Baby Health: Relieve Infant Congestion
Most colds go away by themselves and do not lead to anything worse. If your infant is having trouble nursing because of nasal congestion, however, clear his nose with a nasal aspirator (rubber suction bulb) before each feeding. Remember to squeeze the bulb part of the syringe before gently sticking the rubber tip into one nostril and then slowly releasing the bulb. This slight amount of suction will draw clogged mucus out of the nose, and should allow your baby to breathe and suck at the same time.
If the secretions in your baby's nose are particularly thick, your pediatrician may recommend that you liquefy them with saline (salt and water) nose drops. Additionally, when your child has a cold or an upper respiratory infection, keeping his head and chest elevated and placing a cool-mist humidifier (vaporizer) in his room will keep his nasal secretions more liquid and make him more comfortable.
Parents should never give children any kind of cold remedy without first checking with their pediatrician. Over-the-counter treatments often dry the respiratory passages or make the nasal secretions even thicker. In addition, they tend to cause side effects such as drowsiness.