Stuffy Nose


Your new baby will have noisy breathing — guaranteed. Her nasal passages are so small, that just a little bit of mucous will make her breathing sound noisy and rattly. So her breathing will be noisy more often than not.

Before you decide you need to do something about it, stop a minute and ask yourself if the stuffiness is making it hard for her to suck or to sleep. If she is doing OK sucking and sleeping, then it is just noise and you don't have to do anything about it.

Can you use a humidifier? Sure, especially if you live in a desert.

Can you use saltwater nose drops? Yes. You can not overdose your baby with saltwater nose drops. You can use them before every feeding if you need to.

The bulb syringe that you get at the hospital can be over-done. You can create enough suction with that thing to cause swelling to the tender membranes inside her nose — making stuffiness worse. So, be gentle with the bulb syringe and just use it on nasal mucous that you can see.

How to Mix Up Saltwater Nose Drops

You can also mix up saltwater nose drops yourself:

  • MEASURE and stir:
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt (Measured, not estimated)
  • 8 oz. warm water (Measured, not estimated)

If you mix up the nose drops yourself, please mix them up fresh everyday. There is no preservative and germs will grow in it, even though it is just saltwater.

Alternatively, you can buy infant saltwater nose drops at any pharmacy. The advantage is that they have preservative in them, so germs don't grow in the bottle. And, they are convenient.

Thanks to Janelle Aby MD, Stanford School Of Medicine, Newborn Nursery, and Lucille Packard Children's Hospital for the use of occasional photographs.