Sleeping Position for Baby with Stuffy Nose

Best Sleeping Position for Baby with Stuffy Nose & Congestion


Babies get irritated during cold and chest congestion. Parents can use the right sleeping positions and some remedies to ease the congested baby and make him sleep calmly at night.

Cold is your baby’s enemy as it irritates the child and intervenes with the baby’s sleep at night. As parents, you may have sleepless nights trying to calm the little one. But nasal congestion is a stubborn condition. It is a challenge parents face frequently. Therefore, it becomes necessary to know how to deal with it.

What is Baby Congestion?

Babies have narrow airways compared to adults, which makes it difficult to clear the mucus naturally. Nasal congestion is common as it can be transmitted from one individual to another. When children encounter infected people, they are affected quickly as their immune system is still developing.

Common colds and sore throats lead to excess mucus accumulation in the nasal passage, blocking it completely, which makes breathing difficult. Moreover, the swelling and inflammation of the tissue lining in the nose make breathing difficult. The situation worsens when the baby sleeps at night.

What Causes a Congested Baby?

Every child is different, so the reason for the stuffy noses can vary. Discover reasons parents should be aware of to take the necessary steps:

Respiratory infections

They are usually viral and affect the nose and throat, leading to sputum formation in the nasal passage. Medications are a must to treat this condition.

Sinus infection

A sinus infection in infants and young kids is inflammation of the air-filled hollow cavities in the skull. It leads to a baby’s stuffy nose since it surrounds the nasal cavity and obstructs the passage when swollen.


Children are highly prone to allergies, irritants, and pollution in the air, which can cause swelling in the baby’s nostril, further aggravating mucus formation.


This condition is a lower respiratory tract infection, most common in kids. Bronchiolitis means inflamed bronchioles due to viral infection. It leads to nasal congestion and needs immediate medical attention.

Deviated septum

Some children are born with deviated septum. Here, the cartilage and bone dividing the nostrils are displaced sideways, making one nasal cavity smaller than the other. In this case, excess mucus is formed in the smaller nostril, making it difficult to breathe when sleeping.

How to Help Baby Sleep with a Cold?

A stuffy nose is nasty at night, but your baby deserves a safe sleep. Parents usually panic watching their little ones struggle to breathe and relax. However, do not panic and take the right steps to mellow down the baby’s congestion and cough.

You should consult a pediatrician when you see the initial symptoms of a common cold and cough. This helps in controlling the condition with the right medicines. Treating baby congestion takes a few days. So, parents should opt for the best sleeping positions for a baby with a stuffy nose to ensure proper rest.

What is the Best Sleeping Position for a Baby with Stuffy Nose?

Sound sleep can help your child recover quickly since the body eases out, strengthening immunity. Thus, your child’s body will be able to fight all kinds of infections, giving quick results. Adults with stuffy noses try breathing through their mouths during sleep. Infants are unaware of mouth breathing, so sleeping with nasal congestion becomes difficult. A sore throat further makes it difficult to sleep.

Explore tips on the best sleeping positions for a baby with a stuffy nose:

Best Sleeping Position for Infants

sleeping position for baby with stuffy nose

If your kid is a few months old, avoid lying flat on his back at night. This position leads to a build-up of mucus in the nasal area, making it uncomfortable for the baby. Your child may cough at night.

The best way for safe sleep safely is to use a baby carrier or baby crib and slightly incline the baby’s head upright. This eases out the blocked nose as the mucus drains down the child’s throat instead of accumulating in the nose. Do not leave your child unattended in a crib or carrier for safety reasons.

Best sleeping position for toddlers and young kids

For younger kids with nasal congestion, create an upright sleep position on the bed with an extra pillow or head support.

How to help your congested baby sleep

Consulting a pediatrician is the best approach to combat a stuffy nose. However, every treatment takes a few days to allow recovery from the congestion. You need to ease your baby at night for safe sleep. Here are some tips that can help create a positive environment for your child.

Here is How to Cure a baby’s cold:

1. Saline nasal spray

A nasal spray is a great way to clear out a blocked nose. Saline solutions are effective and safe to use for all age groups. If you aren’t sure about using a spray, go for nasal saline drops. Administer saline spray 2-3 times daily into the baby’s nose or as directed by the doctor. Make sure you use it before putting your child to sleep.

