When To Worry About Newborn Breathing

When Should I Worry About My Newborns Breathing

Doctor Concerned About A Newborn Baby’s Breathing | GPs: Behind Closed Doors | Channel 5

There are indeed some telltale signs accompanying a breathing emergency in your baby. I will list some of the more common and obvious things you will see, although if you are genuinely concerned that your little one is having a breathing issuedont wait and call your doctor or 911. Dont worry mom, your common sense paired with your instincts will rarely lead you down the wrong path.

Warning Signs And Symptoms

  • Turns blue all over or in areas that typically get a lot of blood flow like the lips, tongue, and the vagina. Even though bluing of the hands and feet can be fairly common due to an infant’s immature circulatory system, if other areas are turning blue, it’s time to get immediate attention.
  • Has a significantly increased breathing rate, which is more than 60 breaths per minute
  • Struggles to breathe, which can be spotted by the nostrils persistently flaring and the chest retracting unusually
  • Is feeding poorly or has no interest in eating
  • Is lethargic or excessively sleepy

Newborn Breathing Patterns: Is My Babys Breathing Normal

Jenny Carrier

I will never forget the first time I heard the sound of my baby boy letting out his first cry. It was the sound of relief, of months of waiting, of hours of hard work. It was the precious sound of life. I remember that in that moment, I looked at my husband and said OK! Hes breathing! and everyone in the room laughed partly because I had a big goofy grin on my face, but mostly because we were all sharing in that miraculous instance of my babys first breath.

When you spend months and months waiting to hear the sound that proves that your baby is healthy, it can be hard not to obsess over his breathing every night after that. As moms, we worry about every little thing and a babys breathing is a big deal ! So lets take a look at whats normal, and whats not, so you can rest easy knowing that your babys weird little noises are just that weird little noises.

Babys Breathing: Whats Normal?

Newborns will often make little grunting sounds, squeaks, tiny coos or cries and take sudden deep breaths all of which are incredibly cute but surprisingly loud at times. These are all just part of your baby teaching himself to breathe, and to sleep! Since newborns spend a lot of time in light REM sleep, they tend to make a lot of little noises while they dream and process all the learning they did that day.

Okay, So Whats NOT Normal?

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When To Call Your Healthcare Provider

Always call the healthcare provider if you have any questions. In infants, minor symptoms can worsen very quickly. Also, call your child’s healthcare provider right away for any of these:

  • Pauses in breathing that last more than 15 seconds

  • Pauses in breathing that happen very often

  • Baby stops breathing and becomes limp, pale, or blue around the mouth

  • Baby’s skin is a bluish color during periods of normal breathing

  • Baby vomits repeatedly or is not eating well

  • Baby is not responding normally

  • Fever of 100.4°F or higher, or as directed by your child’s healthcare provider

  • Baby breathes very fast

How Can You Ensure The Baby Gets To Breathe Properly

Infant Breathing Difficulty: What the Problem Might Be ...

The following tips can help :

  • Let the baby sleep on his or her back: Sleeping on the back is the best sleep position for a baby. It ensures that the esophagus stays lower than the trachea and does not allow regurgitated food from accumulating at the opening of the trachea. Putting the baby to sleep on the tummy or side can cause regurgitated food to gather near the opening of the trachea, thus leading to breathing problems and even choking.
  • Keep the babys crib empty: Do not stuff the infants crib with soft toys and other bedding. Your babys sleeping area should be bare. Placing objects around increase the risk of obstructing the babys breathing.
  • Keep baby away from stuffed toys or animals: Keep baby away from pollution, dust etc., and avoid using perfumes or spray if the baby is allergic.
  • Sleep with the baby in the same room: Pediatric experts recommend parents and babies to sleep in the same room, with the baby in his or her crib, till the age of six months and preferably till one year. It helps you detect any complications or problems with breathing.
  • Keep baby away from smoke: Smoke, especially tobacco smoke, can cause inflammation of the infants airways and increase the risk of sleep apnea . For this reason, make sure the babys room is free of smoke and even dust. Never smoke or let others smoke around the baby.

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How Is Transient Tachypnea Of The Newborn Treated

Babies with TTN are watched closely and may go to a neonatal intensive care unit or special care nursery. There, doctors check babies’ heart rates, breathing rates, and oxygen levels to make sure breathing slows down and oxygen levels are normal.

Breathing Help

Some babies with TTN need extra oxygen. They get this through a small tube under the nose called a .

A baby who gets extra oxygen but still struggles to breathe might need continuous positive airway pressure to keep the lungs from collapsing. With CPAP, a machine pushes a steady stream of pressurized air or oxygen through a nasal cannula or mask. This helps keep the lungs open during breathing.


Good nutrition can be a problem when a baby is breathing so fast that he or she can’t suck, swallow, and breathe at the same time. If so, fluids can keep the baby hydrated while preventing blood sugar from dipping too low.

If your baby has TTN and you want to breastfeed, talk to your doctor or nurse about pumping and storing breast milk until your baby is ready to feed. Sometimes babies can get breast milk or formula through a:

  • nasogastric tube: a small tube placed through the baby’s nose that carries food right to the stomach
  • orogastric tube: a small tube placed through the baby’s mouth that carries food right to the stomach

If your baby has one of these tubes, ask the doctor about providing breast milk for your baby.

