear infections were antibiotic resistant. after being at the end of our rope, we tried taking him to a chiropractor, and he was better within the day! I would have never believed it, but apparently the C1 vertebrae gets out of alignment and the tissue around it swells, blocking the eustation tubes. he hasn't had another infection since, and he gets adjusted once or twice a month. hope this helps.

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S.K.

answers from Dallas on

HI!
when my son was sick (he's 9 months right now) i used Vicks waterless vaporizers...worked GREAT...cheap and you can get them at wal-mart....the really seemed to open him up. Also, i used wally's ear oil, you can get this at a health food place like Abundant life. It's a mixture of garlic,tea tree,almond,echinacea,eucalyptus and mullein oils. WORKS GREAT....i just put a little on a cotten ball and stuck that in my baby's ear 2-3x a day(at night works best since he's was asleep). I am not fond of dosing my baby up so i try my best to find natural remedies. you might try finding a pro-biotic at Sprouts/whole foods as well. Have you tried using baby rub? I also used this, seems to help, used it at night on his back, chest and neck. Good luck,i know a sick baby is extra work and extra exhausting!!

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R.H.

answers from Dallas on

S.,

The CAUSE of the congestion is what needs to be found. I understand using antibiotics to treat the ear infections, but if the congestion is causing the recurrent ear infections, it's just creating a viscous cycle of constant antibiotic therapy until the cause of the congestion is stopped. I do not want to knock your pediatrician in any way, but maybe it's time for another pediatricians opinion. I was a health care professional before becoming a SAHM. During my years in health care, I saw how different each Pediatricians approach is, never saw two treat alike. I do know that constant antibiotic therapy at such a young age can cause resistance issues later on. You really are using a good line of therapy for dealing with the congestion at his age, but how to stop it needs to be looked into. Also be very careful applying any product that contains camphor directly to the baby's skin, there are studies that show it caused seizures under the age of 1yr, a small number, but still did. I have gotten wonderful advice from other mothers, but I always double check it first my peditrician. I may have been in health care but did not train in peds, so I always default to his opinion. Just remember under 1yr, their little baby systems are new & sensitive to any thing they ingest or absorb through the skin. Good Luck, I hope you find an answer and that your DS gets to feeling better. Allergy medication helped my DD with her allergies last year.

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A.J.

answers from Dallas on

For constant ear infections, Ear tubes work great. SOme babies ears done drain properely and need the tube to assist that. It takes just 5 minutes and we have not had a problem with our sons tubes.

As far as the allergies go. It may be a milk allergy. Milk and dairy products tend to thicken the mucus and can make allergy symptoms worse or you could have a milk allergy going on...

Also, with the weather being so hot/cold here the allergens in the air are tough rignt now.

Get a great vaccume like a dyson and vaccume often and wash curtains. Also make sure yo uwash sheets at LEAST once a week in hot water to kill dust mites. get rid of old pillows and old matresses.

A queen size matress will nearly double its weight in just 10 years from dust mites and their fecal matter. (YUCK)

Many illnesses like Asthma and auto immune diseases are caused by or aggrivated by simple house hold allergens.
Toxic cleanning products and household dirt are worse than the air outside for our lungs.

I have switched my entire house to Shaklee Cleaning products. "as senn on Oprah's favorite things" I have been real happy with them. I am not interested in selling anything but my distributors website is www.shaklee.net/grapevineschmidts and www.shaklee.net/grapevineschmidts/getclean

Thes products are perfect and all natural they dont have oders and are Eco friendly "GREEN"
good luck!
A.

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I.B.

answers from Dallas on

I had a very similar problem with my son up to about 4 yeaars old. My family doctor recommended I get Rescon GG from the drug store and give a teaspoon a day to my son to keep everything loose and flowing. It did wonders for us and kept us away from infections, congestion and ultimately the possibilty of tubes. You can get Rescon OTC but you need to ask the pharmacist for it. You should probably check it out with your childs doc in case there are any other concerns. Rescon is alcohol free. Wish you luck

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J.D.

answers from Dallas on

We had the same thing and it got to the point that he was going to build up a resistance to antibiotics. We had tubes put in and it all stopped. It was scary to have "surgery" but it's so common that the docs who do it have done a jillion of them. It was worth it. We didn't want him having a resistance to antibiotics if there was ever something huge he needed it for in the future. J.

