Drowning in snot

A coughing baby has to be one of the most heartbreaking sounds in the world–to any parent at least.

Stella has coughed so hard, once yesterday and once today, that she threw up a mixture of mostly formula with some bile and mucus mixed in. Her hacking is HORRIBLE. It sounds painful and junky! She has to endure the ol’ blue bulb syringe several times a day. After her experiences with the tube, she has very well-honed avoidance tactics including head shaking and arm flailing. I could develop a very challenging video game based on this scenario. Suck-a-Muck. Just as exciting as Whack-a-Mole but more gritty and intense.

Amazingly, though, Stella’s still happy most of the time. She gets tired more quickly, just like anyone with a bad cold who is bogged down with congestion.

She’s sleeping in her wedge and staying more upright in general until the worst is over. We put eucalyptus and lavender essential oils in her vaporizer, which is on all the time. A couple times a day we steam up the bathroom and hang out in there until we’re sweaty and curly-haired. And as noted, I suction her nose often, but haven’t resorted to the Angela’s Ashes method of simply placing my mouth over her nose and literally sucking it out and spitting it into the fire. But I would totally do that if it would make this nasty bug leave her alone sooner. In fact, I would do it right now if I thought it would help us all sleep. But her mucus production is simply too high. Any improvement wouldn’t last for long. So I’ll hold off on that tactic.

At the moment, we’re just riding this thing out. We’re not worrying about weight gain at all, just feeding her when she seems hungry and focusing on getting her well. I have to say, it’s her first illness, and seven months is a hell of a run. Nicely done, Stella Bella. Now let’s kick this cough to the curb!


  1. Mimi · March 24, 2009

    Use a cold mist humidifier instead of the vaporizer – poor baby girl! And they don’t want you to give babies any kind of medication these days either – hang in there, she will be back to her self in a few more days.

    Love, Mimi

  2. sustainableeats · March 24, 2009

    Poor Stella!

    One note of caution on the blue bulb syringe that I’ve learned over the last 5 years – it creates a vicious cycle. If you put it into the nose it can aggravate the nasal membranes which swell and cause more congestion. What you are doing with the vaporizer & steamy bathroom are perfect.

    I love these two natural vapor rubs that you can put directly on poor Stella and they are both petroleum free:

    http://www.flutterbyearomatics.com/salves.htm (Eucalyptus chest salve)

    http://www.pollywogbaby.com/item–newborn-vapor-rub–BABYVAPORRUB.html but I am out and their website is down right now 😦 http://www.thenaturalnewborn.com – maybe they will get it fixed soon.

    I’ll be thinking of you covered in snot and sleepless with Stella.


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