Nasal Congestion In Babies: Top Three Tips To Getting Your Baby Breathing Easy Again
Dr. Steve Goudy (Pediatric ENT)
Babies get colds and congestion a lot during the first few years of life. Colds can occur 6-10 times a year, and maybe more if they are in childcare. Since babies have to breathe primarily through their nose for the first year of life, when they do get a cold it will make their breathing more difficult. Nasal congestion and drainage are often the first signs of a cold, and this can last for 6-10 days.
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Feeding with colds can be especially tough. Since babies have to breathe through their nose primarily, significant nasal congestion can limit the amount of oral intake and impact their ability to sleep. The best way to ensure adequate oral intake (and hopefully sleep!) is to use saline in their nose and suction their nose well, just before feeding them. With a clear nasal passage, they can eat better and sleep better too!
If your baby is breathing fast, is acting lethargic, or using extra muscles (nasal flaring, pulling in above or below the chest) you need to see your pediatrician right away.
One of the best ways to prevent your baby from getting a cold is to wash hands (including big brother/sister) and avoid people kissing your baby (at least for the first few months of life).
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