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K.M.

answers from Jackson on

have you ever thought about going to the chiropractor?
the is is the web site you can look into. www.icpa4kids.com.
a short description of the benefits of chiropractic care is...... a child experiences subluxation, or misalignment of the spine, which occurs during the birth process, whether it be natural or other, which in turn causes the spine to come out of line, putting pressure on the nerves, which causes alot of problems in many areas of the body.
if you look into it find a dr. that is concerned with corrective care.not pain management

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D.R.

answers from Dallas on

You might want to have his Dr. check him for allergies. My youngest has chronic ear infections and it is related to her allergies. Just a thought.

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A.J.

answers from Dallas on

If you can find it, vicks cherry chest rub on the chest and feet has always been great for me. One thing though, make sure that he does not lay down to drink the bottle as this causes fluid to back up in his ear. One of our gr daughters started this at 5 months. At 7 months, she was at our house for a week. I started undershirts and socks at all times. Lots of water and apple juice and propped her up on pillows to sleep. If I took her out her ears and face were covered and protected from wind at all times. In 3 days she was better. In 5 days she was clear.

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C.A.

answers from Dallas on

Hey S., it could be a few things...allergies present this way sometimes...my son needed a blood test & it turned out he was allergic to eggs. Also, we saw an ENT...he may need his adenoids out or tubes in his ears to drain the fluid...it sounds like a lot but it can be exactly what they need...best wishes, C.

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E.M.

answers from Dallas on

Hi S., one question: Has your Pedi taken a swap test from your baby's throat? Is this a bacterial or a viral infection? (pls. read below). I’m sure you realize; to treat symptoms produces temporarily relief, but it doesn't get rid of the cause. The following is working for me. Disinfect the humidifier regularly with vinegar. Feed baby with breast milk instead of formula. Take regular (daily?) walks outside to get fresh air into your body's system. Use a vacuum cleaner with a good filter system and vacuum/dust your house at least every 5 to 7 days. Use as little chemical sprays/cleaners as possible. (dilute white vinegar with water, fill into a pump spray bottle and use this to clean the baby room/ kitchen/bathrooms/mirrors. This and lemon juice is an excellent natural cleaner and disinfectant. Vinegar also softens and disinfects the laundry. Change your a/c filter more often or at least after each time a family member has been sick with a heavy cold. During the liquid feed, raise your baby's head high enough, so the fluid will run down the feeding tube and not into his ear canal. Eat healthy (lots of raw fresh fruits and veggies). You can steam (not cook)veggies in a steamer without getting veggies in contact with water (tastes much better and preserves the nutrients). To lower fever that is too high, use wet cool wraps on baby's fore head and around legs. I goggled the following information for you. I hope it helps. http://www.brandonrha.mb.ca/export/sites/brandonrha/galle... "Fever may help your child fight an illness. This is a rough guide: "a temperature between 99.8 - 100.8 Deg F is considered a low-grade fever; between 101 - 102 Deg F a mild fever; between 102 - 103 Deg F a moderate fever." http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/common/infec... "Antibiotics only work against infections caused by bacteria. They don't work against any infections caused by viruses. Viruses cause colds, the flu, and most coughs and sore throats."
http://www.itonsil.com/tonsils_tonsillitis.html
"Tonsils act as part of the body's immune system to filter germs, bacteria and viruses when they enter the body through the nose and mouth." Consider: when the tonsils are removed, one of an important body filter is removed. "To determine what is causing your tonsil or throat infection, the doctor will take a small sample of fluid from the back of your throat with a gentle swab. A quick test can indicate if strep bacteria are present, or if the infection is due to a virus.

