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Is your little one sniffling and snorting thanks to a stuffy nose? Baby congestion is no fun for anyone! But sooner or later, your sweet baby is likely to come down with some sort of runny nose or cold, just like you do as an adult!

In this article, Babo Botanicals helps you care for your baby by telling you symptoms of congestion, what might be causing it, and eight tips for relieving their stuffy nose.

Let’s start with what congestion actually is and what can cause it.

What Is Baby Congestion And What Causes It?

While the word “congestion” sometimes refers to coughing and chest congestion, in this article we’re focusing on nasal congestion, which is what most people simply call a “stuffy nose.”

Congestion is just a fancy word for extra mucus in the airways (like the nose). The increased production of mucus that causes congestion is a result of the body’s protective mechanism to trap and get rid of irritants.

That’s great and all, but sometimes it can seem as though the body gets a bit carried away in the mucus-production department!

Dad wiping his baby's nose

Just as with adults, a baby’s stuffy nose can be the result of a virus (like the common cold or the flu), air pollutants or irritation, dry air, or irritating perfumes, scents, or chemicals.

Since your little one can’t verbally communicate with you, how can you know if your baby is congested? Let’s take a look at the symptoms.

Symptoms Of Baby Congestion

Your typical runny nose or yucky snot are two of the main signs that your baby is congested. But in addition to those unmistakable symptoms, there are a few other ways your baby’s congestion might show itself.

If your baby’s nose is stuffy, they may breathe more noisily than usual while they snooze, or even snore. You might also notice that your little one has a hard time breastfeeding since they can’t breathe through their nose! Coughing can be another symptom.

Lastly, your little one might just be a bit grumpy while they’re fighting off a cold and a stuffy nose. We can’t blame them. A cold sometimes makes us grumpy, too!

mom comforting baby with congestion

Tips And Tricks To Relieve Your Baby’s Congestion

Now you know where your baby’s stuffy nose comes from and what some of the typical symptoms are. You’re probably wondering how you can help your baby feel better ASAP!

The good news is that baby congestion due to a cold is pretty common. If it’s mild, doesn’t last too long, and your baby is well otherwise, there’s not much cause for concern.

Just remember: take your baby to the doctor if they don’t improve or if they have trouble breathing, aren’t wetting enough diapers, or have a fever.

Additionally, for babies under three months old, it’s best to go ahead and call your pediatrician if you notice a cold or stuffy nose.

doctor checking baby 's congestion

Otherwise, your job while your baby is getting over their cold is simply to do what you can to relieve congestion and keep them comfortable. We’ve got tips and tricks for exactly that!

As we mentioned, congestion can also be due to irritants such as dry air, chemicals, and perfume. We’ll tell you a couple of ways to deal with that as well.

Now, let’s get straight to what you can do to make your baby more comfortable and help relieve their stuffy nose!

1) Run A Humidifier

Dry air is no help when it comes to congestion. Add moisture to the air by using a humidifier. This can help to loosen your baby’s congestion and give the added benefit of relieving dry skin!

Use a humidifier in your baby’s nursery or run it throughout the whole house.

2) Sit In A Steamy Bathroom

While we think everyone needs to have a humidifier on hand, in a pinch you can create your own humidifier by running a steaming-hot shower.

Then sit in the bathroom with your little one for a bit. Ahh — deep breath!

3) Give Your Baby A Warm Bath

baby taking a bath

Just like a humidifier or a steamy bathroom can help your baby’s congestion, giving your little one a warm bath can also help! Just remember that a baby’s bathwater should never be too hot. Keep it no higher than 100°F.

Another pro of bathing your little one when they have a cold? If your baby likes bath time, it might be just what you need to keep your baby happy and distracted for a little while!

Make bath time both fun and beneficial with Babo Botanicals’s Moisturizing Baby Bubble Bath & Wash. Made with oatmilk and organic calendula, this bubble bath and wash makes for an enjoyable bath time while helping relieve eczema and soothe dry skin.

Babo Moisturizing Bubble Bath and Wash

4) Use Saline Drops

A great way to loosen and remove your baby’s mucus is by using saline drops in their nose.

The saline drops you should use for your little one are only saltwater — stay away from medicated saline drops. Check with your pediatrician if you’re unsure about what’s safe to use.

To remove mucus, you’ll want to put a few drops of saline in your baby’s nose and then use a bulb syringe to remove the mucus. That brings us to our next point.

5) Suction Your Baby’s Nose With A Bulb Syringe

Babies can’t blow their noses yet, so you’ll have to help them out a bit — that’s where a bulb syringe comes in handy.

To help your baby get the boogies and mucus out of their nose, first squeeze the air out of the bulb syringe and keep squeezing. Then gently and carefully insert the tip ¼ or ½ inch into one nostril.

While the tip is still in their nose, release the bulb so that it sucks mucus out, then remove it from their nose. Squeeze the mucus in the bulb syringe into a tissue before repeating the same steps on your baby’s other nostril.

Don’t forget to clean your bulb syringe afterward!

Parent clearing baby's congestion

6) Give Your Baby A Face Massage

Everyone loves a nice, relaxing massage, right? It turns out your baby probably does, too.

When your baby has a stuffy nose, a face massage can help loosen mucus and clear their sinuses. Plus, your little one may also find it soothing!

Use your fingertips to gently massage not only their nose but also their eyebrows, temples, and cheekbones.

7) Let Your Baby Sip On Warm Juice

Just like you enjoy a warm drink (like hot tea) when you have a cold, your baby might enjoy and benefit from a cup of warm juice.

Just keep in mind that if your baby is under six months old, they shouldn’t drink anything except breastmilk or formula.

But if your little one is older than six months and knows how to sip from a sippy cup, try offering them warm apple juice. Don’t forget to test the juice first to make sure it’s not too hot!

8) Improve Air Quality

There’s not much you can do about the outside air quality if you live in a polluted city, but there are things you can do to improve the air quality inside your home, which is where your baby spends most of their time!

Several things can irritate your baby’s respiratory tract or cause congestion — cleaning products full of chemicals, scents and perfumes, and smoke, just to name a few.

To improve indoor air quality, quit smoking and don’t light candles for the time being. It’s also a good idea to look for chemical-free alternatives for your everyday cleaning products.

toddler sitting with Babo Sensitive Baby products

Another way to reduce irritants in your baby’s life is to use fragrance-free  shampoos, lotions, and the like. Babo Botanicals’s fragrance-free products are great for scent-sensitive babies (and adults!), and they’re easy on sensitive, dry, or eczema-prone skin.

Give Your Baby Extra TLC!

mom holding baby

When your baby has a sniffle, cold, or stuffy nose, making them comfortable and doing what you can to relieve their congestion is the name of the game.

And showering them with some extra hugs and kisses is part of that. Never underestimate the power of a little extra TLC!

Don’t wait to stock up on fragrance-free products, like Babo Botanicals’s Sensitive Baby Shampoo & Wash. Then help ease baby congestion by following the tips and tricks we’ve listed above.

Your little one will be back to their babbling, smiling self in no time!