Our 9 month old has developed his first illness (yeah, we feel incredibly blessed that we reached 9 months sick-free)

His nose is clogged and he has a very slight cough. We can handle that quite well, I think. But recently, he has developed some hoarseness, and we were wondering what we can do to help alleviate that.

I read that keeping humidity higher helps (we currently have rather dry air; we moved to a new house and we don't have it completely figured out yet, it seems).

Any other hints what we could do?

asked 07 Mar '10, 07:41

brandstaetter's gravatar image

accept rate: 24%

edited 09 Mar '10, 05:56

+1 :( sorry to hear that.

(07 Mar '10, 09:49) Emi

Started bounty to coax some alternative answers out of the crowd. Anything besides humidity that I can take a look at?

(09 Mar '10, 12:15) brandstaetter

Was he coughing a lot?

(10 Mar '10, 03:45) Sabrina

No, just a bit. He developed a slight cold afterwards, but now it looks like it's getting better again. A bit of fever too, but nothing too serious. The hoarseness went away after a day, but I'm still interested in ideas that have nothing to do with the humidity.

(10 Mar '10, 06:10) brandstaetter

Our baby had his first bad cold a few weeks ago when he was about 9.5 months old. His voice got a bit hoarse as well. It sounded like he had lots of mucus in his throat - possibly coming from the back of his nose.

Here are some of the things I did to help him:

  • Saline drops in his nose several times a day.
  • Using a bulb syringe after the saline had a chance to break up the mucus. ( I found that he didn't really like this very much, but at times his nose was so stuffed up he couldn't nurse, so it had to be done. It helped if my husband would hold him while I used the bulb syringe and sang his favouite songs at the same time to help him relax.)
  • I found the bulb syringe formed a better seal if I blocked the other nostril with my finger.
  • He played in the bathroom for both my shower and my husband's shower to breath the humid air.
  • Lots of extra cuddles. I carried him in a baby carrier almost all day when he was sick. I think this also helped him to rest more since he can't crawl around while in the baby carrier.
  • I found that he was able to breath easier when he was more upright. So while he was sick I took him for a nap in his stroller in a semi-reclined position each afternoon.
  • Fresh air, weather permitting, of course.

I haven't tried this, but I've read that putting a few drops of breastmilk in the baby's nose can also be beneficial (works like saline apparently - I'll look for a source).


answered 12 Mar '10, 23:32

cat_g's gravatar image

accept rate: 25%

great tip-compilation. I'll accept that one as answer as it is the most complete, and is the most compatible to our baby-"style"

(13 Mar '10, 09:40) brandstaetter

My little ones both get croup, so we keep a cool-mist humidifier running in their rooms all winter. If the unit is going to be in your little one's room/where he can access it, I recommend a cool-mist so that he doesn't burn himself on the steam. The steam will be cool by the time it reaches him anyway. I have also heard/read that a cool mist is better for cold, but I can't provide a source for this... Don't forget to close the door when he is sleeping, to keep all the humid air in.

To help with the cough, you might want to keep a sippy/bottle of water in the room, to give as soon as he wakes from coughing. If his nose is plugged and the air is dry, his throat likely gets dry from mouth breathing.

I have found that sitting in a warm & steamy bathroom for about 10 minutes several times a day helps with plugged noses.

RE hard to clean humidifiers, there are some out there that aren't! One of ours comes apart really well and goes in the dishwasher to clean! The other one not so much :)


answered 07 Mar '10, 19:03

Krista's gravatar image

accept rate: 18%

+1 great info!!

(08 Mar '10, 15:34) Emi

A recommendation we were given from a few different people to help with congestion may also help with the hoarseness.

Run a hot shower in your bathroom (without a fan and windows closed) to build up a warm mist in the air. Let your baby breath in the warm air/mist to help relieve the congestion. In our experience this has worked with nasal and chest congestion. Be sure to have a lot of tissues near by. I imagine that the moisture might relieve her dry throat as well.

This was also one of the response we received to this question: http://moms4mom.com/questions/139/cold-remedies-for-children-under-two


answered 09 Mar '10, 19:38

Tammy's gravatar image

Tammy ♦♦
accept rate: 18%

We have always found the placing a wet blanket on top of a radiator really stops the air in the room from becoming too dry, during the winter months. I have done this when my husband of my daughter has been feeling congested and has had dry irritable coughing bouts during the night.

Additionally you may like to research in more depth about the benefits of a humidifier. Air-O-Swiss has a very nice website with extensive information about Benefits of Humidification and different types of humidifiers. You may like to check it out.

Of course having said all this, I would also consult your Pediatrician too, to be on the safe side.

Hope he gets better very very soon.


answered 07 Mar '10, 10:26

Emi's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%

I would have used that in our old home, but now we have floor heating (which is wonderful for belly time, btw) - I'll take a look at some humidifiers. I was told that they are annoying to keep clean, though.

(07 Mar '10, 12:40) brandstaetter

They can be a pain to keep clean, it helps if you get distilled water for them. (Our local water is perfectly potable, but seeing what's left in the humidifier could put you off drinking it!)

(07 Mar '10, 17:00) Neen

We have very hard tap water, so I definitely would need distilled water, or else I could start building my own coral reef with all the limescale :)

(08 Mar '10, 05:56) brandstaetter

Well, my Mom always gave us hot water with lemon, or mint tea when we had coughs or sore thoats when we were small. I have no idea if it helped, or if you want to try it on a guy so little, but it certainly made us feel better!


answered 09 Mar '10, 16:19

Neen's gravatar image

accept rate: 30%

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Asked: 07 Mar '10, 07:41

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Last updated: 12 Mar '10, 23:32