If the test for strep throat is negative, your doctor may want to confirm this result by performing a 24-hour culture. In this test, your doctor will place a small sample of fluid from the back of your throat on a culture dish and leave it for 24 hours. If you have strep throat, the strep bacteria will usually grow on the culture dish within 24 hours." I pray your baby will be well soon. Any other questions? - send me an e-mail. E.

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S.W.

answers from Dallas on

My grandson who is now 4 years old has been congested since birth. He quite literally had not had a single day where he was not... until now. My daughter took him to an allergy doctor who pronounced allergies to food as the culprit. (He is also allergic to pets, dust, and mold.) A kinesiologist is helping him immensely, too. Is your son beginning to eat solid food? Perhaps allergies is the reason.

A little about me:
Mother to five biological children and five adopted kids, and grandmother to nine.

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J.C.

answers from Dallas on

I second pediatric chiropractor. Also probiotics will help counteract the bad effects of antibiotics. It has many other good benifits as well.

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C.P.

answers from Dallas on

My mom has a natural remedy for the congestion which you can give to small ones also. She takes a whole lemon, 1 tsp honey and some grated ginger(about 2 tablespoons). Heat up and give by mouth. For adults the whole amount sipped till you finish, children a couple of teaspons. Ginger is a little spicy but two teaspons is not too much.

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D.C.

answers from Dallas on

Had the exact same problem. Let me say this re-think the humidifier. You get a lot of bacteria build up in the filter. We everything else. We also did a daily routine of zyrtec early & singular when he got older. If it is truly allergies, it will help and do not be concerned about the daily regimine. He will probably grow out of it. Talk to your doctor about Rescon GG it is a eustachian tube decongestant. yes, it is a medicine, but it concentrates on the ears and that may help.

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R.B.

answers from Dallas on

Hi S.,
My husband is a retired Naturopath. If you are not familiar with that term it is a doctor who treats with natural remedies instead of prescription drugs. My husband used to have life threatening allergies and asthma. About seven years ago he heard of a natural molecule called transfer factor. He did his research on it and decided to give it a try. This helps with the cause of problems instead of just treating symptoms.It worked so well he's been recommeding it to his patients and clients ever since. There is also a form that doctors use for newborn babies. You can check it out at www.clive.my4life.com or email me at [email protected]____.com

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H.L.

answers from Dallas on

Hey S., I am an MA for an ENT, and I see this all the time. It can be many things that are causing this congestion. You should ask your PCP to refer you to an ENT specialist, Adenoids or allergies can be a factor, and with the constant ear infections he might need ear tubes. 2 months is too long for this. Talk to your PCP.

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E.C.

answers from Dallas on

Hi S.,
While you are in the process of finding out what is causing the congestion, a few more suggestions to try to help alleviate some of the discomfort is to elevate one end of the crib so your little one is sleeping on an incline as well as using Vicks Baby Rub on the bottoms of the feet at night while he sleeps. Both of these worked WONDERS for my little one, who is constantly catching colds because of daycare, and each cold can last up to 10 days. An easy way to elevate one end of the crib mattress is to place thick towels under the matress and then use an infant positioner to hold your little one in place. Also, make sure your humidifier is a "cool mist" one. I had the regular kind that required cleaning almost every day to remove any mold build up and once I switched to a "cool mist" one my little one slept much better! And as crazy at the Vicks on the bottom of the feet sounds, it really works. :)
Good luck!

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W.H.

answers from Dallas on

Just a thought...if your son is on milk based formula he may be allergic to it. You could try Soy formula to see if his congestion clears up. Ask your doctor what he thinks. W. H

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C.D.

answers from Dallas on

Discuss Singulair with your pediatrician. Yes, it's an everyday med but it's very safe and side-effect free generally. Our 6-yr-old has been on Sing since she was 2. There has been a small study done that even suggests that children on Singular tend to have a stronger immune system with fewer colds and viruses, which was interesting for us to hear b/c our 6-yr-old is amazingly healthy, rarely catching colds and never catching viruses (knock on wood). ( : Singualair has dosages for 6-month-olds. Singulair's been wonderful for us but I definitely understand your hesitation with meds. See what your ped says.

