With the onset of winter season or any seasonal changes, chest congestion in babies and infants become more and more common. It becomes difficult to breathe for babies due to a stuffy nose and chest congestion. This condition should be treated to keep babies healthy and prevent chest congestion during winters.
How does chest congestion occur in babies?
Chest congestion is a viral infection that is caused due to virus present in the air especially during winters or when your baby comes in contact with a person already suffering from cold and cough. The immune system of a baby up to 3-4 years is still developing so he is more likely to catch a cold and develop the condition of chest congestion frequently.
Symptoms of chest congestion in babies
Due to chest congestion, the nasal airway gets blocked and develops thick mucus which leads to difficulty or uneasiness in breathing. This mucus also causes irritation in the throat which causes constant coughing in babies.
There might be chances of wheezing where a sound comes from the chest of your baby while he breathes and there might be difficulty in the breathing process of your baby. Some babies might get fussy while drinking milk and eating food. He might suffer from mild fever as well.
Your baby might get irritable and fussy due to a disturbance in his sleeping pattern. So, try to clear up his nose by using a tissue paper and pressing it gently if possible so that mucus is out from his nose causing him some relief to breathe properly.
Home remedies to treat chest congestion in babies and infants
When babies suffer from chest congestion, it becomes difficult for them to breathe and they get more fussy than usual as they can’t help themselves much. Try out these effective home remedies to give them much needed relief:
This is a very old method which is used by all age-groups to get rid of chest congestion. With your baby just take care that you don’t leave him unattended when you are trying out this steam remedy to treat chest congestion. Place your baby in your arms and keep the steamer little far from his approach. The steam should enter into his mouth and nose this is enough to loosen up the sticky mucus.
You can also run hot water in the bathtub or bucket and sit with your baby in the steamy bathroom for 5-10 minutes. This is safe and gives your baby the needed relief from chest congestion.
Mustard oil is effective in treating chest congestion as it has warming properties. Warm a bit of mustard oil and then massage it on your baby’s neck, palms, feet, and chest. This helps in opening up the blocked nasal passage and eases your baby’s breathing.
Feed your baby with breastmilk as it contains many antibodies and also builds up your baby’s immunity. With regular feeding of breastmilk, your baby will recover soon from cold and chest congestion.
Saline drops help in loosening up the mucus and gives relief to your baby’s stuffy nose. It also helps in opening the nasal passage which makes breathing easier. Just put 1-2 drops in each nostril especially before breastfeeding your baby or before he goes off to bed to give him relief from chest congestion.
When your baby sleeps you can place a high pillow under his head on which he can sleep comfortably. A raised head helps the mucus to drain out from the nose and chest and your baby can sleep without much of a fuss. This also prevents frequent coughing during sleep that might be caused due to irritation of the throat and chest due to mucus.
Tips to combat chest congestion in babies and infants
Give your baby who is above 6 months old, hot drinks when he suffers from chest congestion. Soup is the best option to treat chest congestion. It not only raises your baby’s appetite but it will also give your baby relief from chest congestion and stuffy nose.
Give proper rest to your baby when he is unwell. He might get cranky due to chest congestion but you can always soothe him with your lullaby and a gentle massage on the head which will make him sleep in comfort.
You can also give your baby, who is above 6 months, warm water to keep him properly hydrated. Boiled water with carom seeds or ajwain will help in getting rid of chest congestion.
You can place your baby on your shoulder as this will keep his nasal passage open without any blockage. Keep rubbing his back with your palms as this will give him relief too.
Keep clearing your baby’s nose so that there is not much of mucus accumulation in it, your baby will breathe peacefully.
With these effective home remedies, your baby and you will be able to fight his chest congestion and you will be happy to see him smiling in your arms without any discomfort.