A chest congestion is caused by an infection (viral, bacterial or fungal) in the respiratory region. The common cold is often the cause of chest congestion, although infants are also susceptible to a number of allergies. While over-the-counter medications should not be used on infants, home remedies provide ample relief for a congested baby. Consult a physician if an infant has a change in color (blue tint), has fever of 103 degrees F or higher, or has trouble breathing.
Steam up the restroom by running the shower on hot. Sit with baby in the steam for 15 to 20 minutes. Dr. William and Martha Sears recommend “steam cleaning” in the morning and in the evening before bedtime and as often as needed during the day. Steam loosens nose and chest congestion, and makes suctioning mucus easier.
Use a bulb syringe to suction excess mucus from baby’s nose. Squeeze the syringe and gently insert the tip into one nostril. Release the bulb to suction mucus. Repeat on the other nostril. Suction baby’s nose frequently throughout the day to prevent mucus buildup.
According to Dr. J. Owen Hendley, humidity helps soothe irritated bronchial membranes. Run a vaporizer or humidifier in baby’s room 30 minutes before bedtime and leave it on the rest of the night. The humidity can reach as high as 70 percent. Add eucalyptus, rosemary or sage oils to the vaporizer to quickly clear congestion.
HealthyChildren.org recommends chest physical therapy as a way to relieve chest congestion in infants and small children. Lay the baby face down across the knees and gently tap baby’s back with a cupped hand. This will make it easier for the baby to cough out mucus or loosen up mucus for suction.