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M.H.

answers from Dallas on

Goodness! A lot of advice. You are doing a good job of being proactive and informed. Never forget you know your child the best!

Here is my 2 cents. I am a mom of three and a former RN. My pediatrician is very good but my son didn't see improvement for similar issues until we visited an ENT for his perspective. I wished I had taken him earlier. By the time he was 2 I am convinced it is what delayed his speech.

Not all pedis or ENTs think alike but is it good to get a second opinion. Some ENTs specialize in allergies as well so you can get a good perspective. I love Dr. Kirkham at Medical City in Dallas ###-###-####. I found him to be cautious and thorough. It may be that you are working with allergies and a small eustachian tube which just increases your chance of infection. Find an ENT that will test hearing and the eardrums flexibility (tympanogram sp?). It tests to see how viscous the fluid is on the ears if it exists.

Just like someone else said, it doesn't matter what started the mucous(allergies, virus), once it is there and becomes thick and stuck it is just a breeding ground for bacteria. A viral infection can turn into a secondary bacterial infection.

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P.N.

answers from Dallas on

My youngest daughter is 10 and had 12 ear infections as an infant, hearing loss, speach delay, etc. She had two sets up tubes. I am a firm believer in using vaporizers NOT humidifiers. Humidifiers moisten the air but the water does not evaporate all the way and can cause mold and other allergens to thrive. Vaporizers are cheaper, and balance out the dry air as the water evaporates. Dry air from heat or a/c cause the body to produce more mucous to lubricate the sinuses. If your son's inner ear canals are prone to harbor bacteria (sometimes even the shape of the canals can cause predisposition to infections), then that extra mucous can be a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Make sure he is not sleeping directly in the path of an air vent or fan. I am tempted to say close the vent completely in his room and just leave the door open if it is really cold or hot outside. Also, whenever your pediatrician allows him to take a form of an expectorant (like the yellow triaminic), do so. Expectorants are "mucous thinners". They keep the mucouse clear and moving freely so it doesn't back up in the inner ear and chest. It is very possibly allergies that initially trigger the reactions. My daughter sleeps with a vaporizer in her room every night, and so do I. We throw them away every few months and get new ones. Walgreens usually will have their brand (made by Sunbeam) on sale for about $9.99.

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L.L.

answers from Dallas on

Have you had him tested for allergies? Allergies may be causing his chronic congestion and all the drainage is whats leading to the ear infections. Zyrtec is really good for allergies. My son has been on it since he was about 6 months old. He was on a prescription, but now it is offered over the counter.
There is another medicine, to help with eustacean tube drainage that you can buy over the counter. You have to ask the pharmacist for it. I cant remember the name of it but its a white bottle with red letters, with a picture of an eustacean tube on it. That helps dry up the drainage to preven ear infections.
Baby Vicks Vapo Rub is good too. Its got eucolyptus and rosemary. Dab a tiny bit UNDER his nose and rub some on his chest before bed to help open his sinuses and help him breath at night. Elevate the head of his bed so he's not laying flat (put a 2x4 under the feet of the head of his bed, or put a foam wedge UNDER his matress to elevate the head. That will help with the drainage too.
Here's some info on allergic rhinitis...
http://www.emedicine.com/med/topic104.htm

I hope this helps. I have 3 kids and we've suffered with allergies, this has always worked for us.

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D.F.

answers from Dallas on

Have you asked your doctor about brething treatments? My daughter had very similar things happen when she was really young and they put her on breathing treatments and they helped her more than anything else did. Now she has it just when she needs it which may be once or twice a year.

