When your baby is suffering with congestion, it causes miserable days – and usually disturbed nights – for both of you. Baby struggles and snuffles as he or she tries to eat and drink. Baby cannot sleep peacefully as mucus gathers and interferes with his breathing. Everyone is unhappy.
But don’t despair! There are things you can do that may help:
- Review your baby’s diet – certain foods are believed to be mucus-forming, so they may aggravate congestion, and there are other foods that may help relieve it.
- If you have started your baby on solids, cut back on foods that are suspected to cause problems with congestion – and increase those that are believed to help.
- Try as much as possible to give your baby homemade baby food – artificial preservatives, colourings and flavourings may contribute to congestion.
Foods to avoid:
- Refined carbohydrates (white bread, white rice, white pasta)
- Fried foods
- Refined sugar
- Eggs (although it’s not common, eggs can sometimes aggravate congestion)
- Meat (it’s been found that cutting back on meat sometimes reduces the severity of congestion)
- Dairy products (yogurt, milk, butter, cream, cheese)
However, if your baby is under 12 months old, do not cut back on the amount of milk you give, as milk is the main source of nutrition. Talk to your doctor about possibly changing your baby’s formula to see if that helps.
Foods that may help:
- Foods rich in beta-carotene (usually yellow, orange or red foods such as sweet potato, butternut squash, mango, watermelon, red (bell) peppers, tomatoes and carrots)
- Fresh fruits and vegetables – high in vitamin C
- Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) – both high in zinc
- Garlic, ginger, sage, thyme – all believed to work as decongestants
- Whole-grain cereals
Mildly spicy foods sometimes help – but only try this if your baby already likes them. And don’t introduce spices for the first time if your baby is not well.
This information presented to you acts as a guide which contains general information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional.
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