Is It Normal For My Baby To Gasp For Air

There are a couple of reasons why your baby is gasping for air. Some of the reasons are normal, and some of them are not. For example, if your baby is crying hard, she will be gasping for air while crying. This is normal.

Also, breathing problems that occur only occasionally are not worrisome as well. On the other hand, if the breathing problem is persistent, it might be a warning sign, and you should call your pediatrician to go over your little ones unique situation.

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How To Prevent Respiratory Infections

Not all breathing problems can be avoided. You can help prevent many respiratory infections by taking these steps:

  • Do not smoke around your child or in places that he goes, even when he is not there. Children who are around smokers get twice as many respiratory infections and colds as those who do not live with smokers. Smoke residue can build up on surfaces in rooms and in cars.
  • Keep places where your child will be dust-free.
  • Do not use baby powder or cornstarch on your child. These things can irritate a baby’s lungs.
  • Everyone should practice good hand washing to prevent the spread of germs.
  • If possible, keep your child away from people who are sick.

HH-I-178 11/93, Revised 06/18 | Copyright 1993, Nationwide Childrens Hospital

What Are Normal Breathing Noises For My Newborn

newborn breathing what’s normal and what’s not

Babies can make a lot of odd noises when they breatheand many of them are considered normal.

I remember being in the hospital the day after my first daughter was born and being quite alarmed at the whistles and grunts coming out of her.

I mean, I KNEW that babies make strange noises sometimes, but it just seemed like she was getting tired from all of the sounds coming out of her. What if she just stopped breathing? What if she had something stuck in her throat?

Of course, she was just fine and it was completely normal.

But that doesnt mean we dont worry about these things as new parents. To a point, we should. We are officially in charge of our own little human, and their health and well being is our responsibility.


Keep in mind, whats considered normal newborn breathing can differ a little when they are sleeping. When we as adults sleep, we often grunt and snore, and your little love is no different. You may hear more noises than usual out of them, and this is usually not a cause for concern.

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What Does It Mean If Your Baby Is Taking 60 Breaths Per Minute

14 Baby Can Have Contracted Pneumonia. Rapid breathing in infants is often considered taking more than 60 breaths per minute regularly. While it is true that infants do breathe faster than adults or even young children, if the baby is steadily taking more than 60 breaths per minute it could be a sign of pneumonia.

The baby may see and hear their mother making this funny noise and breathing harder than usual so they simply try to copy the behavior. This type of rapid breathing is usually nothing to worry about but rather a funny new trick the baby can do and a sign that the infant is learning about the world around them.

If Your Child Is Not A Known Asthmatic:

Then you can try treating this by letting your child breathe steam for 20 minutes every couple hours, clap on the back and chest for several minutes during the steam, and give your child an expectorant. If your childs breathing remains labored and difficult despite this, you should probably go to an ER or urgent care because your doctor wont be able to do much over the phone.

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Problems With Feeding And Drinking

Problems with feeding and drinking can be a sign of a problem with the lungs and airways.

Your child may not be feeding or drinking if:

  • they have an infection and a high temperature
  • they are struggling to feed and breathe at the same time

Seek help if your child is having difficulty breastfeeding or they are drinking half, or less than half, the amount they usually would. They may need to go to hospital to make sure they get enough food and fluid.

How Is Transient Tachypnea Of The Newborn Diagnosed

Your baby

Doctors usually diagnose transient tachypnea of the newborn in the first few hours after a baby is born.

A doctor will examine the baby and also might order one or all of these tests:

  • Chest X-ray. This safe and painless test uses a small amount of radiation to take a picture of the chest. Doctors can see if the lungs have fluid in them.
  • Pulse oximetry. This painless test measures how much oxygen is in the blood. A small piece of tape with an oxygen sensor is placed around a baby’s foot or hand, then connected to a monitor.
  • Complete blood count . This blood test checks for signs of infection.

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When Does A Baby Start To Breath Faster Than An Adult

A childs lungs are not fully developed until ages 2 to 5 . Newborns breath a lot faster than older babies, kids, and adults. On average, newborns younger than 6 months take about 40 breaths per minute. That looks pretty fast if youre watching them. Breathing may slow down to 20 breaths per minute while newborns sleep.

At What Point You Should Worry About Baby Cough

Going by the health statistics, you will find fever and cough as the most prevalent condition during winter. While we may already understand what fever is, it is good to understand that cough is a good companion of fever. As it were, many things can lead to cough and lets begin by looking at baby cough when to worry.

During winter, children are more exposed to conditions that could result in a cough.

As such, it becomes a worry for parents considering that cough may indicate something life-threatening.

Coughs are known to last for long causing a lot of distress to not only the kid but the parent, friends, teachers, and classmates as well.

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Reasons To Call A Doctor

Early diagnosis gives your child the best chance of recovery and can help reduce the occurrence of future problems. Any change in the pattern of your newborn’s breathing may indicate a respiratory problem. If you have any concerns about your baby’s breathing, call a doctor immediately. Doctors can perform a chest X-ray to diagnose any breathing issues and provide a treatment plan accordingly.

If your baby develops any of the following symptoms, you should call 911:

  • Their breathing stops for 20 seconds or longer.
  • Their lips, fingernails, toenails, or tongue turn blue .

Visit your doctor immediately in any of the following circumstances:

  • