All new parents find themselves extra cautious about germs once they have a newborn in their home, and in light of the current COVID19 pandemic, parents are likely to be even more concerned about their little one's congestion. How do you know what is normal and what is cause for a call to the doctor?
Does a stuffy nose mean my baby is sick?
Most (if not all) newborns develop a stuffy nose and occasional sneezing. Babies have tiny nasal passages and can sound a bit congested when they breathe- especially as their new little bodies adjust to life outside of the womb. Newborns often sneeze to clear out amniotic fluid, or to remove dust particles and germs.
Tips to make baby more comfortable
I've been a big fan of the NoseFrida since it launched in the US some years back. Bulb syringes never worked well for my babies and I was skeptical that they could get clean clean.
But before you reach for your preferred baby nasal aspirator, it's important to know that overuse can cause irritation and bleeding in your little one's nose. To loosen up thick secretions and make for easier suctioning, try a few drops of saline nose drops first, then suction out baby's nose. Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus provides a helpful step-by-step.
Congestion can make feeding more challenging for your baby, so try clearing their nose before offering the breast or bottle.
You can also try running a cool mist humidifier in your child's room, taking care to clean it regularly to prevent the growth of mold or bacteria.
When should I call my baby's pediatrician?
Resources for more guidance and resources regarding COVID19 and children: