The newborn has a stuffy nose: how to behave

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Babies, as we know, tend to have a fairly noisy breathing. It's physiology, and there's nothing to worry about. Sometimes, however, the breathing can be a little louder than normal, and it goes with it too mucous secretions: in these cases the newborn has the stuffy nose.

Nothing serious, but certainly a nuisance, also because the baby must breathe through the nose, and having it closed means doing more effort to breastfeed.

In this article

  • Because the baby has a stuffy nose
  • How to notice that the baby has a stuffy nose
  • What to do if the baby has a stuffy nose
  • When to do nasal washes
  • When to consult your pediatrician

Stuffed nose, why?

A stuffy nose is typically a consequence of upper respiratory tract infections. "In the majority of cases they are infections caused by virus which can affect, in addition to the nose, also the throat and trachea "explains the neonatologist Guglielmo Salvatori, of the Neonatal Intensive Care of the Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital in the city. "The biggest annoyance, however, concerns the nose".

In the cold season, these infections are a fairly common phenomenon, especially if there are older brothers or sisters in the house. Or if the newborn is very exposed to contact with friends and relatives, which could transmit some infectious agent.

Read also: Why are babies always cold?

"It should also be said that the airways of newborns, that is, of children under 28 days of life, are very small and it only takes a little mucus to clog them", underlines Salvatori.

How to notice that the nose is blocked

A stuffy nose can be recognized because breathing becomes noisy, or louder than usual, and is accompanied by more or less abundant secretions. "Furthermore, it is clearly seen that the little one has a hard time sucking, because he attaches and detaches constantly and cries nervously "explains the neonatologist.

Stuffed nose, how to intervene

If the child does not show that he is suffering from particular discomforts, nothing needs to be done. If, on the other hand, one realizes that that closed nose is causing some problems - for example the little one is unable to feed well, or to sleep, because he wakes up all the time - it is necessary to try to soften secretions, to facilitate its exit.

"It can be useful humidify the environment, if perhaps the air is too dry due to the radiators, e wash the nose"says Salvatori." There are various products available, such as sea water, thermal waters, solution with hyaluronic acid, but the classic physiological solution that's fine. "

It is not necessarily the case that you need to do a proper washing: "Sometimes, you just need to put a few drops of solution in the nose, just to make the secretions a little softer". There are also gods aspirators that allow you to suck up the mucus released by washing: "In this case, the devices that allow mum or dad to suck the mucus are better than the completely mechanical ones, which can be a little more aggressive with the risk of damaging the nasal mucosa ".

Finally, it is better not to use decongestants such as products that contain proteinated silver and argotone.

Read also: Infants and children colds, what to do

When to do nasal washes

"As needed"answers Salvatori, and that is, in general, before feedings, so that the nose is free when it comes to eating. Also, they might be useful in the evening, before going to sleep, to facilitate sleep.

When to consult your pediatrician

A stuffy nose is usually nothing serious, and the responsible infections clear up on their own within a few days. However, remember that we are talking about very young children, under one month of age or a little more, so if the little one has a fever or seems to have breathing difficulties it is good to hear the pediatrician immediately or, if he is not available, go to the emergency room. There may be other infections, such as bronchitis or bronchiolitis, which will require specific therapy.

  • newborn 0-3 months
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