What to do for congested 4 week old??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 03-17-2004, 11:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My poor 4 week old baby girl was up all night last night and today all congested and uncomfortable. She is only comfortable when being held upright...and cries each time I attempt to put her down. She's having trouble nursing because of the congestion, as well.. My first DD never got sick this young...so I'm a bit clueless as to what to do...and in addition to being clueless, I'm also so nervous/upset seeing her so uncomfortable and sad.

I've been sucking out what I can with the bulb, but it seems the majority of it is in her chest... I've been keeping her upright as much as possible, and have a humidifier going... Is this something that merits a call to the Doctor, or should I give it a few days to pass?? Do you have any other tips on helping her feel better??

Thanks in advance, Mamas!

Becca ~Mama to 3 (DD - 1/3/02) (DD - 2/16/04) (DS - 8/11/05)
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#2 of 12 Old 03-18-2004, 12:09 AM
 
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I used saline nose spray before I would use the bulb to suck out all of the snot. It would really help break it up. Both of my kids hated it, but it helped get more out. When my kids are sick I would just keep their noses clear and nurse all the time. Does she have any other symptoms like a fever? If she does then you may want to call the dr. I found that my second got sick a lot sooner than my first because of the extra germs in the house from the other child. Hope your dd feels better soon.
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#3 of 12 Old 03-18-2004, 01:09 AM
 
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Warning signs that would warrant a call to the doctor include:

* fever
* failure to produce enough wet diapers, or wetting fewer diapers than you know is normal
* any other signs of dehydration, including sunken-in fontanelle or dry mouth
* signs of struggling to breathe, including grunting when inhaling or exhaling
* chest or abdominal retractions, in other words, seeing the skin around the ribcage suck in past the bones with each breath
* blue lips
* unable to keep down several feedings in a row

My son came down with RSV at the age of 4 weeks. After he threw up three feedings in a row, I called the after-hours nurse hotline at my pediatrician's office (it was a Saturday night) and when I told them that he was also grunting when exhaling, they had me immediately take him to the ER. He was admitted and found to have not only RSV, but bacterial pneumonia. So I take breathing problems in infants very seriously these days. I don't mean to scare you, but if your mommy radar is telling you something is more seriously wrong than just a regular cold, please do call the doctor's office.

In the meantime, I agree with the suggestion to use saline spray before suctioning out the nose, and nursing as much as possible. You can also run a humidifier, especially in the room the baby sleeps in. Another thing we've tried with some success is turning on a hot shower and sitting with the baby in the closed bathroom, to give him a "steam treatment". A lot of times that really helps clear out the nose. Sleeping upright is also a good idea, if you can manage it somehow.

Good luck! I hope she feels better soon. There's nothing worse than watching your child have to endure an illness.
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#4 of 12 Old 03-18-2004, 03:02 AM
 
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Oh poor baby, so young! And poor mama! Why does it seem all our subsequent babies get sick so young?

I think the saline and humidifier is a good idea. My baby (at 5 months) got RSV and I also put Tea Tree oil, Eucelyptus (sp?) oil and lavender oil (just to relax him and his breathing) in the humidifier. You can take some Bee Propilis and extra vitamin C so that the baby will get it through your milk. I also just did everything I could to keep the baby sleeping. I tried to never wake him up before he was ready so that his body could heal from the sleep as much as possilbe. Another thing I did that I feel helped was to put the essential oils in some olive oil and massage it onto his lung area (front and back). The warning signs the other mama gave were good. My little guy did end up wheezing and rattling but he never did get a fever or get pneumonia. I think these things seemed to help a lot.

*Also, note that syringes cause more mucous to be produced. It's kind of a downward spiral. So try to avoid it as much as you can.

A trip to the doctor might be a good idea just to check the baby's lungs. Try to go to a doctor whose not quick to jump into treatment though. One doctor I saw gave me a perscription of Albuteral "just in case" but I didn't use it. When I saw our regular Pediatrician he said I definately shouldn't have used it and was glad I didn't. Just a warning.

