Our babies do seem to have 'smaller pipes' as my mum would put it. Or as someone writing in a book would put it, 'Specifically, children with Down syndrome have smaller midfacial areas, including nasal and sinus passages, which may contribute to frequent colds and sinus infections.' (Babies with Down Syndrome - A New Parents Guide).
I remember Ada having lots of colds when she was really young but she was a winter baby. So when Frida arrived in the summer I thought we might have a bit of time when she wasn't snuffly before I had to start shooting saline solution up her nose to give her some relief. But she got snuffly really quickly and it turns out she was not alone. I have read and commented on so many posts on the PADS New Parents Group about nasal congestion that I would say it is probably one of the most discussed issues and experienced by most new babies. A quick search today for 'snot' on the group brought up more from way before I was even pregnant with Frida. So the struggle is real.
We all want to make our baby more comfortable and the resounding advice seems always to be the trusty vapour plug and importantly, a snot sucker! I bought the aptly named 'Nose Frida' from a popular online retailer (probably parcel number 5 of 10 that week in lockdown....) and it has been one of my most used baby products.
Mostly for us I am only getting a small amount out and because her pipes are so small it often sounds a lot worse than it is. She is not a quiet eater at the best of times but when she has a cold I have to feed her with a closed door to avoid her waking up the entire house.
I am breastfeeding so I also eat more tangerines (more advice from my brilliant mum) whenever the snuffles flare up but it is the snot sucker that makes Frida more comfortable. It has also seemed to have helped us, so far, avoid any of it going to her chest. I would keep a look out for other symptoms when there is a lot of snot, and listen out for any rattling chests and get straight on the phone to a healthcare professional if you have any worries at all.
When she was really little Frida wasn't bothered by me shoving a tube up her nose and sucking snot out but recently she has started to get more than a little annoyed with me. It cannot be comfortable - but I am reassured that she always awards me with a huge smile once she realises she can breathe a lot more easily.
From what I can work out they don't cause any damage and I highly recommend getting one. A snot sucker sounds more disgusting that it actually is (trust me I was well against the idea to start with am and now, as you see, quietly obsessed with it) and there is no risk of you getting snot in your mouth. A quick snot extraction here and there could help in both the short and longer term by making your baby more comfortable avoiding it settling further down on their chest.