2. Humidifier usage

Dry air aggravates chest congestion and stuffy nose. Use a good quality humidifier to maintain moisture in the air, especially in the baby’s room. This helps loosen mucus, soothes the dry throat, and moisturizes the baby’s skin. Clean the humidifier repeatedly to evade the bacteria and mold growth.

3. Warm compress

Clean the baby’s nose and place a warm washcloth on his face for 15 minutes. This helps soothe congested babies by opening sinus passages, loosening mucus, and breathing in moist air.

4. Bulb syringe or nasal aspirator

A bulb syringe is used to suck out the mucus from the child’s nose. The nasal aspirator is an improved version of a suction bulb as it has a longer tube for suction attached to a filter.

5. Wipe away excess mucus

Your babies are too small to blow out the snot. Hence, you should wipe away the excess mucus with wet tissues whenever the baby’s congestion increases. Cleaning the baby’s nostril at night before sleep will give him proper rest.

6. Run a warm bath

A warm bath helps loosen the mucus relieving nasal congestion.

7. Ideal temperature

Maintain a perfect temperature in the baby’s room so that he feels comfortable during night sleep. A temperature between 68-72 degrees is good for a congested baby.

8. Maintain hydration

Your child may not be willing to eat due to a stuffy nose. You may therefore offer more liquids to keep him hydrated. Good hydration also allows mucus to loosen and drain down.

9. Give a massage

A massage is relaxing for a congested baby. You could concentrate on massaging around the baby’s head, nose, and throat. If there is too much chest congestion, apply some oil and massage for a few minutes. This will let your baby sleep peacefully.

10. Keep their heads upright

The best sleeping positions for a baby with a stuffy nose include keeping the child’s head upright. It allows easy breathing and less accumulation of mucus.

Risk Factors for Baby Congestion

If your baby is younger than one year and suffers from runny nose & chest congestion, do not make them sleep on their stomach. A congested baby sleeping on his tummy increases the chances of sudden infant death syndrome. Cases have been reported where parents lost their children due to the wrong sleeping position at night. Thus, you need to be vigilant about this aspect.

Babies born prematurely are in danger of nasal congestion as their immunity is underdeveloped. Parents should take extra care and avoid conditions that can enhance their baby’s congestion. Living in a high altitude or climate with dry air can irritate a child’s nose. Babies born to diabetic mothers are prone to nasal congestion. Thus, parents should be aware of all situations and know the right action plan to control chest congestion.

When to Contact a Doctor about Your Baby’s Congestion

You should monitor your child’s health and notice symptoms. If you see the following signs, contact your doctor:

  • Wheezing and difficulty in breathing indicate chest congestion. If the condition worsens, your child may suffer from bronchiolitis.
  • If your child’s condition is not improving despite all the steps take
  • If your child develops a high fever
  • Excessive dehydration or constipation indicates severe infection.

FAQs on Baby Congestion

1. Why do babies get congested frequently?

Babies have a developing immune system, making them vulnerable to infections and allergies. They cannot clean their nasal passage themselves, leading to congestion frequently.

2. When can babies breathe through their mouths?

Babies can breathe through their mouths around 6 months of age. However, they still prefer nasal breathing till they are 1.

3. How to get rid of baby chest congestion?

Using a saline spray, humidifiers, nasal aspirators, maintaining hydration, and keeping their heads upright are a few ways of easing your congested baby.

4. Why Do Babies Get Colds In Summer?

Some cold-causing viruses can flourish in summer, and since babies have developing immunity, they tend to catch colds easily.

5. Does Vapor Rub Work?

Vapor rub has been used as a decongestant. However, it is not recommended for kids below 2 years of age. Its ingredients calm down the babies and let them sleep peacefully.


So, now you know more about the best sleeping position for a baby with a stuffy nose. Proper rest and sleep are necessary for a congested baby. You should follow remedies and practice the right sleeping position to make it better for your child. Try to protect them from cold-causing conditions and take timely action when you see congestion symptoms.


I am Charlotte Garcia, Passionate and experienced content writer specializing in parenting and family-related topics. With a deep love for children and a keen interest in helping parents navigate the beautiful journey of parenthood, I dedicated my career to creating valuable and insightful content.