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J.C.

answers from Dallas on

Try Original Limu. It works with the immune system to get it where it needs to be. It is a food not a medicine and the main ingrediant of the sea plant is called fucoidan and it has over 700 studies done on www.pubmed.org (national library of medicine). Great tasting health food in a bottle.
Great for babies, pregnant women, middle aged and mature adults as well. It has not been known to interfere with medicines. My 2 year old grandson drinks it pretty regularly and has not had an ear infection since he started and has not had anything more than a drippy nose now and then.
Check www.discoverlimu.com/jcarden and Let me know if I can send you more information.
J. C

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L.T.

answers from Dallas on

I know you have had alot of suggestions, mostly concerning allergies. My son who is now 3 was sick chronically as an infant. My pedi said that they do not develop allergies until 6 mo. Anyway, his congestion would lead to sinus and ear infections, bronchiolitis and sometimes into pneumonia. The only time he was ever well was when he was on antibiotics. To make a long story short what he had was reflux. When they reflux, it comes up and gets in their nasal passages and sits there. It irritates these sensitive passages and it gets infected, also when they reflux it can get into their lungs. Anyway, I was just trying to give you something else to consider. The best thing we did was found an immunologist/allergist who would not give up until he found an answer. The best thing he did for us was to do what your new pedi is doing, to put you on a daily medicine. Ours was a low grade antibiotic 1x a day that he would not become immune to and a decongestant 2 x's a day. He kept him on it until well into the summer months so he wouldn't be catching any colds. That way it let his immune system have time to get back to square one and to strengthen from there.
I just wanted to point this out because alot of babies have reflux to some degree. It just took a lot of time and needless suffering to find it for us.

I hope you find an answer and that your sweet baby boy feels better soon. I know how hard it is to watch your baby suffer and not be able to do enough to help him. God bless.

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C.P.

answers from Dallas on

Hello S.,

Sorry to hear your baby has been sick for so long.

have you considered any allergies?
milk formula, laundry degergent, baby soap, house cleaning products, air fresheners, candles, body soap, shampoo, conditioner, mold, etc.

if you're breastfeeding: stop milk products. drink anise seed tea -- good for the tummy and expectorant. also, you should take some acidofilus and/or other combinations to boost the friendly bacteria in your gut -- since he's been on antibiotics so much.

could he be allergic to latex? and everytime you take him to the doctor the cycle starts again? I had a similar issue w/ my daughter. not as bad, but it turned out to be she's allergic to latex and it started w/ congestion, ear infections, etc. It took me more than a year to figure out. my suggestion is to question EVERY THING your son comes in contact with. (even pacifiers, those chewing things for theething gums) --check the humidifier for mold

air out the house, try not to use heavy chemicals for cleaning. a 1/2 alcohol 1/2 water in a spray bottle will clean a lot of things: sinks, toilets, counters, mirrors, glass tables, door handles, etc. spray it on a paper towel and light switches, microwave/fridge handle.

By the way, if you have the slightest idea that something is causing/triggering/making worse your son's congestion.... then you're probably right. let me tell you another short story: I kept telling the pediatrician that my son's sinus congestion/infections were triggered by milk. the Doctor kept saying that it was just allergies. after a few rounds of antibiotics and lots of decongestant/antihistamine I took my son of milk products (very hard to do) and now he gets the ocassional cold. but we're not at the doctors office every other week. now I let him have milk products 2 - 3 times/week and he'll need his allergy meds from time to time. Now a 23-day prescription can last him almost 4 months! =)

~~~essential oils kill germs in the air. ~~~

NOTE: DO NOT PUT ESSENTIAL OILS DIRECTLY ON BABY SKIN!!
~~~~this would be more for diffusing in air when the baby is NOT in the room~~

Here are some links that may be helpful.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8960522012496686774

note: I guessed some the spelling of these oils =)

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8479435537623601064

cypress --cough, edema (soak your ankles and feet w/ cypress & epson salt) bronchitis, calming --very powerful against bronchitis!!!

cedarwood atlas
cough, calmin, anti-inflamatory, bronchitis, antibacterial, good for skin - renewing skin

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6305768170638733228

info from the videos:
eucalyptus smithy -- safe for 2yrs and older -- smells like valerian. great preventative. kills airborn cold and flu viruses

eucalyptus globulus - most popular - antiviral, antibacterial. too powerful - NOT FOR KIDS, not for frail/elderly people.

eucalyptus radiata - good expectorant. pulls things out of skin... like splinters, etc.

eucalyptus citradora (eucalyptus lemon) it is not 2 oils mixed! very powerful antimicrobial
very good bug repellant. very powerful antiviral/antibacterial.

good luck and let me know how it goes.

