In today’s article, we are talking about the best congested baby sleep position, and all that goes with it.
We love them, but we need to sleeeeeeeep
I love watching our baby sleep. Sometimes, it’s the most relaxing way to get myself to sleep. Until cold season arrives. Or those dreaded spring allergies. And don’t forget the must of those beautiful autumn leaves. Then baby (and by extension, you) are left struggling to get comfortable at bedtime. We can toss and turn and medicate. But for baby, she’s practically defenseless at this point in getting comfortable.
Sometimes, our little ones are congested for no rhyme or reason. Regardless, it’s up to us to get her comfortable. Then we can all sleep easier.
Our Recommended Sleep Positions for Congestion
We all know that she needs to be on her back, and that the crib is the safest place for her. Initially, look at your crib set-up. Is it level with the floor? Sometimes the simplest remedies are the best. Take a close look at the crib and the floor. Ensure that it’s level. After you’re satisfied with the crib’s placement and that it’s secure, consider elevating the crib. Place a bed riser (available from many home stores) beneath the feet of the crib that are closest to her head.
Take care to ensure that the crib remains secure. A wobbly crib is a no-no. For that reason, never use books or other objects under the feet of the cib to raise the crib. They could easily slide out on their own or be bumped out of place by a pet or sibling. Like the old lullaby warns, down will come baby. Always remember to place baby’s safety first and foremost.
Some parents place towels under their little one to elevate their head. Never, under any circumstances, place anything in the crib. Aside from being uncomfortable, towels and other objects are dangerous. SIDS and crib deaths from suffocation are a concern for infants. For that reason, it is never recommended to place items in the crib to elevate her.
Instead, use a crib wedge. Safe and secure, crib wedges will elevate her head without restricting the airways like towels or other objects. Crib wedges slide beneath the fitted sheet and are the safest way to elevate her head and ease congestion. I’ve used these in the past and cannot recommend them strongly enough.
Another solution I have seen some parents employ is to play the “elevation” item underneath the mattress, between the mattress and the metal mattress thingy. (What is that called? The part of the crib that holds the mattress up and keeps it from falling through to the floor). It doesn’t seem safe to put items under the crib feet and definitely NOT in the crib where the baby can roll onto.
Remember that the mattress plays a part in this, too. Select a firm mattress that supports your baby. In contrast, plush mattresses offer little support. Instead, they hinder keeping your baby’s airways open.
Crib is Best, but …
But what if lying prone, staring at the ceiling, isn’t working? We’ve all been there and know that feeling. When she stirs her discomfort is ours, too.
Our youngest was always congested. Crib wedges worked to an extent, but often were not enough. Short of staying up hours with her, I opted for a portable cradle crib. These are great because you can easily move them around the house with you. They also support your baby and hold her tight, giving the snuggly feeling that makes her secure. When congestion got extreme, this was always my go to. I also felt safe keeping it by our bed at night. Many options are available from trusted brands. Their portability makes them a must for baby gear, anyway. We always had one stowed in the back of our family minivan.
Sometimes you just need to sit down with her, too. The many breastfeeding pillows and wraps are perfect for keeping your baby upright and breathing easier during the day. They’re also a great way to rest your tired arms and back. The pillows are more of a temporary solution for daytime naps. Never prop baby up in one of these pillows and leave her unattended.
Likewise, baby wraps will keep your baby upright. Again, these are a perfect solution for keeping your baby secure and upright while you go about your day. I’ve found these amazing during cold season, and even managed to work from home writing while having my little one held tight to my chest.
Sometimes, the best cure is just to hold her upright. It’s not optimal, I realize that. I’ve lost count of the hours of sleep lost keeping our babies comfortable when congested. It’s never easy, and sometimes is the last option.
Lastly, take these steps with the home environment in mind. Does your baby have seasonal or other types of allergies? Minimize the exposures. Close windows when pollen counts are high. Don’t let your pets sleep in her room. Vacuum and dust regularly. These are small steps that will benefit her in the long run.
Remember to keep an eye on the thermostat. Some babies will prefer a cooler atmosphere. Others will like it warmer. Keeping the temperature at the right level will alleviate some of her symptoms. For us, we always kept our nursery’s temperature at a lower level to help with seasonal allergies. Not too cold, we have to keep baby comfortable!
Consider adding a humidifier to the room. There are plenty of options reasonably priced. Cool mist humidifiers work best for most infants, keeping the air moist and allowing for congestion to loosen up. Furthermore, give that humidifier a boost. Give her a warm bath before bedtime to open the airways. Warm baths are a perfect combination for congestion. Baby is relaxed, and the warm, moist are allows her airways to open up.
Finally, keep the tried and true suction bulb and its modern variants on hand. It’s the easiest and safest way to remove mucus and keep her airways clear.
Sleeping with congestion is rough for the entire family. But for infants, it’s more than trying. Keep these points in mind as you find seek out the best position for sleep when your baby is congested. Chances are, you’ll have to incorporate a few. It’s worth the effort, and we’ll all sleep better.
Before you go, check out another article from our Mom Advice Line community:
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- How To Help An Angry Child
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- Baby Powder: What’s The Big Deal?
Emily Anderson is a mother of three children, ages 8, 6, and 3. Located in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, Emily is a full-time mom and part-time blogger, jumping in front of the computer screen when the kids are occupied or sleeping. She started this blog in April of 2019 and is proud that the blog is now paying for itself. If you want to know about her journey as a blogger, check out out her post about failing her way to blogging success.