Baby Runny Nose: Things To Know

For most new parents, their baby is the very definition of perfection. From the smooth skin to the beautiful eyes, and the cute button-sized nose. Of course, it is often a beautiful sight to behold. However, your baby’s cute little nose may become a runny nose in no time. In fact, for some babies and toddlers, their noses just never stop running.

Baby runny nose

Here’s a quick fact for you: Babies get a lot of colds. Sometimes, a child may even catch a cold up to ten times in his/her first year of life. Although these episodes are rarely serious, it may be worrisome for the parents. See also baby nose congested.

In this article, you’d discover reliable information about your baby’s runny nose; the causes, symptoms, and treatment options. In addition, there’s a section that contains 4 efficient home tips to try.

Don’t Stop Reading.

What Causes Baby Runny Nose?

Although a runny nose is inevitable and often harmless in childhood, it can be really annoying and difficult to manage. In extreme cases, it may affect a baby’s sleep patterns and position or even his/her eating habits.

For most parents, the major hurdle is discovering why their baby’s nose is runny. The fact is, your little one is still growing. As a result, his or her immune system isn’t strong enough to fight off the countless viruses that cause infections.

Baby runny Nose

In most cases, as it is with the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), the virus spreads through contact with nasal or oral fluids from an infected person. This occurs when a child touches an infected surface or object and then touches his/her nose, eyes, or mouth.

Furthermore, babies can catch a cold that leads to a runny nose from the daycare, older siblings, or even you.

Symptoms of Cold in Babies

As we mentioned earlier, a baby’s runny nose is often the result of a cold. For most babies, the signs of a cold begin to show about three days after infection.

Generally, these signs include:

  • Runny Nose
  • Sneezing
  • Cough
  • Fussiness
  • Fever
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Reduced appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stuffy nose

Thankfully, most of these symptoms disappear after about 7-10 days.

Does The Color Matter?

Interestingly, it is normal for a baby’s mucus to change color while he or she has a runny nose. In fact, the mucus may be clear and colorless initially, but it may turn yellow or green with time.

Don’t panic.

This color change does not mean that your little one has contracted a more serious infection. Remember that the mucus has been sitting pretty in your baby’s nose for days and it may have become filled with trapped bacteria and viruses that cause the color to change.

Does Baby Running Nose Come with Fever?

Yes. It is not strange for a baby to have a slight fever while dealing with the symptoms of a cold. Remember that a fever is any sustained temperature that is above 100.4 degrees.

Thankfully, the fever that comes with cold in babies usually resolves within a day or two. Furthermore, it can be treated with one of the home remedies mentioned later in this article.

Treatment of Baby Runny Nose

Cold in babies doesn’t need any form of special treatment. In fact, the symptoms usually resolves on their own after a few days. In addition, it is important to note that antibiotics only work against bacteria, and not the culprit in this case – viruses.

Yes, we understand the desire to do everything to make your little one feel better. Nevertheless, it is quite risky to give over-the-counter drugs to a child below 6 years of age.

If your child is a newborn, or less than 6 months old, the safest route is to contact your pediatrician immediately. This is because a runny nose in a newborn may be more serious than it is in older babies. At the clinic, your doctor would check to confirm that your baby can eat, breathe, or sleep properly.

At this point, baby runny nose or cold can be treated with saline drops to clear his/her nasal passages. In addition, your doctor may prescribe acetaminophen or ibuprofen to lower a fever in children above 6 months old.

To help your baby feel better, you can try out any or all of the home remedies in the next section.

Home Tips to Try

1. Saline Drops

As we mentioned earlier, saline drops can clear out a baby’s nasal passage to help him or her breathe easier even with a runny nose or cold.

You can prepare an effective saline solution by:

  • Mixing ¼ teaspoon of table salt to a cup of water


  • Simply buy an FDA approved Saline Drop or Nose Spray for babies

Once your solution is ready, lay your baby down and gently put a few drops in each nostril, then wait for a few minutes. Next, use a sterilized bulb syringe to suck out the secretions.

We recommend trying this home remedy for cold in babies just before a breastfeeding session so your baby can breathe well while nursing.

2. Humidified Air

Here’s a sure fact: cool air helps babies breathe better.

A cool-mist humidifier adds moisture to the air and protects your child’s nose from drying out. However, you’ve got to clean the device after each use to prevent a build-up of bacteria.

3. Fluids & More Fluids

If your baby has a cold, you can attempt to nurse him/her as often as possible. Remember that breastmilk is made up of so much water that keeps your baby hydrated at all times. If your child is above 6 months of age, you can also offer water or fruit juice depending on the baby food stage he/she is on.

4. Acetaminophen

As we mentioned earlier, this medication can lower and child’s fever and make him or her more comfortable. However, the best option is to discuss with your doctor before offering your baby any drug.


Finally, it really helps to remember that almost all the runny noses you’d encounter in babies are completely harmless. However, if a cold or baby runny nose lasts longer than two weeks at a stretch, please contact your doctor.

You’ve got nothing to worry about.


Chirico G, Quartarone G, Mallefet P. Nasal congestion in infants and children: a literature review on efficacy and safety of non-pharmacological treatments. Minerva Pediatr. 2014 Dec;66(6):549-57. PMID: 25336097.