Good luck and please keep us posted on how the baby is doing. I really feel for you both.
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#5 of 12 Old 03-18-2004, 03:07 AM
 
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Also, I noticed you wrote about the baby wanting to be upright. With my little guy, for sleeping, I would elevate him at an angle (head highest of course) with pillows (I know this is harder with a new one). Also is the baby big enough to lay across you sideways on her tummy with her upper half on your tummy/chest and her lower half on the bed? I ended up having to do this with my babe a little to help keep him elevated. I realize it might be a little awkward with such a young, small baby but I thought I'd pass it along just in case.
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#6 of 12 Old 03-18-2004, 06:41 AM
 
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A good idea for congestion is Eucaluptus essential oil. I had to use it on my baby when she was very young. I just put some on my fingers and behind my ear. Whenever I held her she got a good whif, it definately helped. Maybe you could try rubbing some on her little chest so she's always inhaling the scent. It's a natural oil from a natural tree. I think it's pretty safe. I've used it.
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#7 of 12 Old 03-18-2004, 09:20 AM
 
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My pediatrician said i should always call if there is chest congestion at this age.

I have to suck the stuff out of Chloe's nose every day, sometimes a few times a day. She's always congested! I can't wait to go to Florida in a few weeks and get her some humidity!!!
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#8 of 12 Old 03-18-2004, 10:59 AM
 
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My girl got really congested at about four weeks, too. Scary. I used the saline drops and syringe. Each night before bed I ran a hot shower and closed up the bathroom and sat in there with her to help loosen everything up. I even got up and did it in the middle of the night once. We co-sleep, but I put her in the bouncy chair next to my bed to sleep while she was so congested. It kept her head elevated and she was able to breathe easier.

Good luck. It is so hard when they are sick this little.
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#9 of 12 Old 03-18-2004, 10:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know why it didn't occur to me to use the saline drops....but after you ladies offered that advice, I had hubby buy them and WOW - what a difference they make. They've made her sneeze a couple times and that has helped with getting some of the mucous out. Last night I took a warm shower with her in my arms...kept my back at the water and let her breathe the humidity for a while...that seemed to help a lot. She's also nursing better as of today...

I'm new to Mothering, and am really awed by the support here... what a wonderful place! Thank you so much for your advice and concern... I truly appreciate it.

Becca ~Mama to 3 (DD - 1/3/02) (DD - 2/16/04) (DS - 8/11/05)
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#10 of 12 Old 03-18-2004, 11:54 PM
 
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my dd was sick with a cold at 4 weeks too.. to help her nose i dropped breast milk in before i sucked it out.... did humidifier and she slept great on her boppy pillow (the breast feeding u shaped pillow)...i put in our bed and would stick her in that after feeding her and she slept wonderful in it... kept her propped up and she was right next to me so i knew she was ok in it....
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#11 of 12 Old 03-19-2004, 12:43 AM
 
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First, if I had any feeling of concern in my gut I would take her to the ped. to rule out anything serious. ( My ped. is pretty natural non-intervention minded anyway). At this age I think it's always better to be safe.

Things that have helped my kids:

** sleeping with me inclined on a few pillows and baby on my chest/abdomen with baby's head up near my chin. I stayed in the middle of the bed in case baby rolled off (never happened tho).

**nursing every moment possible so that congestion in the nose and throat would be swallowed with the milk instead of using the syringe, which would make my kids upset, and cry, and then make more mucous. Also keeps max fluids going and all-around good remedy.

**Instead of saline I put breast milk in the nose since the milk would give the mucous membranes some of its natural antiseptic and protective qualities topically. Then you can syringe it out, or let it drain down baby's throat.

**I take extra C, echinacea and other herbal combinations to give the baby a boost through my milk.

**moisture and eucalyptus oil, as already mentioned. warm showers.

good luck
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#12 of 12 Old 03-19-2004, 12:53 AM
 
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Another mom here of a second baby who got RSV. DS was 3 months old and luckily he did not get it nearly as bad as his older sister. It's amazing how the older siblings bring these germs into the lives of their little precious baby sisters or brothers.

I am not sure where your baby is sleeping (with you or in a crib) but something our pediatrician suggested was to prop the crib mattress up with a pillow underneath it.

JanB had great warning signs to look for- but it sounds like your little babe is doing better today.
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