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E.B.

answers from Tyler on

S., My daughter also seems to have been sick for months on end now. Just when she finishes her antibiotic she gets sick almost immediately again. Congestion, cough, and often ear infections. She is almost 20 months now. We think it may be allergies also. Our pediatrician recommended an allergy doctor to us and we have set up an appointment. We hope to find out if it is something we are feeding her that just causes enough reaction to make her conjested, outdoor allergies, or maybe she is allergic to our indoor dog. ??

Beth B.

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T.R.

answers from Dallas on

Keep in contact with your doctor. It may be that tubes are needed. Allergies can cause this, but I don't know if exposing kids to the allergens helps or hurts.

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I.T.

answers from Dallas on

My son is 6 years old and is going threw the same thing. Ear Infections,congestion,cough. His DR has put him on antibotics for 1 month. He say if that doesn't clear his ear infections he might need tubes in his ears. I have tried a lot of what you tried. also putting Vicks on his chest. It helps a little but not much. Steam baths etc.
Dr says it's just Allergies. And that this year it has hit people pretty strong. I would suggest for you to talk with your DR and see what else you could offer your child. Maybe something from a Natural food store? As I'm going to do the same. Sorry I wasn't much help. I hope your child gets to feeling better soon.

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D.S.

answers from Dallas on

S.,

My daughter, when she was an infant suffered from severe allergies. When she turned one month, that was when it all started. Until she was 7 months old we suffered terribly. She was conjested all the time and if the weather changed, whether we were in or out, she would get worse. Like you she had several ear infections and the medicines were not working and I started getting worried about how much medicine she was getting. For 6 months, 24 hours a day, we would sleep an hour and be up an hour. We could not get a good 8 hours sleep because she would start choking on mucus. I had had enough and was at my wits end.

A friend of mine said put her on vitamins. I said she is. They were some the doctor recommended. Then I found out that not all vitamins are alike. I started using 100% natural vitamins and crushing them in her food. I was so impressed with the improvement I started selling them.
Within the first week she had no more runny nose and we were getting more rest. My family was so inmpressed that they started using them. Check them out on my website. I used the Alfalfa, and the Childrens chewable C. I crushed them amd put them in her food and they worked. Her is my website if you are interested. www.shaklee.net/livetoinspire

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J.G.

answers from Dallas on

It sounds like it might be allergies. Check with your Dr. My first was sick at his 2 week check up. I felt like a loser Mom. I had an old fashion pedi, who kept him on Antibotics. I missed a ton of work, first set of tubes at 14 months. He stopped talking and no one could understand him. I started working in a Dr.s office and he suggested allergies. We gave him a small amount of an allergy med at bedtime and he has had a few more ear infections, but once I learned the signs, he was a totally different kid. Good luck, I understand the frustration. Sometimes a little meds is better for the kid.

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T.W.

answers from Dallas on

Do you have animals? My oldest was sick like that also and we had two furry dogs in the house. Turns out he is very allergic to pet dander and as soon as we moved the dogs outside, he got better. Cat dander is even worse for him... he has asthma attacks around them.

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J.F.

answers from Dallas on

i have raised 3 sons and they are 31 24 & 22. My late mother in law had me get honey from honey bees from the area wherer we lived and put a drop or two in thier formula. The pollen the bees collect is around and in the air that is around you...it worked. My eldest son was just a little older then yours and they wanted me to give him Allergy shots once a week. But i tried what my mother in law sd and it work...the boys was hardly ever sick...i even gave them a teaspoon ever other day when they got older during the spring and fall

Hope this might help you

J. F soon to be a 1st time grandma

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