Chest blockage in infants is almost always caused by a viral or bacterial infection, with the cold virus being the most typical cause. Chest blockage can hinder breathing, sleeping and eating, and over-the-counter medications are not appropriate for use in babies. Thankfully, minor chest blockage in an otherwise healthy infant is usually treatable at home.
Steam from a running shower can loosen chest blockage and make it possible for easier breathing. Turn the shower on the hottest setting, close the bathroom door and allow the space to fill with steam. After a few minutes, bring the baby into the bathroom and sit for 10 to 20 minutes. Running a cool-mist humidifier inside the baby’s room while he is sleeping will likewise assist to loosen up chest blockage.
Gently tapping and rubbing an infant’s back can separate mucus and encourage a busy baby to cough. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests lying the infant face down across your knees and then utilizing your cupped hand to gently tap and rub his back. Thoroughly support the neck of younger infants when performing physical therapy to loosen chest blockage.
Sufficient fluid intake can help to thin mucus to alleviate chest blockage. If the infant is breastfeeding, encourage him to eat as frequently as possible. Offer bottle-fed babies who are withdrawn in formula some water or diluted fruit juice instead. If nasal congestion is disrupting sucking, thin the discharge with a few drops of saline solution then use a bulb syringe to gently suck the mucus out of his nose before feeding. Drinking fluids will also prevent dehydration due to fever, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Somewhat raising the infant’s head during sleep can make coughing more efficient and improve breathing. Do not lie your infant on a pillow. Rather, put the pillow underneath the head of the mattress. AskDrSears.com mentions that chest vapor rub lotions might be valuable for some older babies, however cautions they need to be used very carefully as they can make breathing more difficult in sensitive children. Including a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a vaporizer or humidifier may also be useful.