Nasal Blockage in Newborn / Babies

Nasal Blockage in Newborn / Babies

How to Treat Nasal Blockage in Newborn / Baby

What do you do when your newborn baby is struggling to breathe because he or she has catarrh and cough or both nostrils are blocked? First, as a mother, you are the one feeling the pains of whatever is happening to your newborn. Someone like me will never sleep. I will constantly check to see if he is still breathing. Here is How to Treat Nasal Blockage in Newborn / Baby.

Nasal blockage in newborns could be a worrying situation for mothers as no one loves to see their lil ones going through that respiratory discomfort. However, nasal congestion is harmless, though it can be uncomfortable causing a stuffy nose, headache, and noisy or rapid breathing.

A newborn is a child under 28 days of age. During these early 28 days of life, the child is at the highest risk of contracting diseases or dying. Especially, the job of taking care of a child can be very tasking because they are often helpless and are totally dependent on their caregivers for all life supportHow to Treat Nasal Blockage in Newborn / Baby.

 Depending on your job, childcare can be so demanding it requires some preliminary training skills with super patience to undertake. Little wonder society has majorly relegated women to that role due to their natural disposition to be patient and show unconditional love.

How to Treat Nasal Blockage in Newborn / Baby

Because of their fragile nature, however, babies tend to be at high risk of many health challenges. Their well-being is Paramount and falls on the caregiver to prevent, discover, and also seek treatment when they fall ill.


Nasal congestion also called nasal blockage occurs when there is the production of extra mucus from the globe cells in the upper respiratory system. When this mucus is thick it can clog the sinuses and nasal cavity causing difficulty in breathing and other symptoms of congestion.

How to Treat Nasal Blockage in Newborn / Baby

Chest congestion is another form of respiratory congestion. The difference is that it happens in the chest region lower into the respiratory system than nasal congestion. If your child has chest congestion, please take him to see a pediatrician immediately.

How to Treat Nasal Blockage in Newborn / Baby
A Mother Scooping her Newborn after breastfeeding

Causes of nasal congestion

Yes, you may wonder what could likely be giving your little one such disturbances. Here are a list of common factors necessitating nasal and chest congestion such as


they are not due to any infections running through your baby's body, only their body's ways of revolting against foreign triggers that it finds offensive e.g pollen, dust mites, hay, damp linens. For this reason, you must ensure the house is clean and free from these unhealthy triggers.



when the air around the baby is polluted by smoke, either from cigarette smoking or from a cooking fire, it hurts their delicate mucosa causing excess mucus secretions as a measure to remove the irritants and subsequent congestion.

How to Treat Nasal Blockage in Newborn / Baby

Dry air:

Dry air is simply air without humidity to understand this better, think of how your nostril feels when you are on a moving bike or fast oscillating fan with bursts of air blowing into your nostrils. Dry right? This is not good for a baby and can cause respiratory disturbances. Always ensure the air available to your baby is clean and humid enough.


 These are harmful microorganisms that invade the body causing signs and symptoms e.g common colds and flu. Viruses are of different specializations causing harm in whichever area they thrive. Congestions caused by viruses are usually accompanied by increased body temperature, and diagnosis is made by a process known as culture and sensitivity to rule out the specific type of virus responsible and then give appropriate treatment.


Chest congestion: 

conversely, chest congestion can be caused by any factor that affects the lower respiratory systems. These includes:

  • Pneumonia: 
  • Premature birth:
  • Bronchiolitis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Asthma
  •  Symptoms of nasal congestion

A child that has nasal congestion will invariably show

  • Noisy breathing
  • Coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Sniffling
  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Snoring when asleep.

When the congestion is in the chest region the following may be noticed

  • Labored breathing
  • Great difficulty feeding
  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Refusing food.

What to do at home when your child develops a congested nose?

Obviously, congestion in babies can be very distressing to the caregiver. Nasal congestion in babies is normal and will go away in no time. But everyone agrees that the number of days it persists is spent in anxiety for the caregiver. Here are some steps to take to relieve congestion at home.

Suction: this is done using a plastic suction bulb. You can purchase this at the local pharmacy or the clinic and have the clinic nurse teach you how to use it to clear your baby's nose. How to Treat Nasal Blockage in Newborn / Baby

Feeding: feed with regular warm meals. Avoid over-spiced foods for children.

Practice regular change of wet diapers. Now leaving wet items on the baby won't be good, will it?

Keep the house clean at all times free from allergens like pollens and dust mites.

Clean away excess mucus with a clean, soft face towel. 

Apply saline drops: saline drops are made by dissolving a few quantities of salt in a specified quantity of water. Using a syringe, place one or two drops into the baby's nostril this will help with moisture and breaks up the clogs .some advocate using breast milk instead of saline. Apply whichever you feel comfortable with.

Do not use vapor rubs containing menthol, camphor, or eucalyptus e.g balms, or sharp and stinging ointments. This distresses the baby. They are not safe or effective. How to Treat Nasal Blockage in Newborn / Baby

Do not use medications for cold: what your child is going through is not a problem unless it gets severe in which case you pay an emergency visit to your local clinic. Do not self-medicate your child unless you are a licensed pediatrician. You must understand that the mucus production means the baby's body is already doing away with the harmful viruses or irritants, therefore, do not interrupt the process with medications.

Avoid smoking near your baby.

Apply gentle face massage. Pay attention to the temple, nose ridge, and cheeks.

Avoid exposure to cold temperatures. Cover the baby moderately.

Give warm baths: avoid placing towels dipped in hot water over your baby's face. It interferes with their breathing and can cause suffocation and skin irritation.

Give lots of fluid to help with their hydration  

Do not attempt to blow air into the baby's nose or use your mouth to suck out the mucus. Use a manual suction bulb.

How to Treat Nasal Blockage in Newborn / Baby

Positioning the baby during episodes of nasal congestion:

Nasal congestion is often worse at night. It is better to lie them on their back with the head elevated a little with their pillow, you may however prop the baby up on your chest. This will eventually relieve the stuffiness through gravity.

What are the danger signs of a worsening condition/ How do I know my baby's condition is getting worse? How to Treat Nasal Blockage in Newborn / Baby

Usually, the child should feel better after some days but where this doesn't happen or you begin to notice the skin darkening in areas around the nose or lips, breathing gets more difficult, there is the inability to sleep, chest indrawing, vomiting, and high fever, fast breathing more than 60 breathes per minute, vomiting and high-grade fever up to 38 degrees Celsius, call emergency.

Medical treatment: in extreme cases requiring hospital visits, doctors may give extra oxygen, antibiotics treatment, or other treatments. Some laboratory and radiological examinations may also be carried out to determine the exact cause and or severity of the condition.


Nasal congestion or blockage in a baby is not a harmful condition. . There are home remedies to lighten the distress on your child at home. It usually goes away within a few days. If the condition persists and skin around the lips and nose begins to darken, call for emergency hospital care.

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