Skip to main content

Treating congestion in babies

    Treating congestion in babies
   

How do you treat congestion in babies? I'm Dr. Alan Greene and particularly when over-the-counter decongestants became clear they're not good for babies, parents have been wondering all the more how do you deal with it then? There are a few things. First of all, there's the bulb syringe which you probably went home from the hospital with. And it actually can be effective at helping to pull some of the mucous out - some of the viral load out as well of the nose. They're very easy to use. The trick is you just squeeze everything as much air as you can out of the bulb syringe to start, then gently push it as far as it will go up into the nose and release. Then it will pull both virus and mucous out. You can get more out if you put a few drops of saline nose drops in first. That'll help make it more difficult for the virus to reproduce. It'll help loosen things up so you can pull more out. They can act a bit as a natural decongestant as well. Do the nasal drops, wait maybe 10 minutes, and then do the bulb syringe.

Other things that help - gravity can be your friend. All of us tend to be more congested when we're lying flat when our head is about the same level as our heart. And that's even more true for babies. They're more responsive to gravity. So if you're holding the baby upright against your shoulder with their head above their heart, they will naturally and quickly be less congested.

Another thing that can be very helpful is a vaporizer. And the way that works a vaporizer humidifier by putting extra moisture in the air will help to thin the mucous so the mucous will draw that extra moisture in and will be thinner and easier to get out either by the bulb syringe, by sneezing, or just the baby's own mechanisms. So there are gentle and natural ways you can help relieve congestion in your young baby.

Review Date:2/18/2016
Reviewed By:Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

adam.com

The Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) and this website do not claim the information on, or referred to by, this site is error free. This site may include links to websites of other government agencies or private groups. Our Agency and this website do not control such sites and are not responsible for their content. Reference to or links to any other group, product, service, or information does not mean our Agency or this website approves of that group, product, service, or information.

Additionally, while health information provided through this website may be a valuable resource for the public, it is not designed to offer medical advice. Talk with your doctor about medical care questions you may have.

 
We Appreciate Your Feedback!
1. Did you find this information useful?
         Yes
         No
2. Would you recommend this website to family and friends?
         Yes
         No