Newborn baby: Chest and nasal congestion

How can you help your little one when he/she experiences chest and nasal congestion? Steaming often only helps for a short period of time and can also be quite dangerous – especially with lungs not yet fully developed. For children with severe shortness of breath, nebulization can be an option.

It happens to almost every parent; your baby has a bad cold, pseudo-croup, or a throat or lung infection. Plenty of diseases, viruses, and bacteria that can make your baby very cramped. Often the airways are full of mucus and the body has to work very hard to get it out and recover from a virus.

Of course, always consult your doctor first if your baby has something wrong.

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Wheezing and loud coughing

And if you hear your baby wheezing or coughing loudly, you quickly become seriously concerned and look for the best ways to help your baby as soon as possible. You are often advised to raise the mattress a little at the top so that your little one lies a little higher and doesn’t get all the mucus “up” while sleeping (and get even more stuffy). 

Or you might get the tip to put your baby in a steamy environment for a while. But that often only helps for a short period of time. Steam only reaches the upper airways, but not deep enough into the lungs. Also, the steam of 80℃ can already be harmful to the airways that are not fully developed yet. And of course, you have to be very careful when steaming so that your baby does not get hot water all over him.


If your baby is often short of breath, a nebulizer can probably help. Your baby will breathe through a nebulizer containing physiological salt a few times a day. What is physiological salt? It is salt that is also in our own bodies. Because the airdrops are so small and not hot, they reach deep into the lungs. This helps your baby dissolve mucus. The salt drains the mucus and reduces the swelling of the mucus membranes. You will soon notice that your child is less stuffy, that the amount of mucus decreases, and that the nebulization continues for a few hours.

Note the differences in quality!

We do have a side note: there are many different nebulizers (also for adults). It is important to be well-informed and not just buy one. There are special nebulizers for babies and children, for example, which are made for the still not-fully developed lungs. There are also big differences when it comes to the right salt content and the size of the mist droplets. The rule, especially for babies and small children, is: the finer the droplets the better!

A nebulizer can help with:

  • Colds (also preventing more infections)
  • Pseudo-croup 
  • Shortness of breath/lung problems 
  • Respiratory problems due to allergy/hay fever
  • Flu (faster healing, preventing respiratory infections)

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