Like most brand new parents, the first night my daughter was home with us in our room, I panicked every twenty minutes that she had a cold or a more serious illness, in part because I could hear every sniffling noise she made. What I didn't realize, and what most people don't realize until they're veteran parents is that newborns often sound stuffy when there's absolutely nothing wrong with them. And that's why it's tricky to pick up on these signs that your baby's nose is stuffy so you'll know when to give them a little help.
If you see mucus running out of your baby's nose or if your baby is struggling to eat, those are obvious signs that your baby's nose is stuffy and you might need to break out the saline drops or nasal aspirator. However, it's important to know that newborn babies can sound stuffy without being sick or uncomfortable. Writing in the Huffington Post, Dr. Michael J. Bennett, who is a pediatrician and clinical professor at The George Washington School of Medicine, explained that newborns are “obligate nose breathers," meaning that tiny babies aren't able to breathe through their mouths during the first six months of life. Their nasal passages are so tiny that any little bit of mucus will make it sound like they're struggling to breathe. Additionally, as Dr. Bennett explained, they aren't yet able to snort or sniff, which means they aren't able to clear their nose as quickly as adults or even older children.
If your baby does appear to have a stuffy nose, use saline drops or spray, or a nasal aspirator to help relieve them. Parents suggestedsteaming up the bathroom and sitting in the room with the baby to help decongest her. And of course in extreme circumstances, you should enlist a doctor to do a proper assessment.
If you're a new parent and still figuring out your baby, here are the signs that show that your baby is congested and could use a little relief.