For the first few days of your baby’s life, he or she may have a lot of mucus in their nose or throat. A baby’s gag reflex can be triggered by too much mucus, so they may appear to choke if there are excess secretions in their mouth. Sometimes babies even spit up or vomit after coughing to clear the mouth and nose of excess mucus.

What should I do if my baby is choking on mucus?

If your baby appears to have too much mucus, you can gently suction the nose and mouth with a bulb syringe to help clear the excess secretions. If your baby gags or spits up mucus, turn them on their side and firmly pat their back as if you’re burping them.

Is excess mucus a cause for concern?

Caregivers should be vigilant with babies when they are sick. If your baby appears to be in distress, pick them up and offer comfort, suctioning any mucus you can. If they seem to have difficulty breathing, poor hydration or if you are worried about your baby, then have them evaluated by a medical professional.

ABOUT THE EXPERT

Sarah Schaffer DeRoo Sarah Schaffer DeRoo, MD, is a board certified pediatrician at Children's National Hospital.

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