Can A Baby Choke To Death On Mucus? Unpacking Baby Mucus

Written by Daisy
Last updated:
Reviewed by Margaret
Can A Baby Choke To Death On Mucus

Can a baby choke to death on mucus? Yes, mucus can choke a baby to death- but don’t panic. Generally, babies have smaller airways than adults. As a result, excess mucus blocks their breathing system quickly. 

As a mum of four children, I have seen my babies choked by mucus. However, after first-hand experience, pediatric visits, and engaging with other mums, I have mastered the tricks for dealing with excess mucus in babies. 

Therefore, if you are asking, ‘can a baby choke to death on mucus?’ keep reading this article. I will help you understand mucus in babies, how to remove the excess mucus, and answer questions related to this issue. 

Can A Baby Choke On Mucus? 

Babies can choke on many things, including mucus. Newborns have tiny airways that cannot allow the passage of large particles. However, you should not worry because this is common in infants and is manageable.

Also, as your baby grows, their air passageways expand. Therefore, mucus becomes less of a concern.

What To Know About Mucus In Babies 

Mucus in babies is not a threat. Instead, this liquid is crucial to your baby’s growth. 

Mucus helps in the following ways;

  • It keeps your baby’s throat, mouth, and nose moist and soft 
  • It also lubricates the baby’s nose and throat. As a result, it makes it harder for germs to get into their body.  

However, when your baby produces excess mucus, it makes their chest and throat congested. As a result, your baby can choke or produce more gurgling sounds than usual. 

What Causes Excess Mucus 

Excess mucus risks your baby because it can choke them to death. 

A baby is more likely to get a cold and congestion in their throat and chest than a toddler. This is because their breathing system organs are still tiny, and their immune system is under development. 

Therefore, anything that interferes with your baby’s airways will likely cause excess mucus. Some of the things that can trigger excess snot in babies include;

  • Smoke from cigarettes 
  • Dust 
  • Detergents that you use for cleaning 
  • Allergies 
  • Virus 

What Is Alarming And What Is Normal 

As you ask, can a baby choke to death on mucus? Knowing what is normal and what is abnormal with a baby’s mucus is crucial. 

First, it is normal for your baby to have mucus. A healthy baby should produce clear mucus. Also, if your baby has a cold, their mucus will increase and change in color. The snot can turn thicker white, gray, or yellow. 

On the other hand, you should be concerned if the excess mucus is causing some breathing problems. If your baby is not eating, it can cause an alarm too. You can seek medical attention. 

How To Get Rid Of Excess Mucus In Babies 

Ways To Remove Mucus In A Baby 

You need to act if your baby is choking because of excess mucus. You can do the following to remove the mucus;

Use A Syringe  

Sit your baby in a leaning-forward position. This is to help them get the mucus out quickly.

Then, use a bulb syringe to remove the excess mucus. You only need to squeeze the syringe before placing it into your baby’s mouth. This allows it to suction the excess gooey liquid when you release it. 

Use Saline Spray

The saline spray helps to thin the mucus in your baby’s nose so that you can clear it out. Put in one or two drops when placing the baby on their back.  

Use A Soft Cloth 

You can keep wiping your baby with a clean cloth or tissue to remove the excess mucus. 

Use Humidifier 

Get a cool mist humidifier and keep it in your baby’s room. This will make the air moist, allowing your baby to cough out the excess mucus. Always ensure that the humidifier is clean to avoid mold growing inside. 

How To Prevent Excess Mucus In A Baby’s Throat 

You can also prevent the building up of excess mucus in your baby. This can be achieved by: 

Bathing your baby in warm water– giving your baby a warm bath will help them to breathe in the steam. This will help to remove excess mucus. 

Avoid dust in your home– Dust is one of the things that triggers excess mucus in babies. Therefore, vacuum every corner of your house regularly to eliminate it and other allergic particles. 

Seek medical attention– you can talk to your pediatrician about what your baby is feeding. The doctor will advise on what is best to prevent excess mucus in your baby. 

How To Loosen Nasal Mucus For 1-Year Old

When your baby’s nasal mucus is loose, it becomes easy to spit it out or cough it. 

I prepare a very hot bath, and we lock ourselves with my baby inside a room. I let the baby breathe in the steam. Once the bath is warm, I remove my clothes, get inside the warm bath, and lay my baby on my chest. The baby enjoys the bath while half inside and half outside. This has worked wonders when my baby has excess mucus. 

What To Avoid To Remove Baby’s Mucus 

You can panic when you hear a yes about the question, ‘can a baby choke to death on mucus?’ As a result, you can do crazy things to save them. However, there are things you shouldn’t do. This includes: 

  • Giving your baby over-the-counter flu or cold medication 
  • Using vapor rubs on your baby. According to a study done in 2009, vapor rubs can harm newborns and children less than two years. 
  • Pouring any liquid, including water, into your baby’s nose to remove the mucus.
Can A Baby Choke To Death On Mucus

Related Questions 

Can A Newborn Choke On Mucus While Sleeping?

Yes, your baby can choke on mucus in their sleep. This happens when they are congested with excessive mucus.

Can Mucus Affect A Baby’s Breathing System?

It is normal for your baby to have mucus in their nose and throat for lubrication. However, the child may have difficulty breathing if the mucus becomes excess. This can cause irritation and lack of proper sleep and eating.

What Can You Do To A Baby Who Chokes At Night?

If your baby is choking at night because of excess mucus, you can elevate their sleeping cot. Also, you can add a humidifier next to their bassinet to moisten the air. This allows your baby to cough up the mucus instead of getting choked. 

What Do You Do If A Baby Chokes On Phlegm?

If your baby chokes because of excess phlegm, you can use essential oils to loosen their mucus. There are several essentials you can find for this purpose. However, only administer such oils to your baby with the guidance of a healthcare professional. For example, you can add eucalyptus or spearmints to your baby’s humidifier. 

Do Toddlers Choke On Mucus At Night?

Yes, a toddler can get choked by mucus at night. However, it is rare because their airways have matured, and their immune system is better than a baby’s. Choking is possible if they have a severe cold or flu. 

Which Is The Best Sleeping Posture For A Baby With Excess Mucus?

If you notice that your baby has excess mucus, you can have them at a slight incline when sleeping. This will help them with the congestion and be able to sleep peacefully. 

Why Do Babies Born Through C-sections Get Congested Easily With Mucus? 

When I gave birth to my second born through C-section, my midwife mentioned that my baby would experience congestion from time to time. This is because the baby’s mucus was not squeezed as it would have been for vaginal delivery.


If you have a newborn, you may ask, ‘can a baby choke to death on mucus?’ because you may have seen your baby choke once or twice. The truth is excess mucus can clog your baby. 

However, you shouldn’t panic because there are remedies for excess mucus in babies. For example, you can get a nose Frida syringe and suction the mucus. Also, you can buy a humidifier for your baby’s room. 

If the excess mucus worries you, you can also see a doctor.    

Photo of author
Daisy Martinez, a Certified Financial Planner and mother of two, blends finance expertise from Ohio State and Anderson School of Management with hands-on parenting insights. Founder of "" and "", she's passionate about guiding parents in financial and parenting realms.

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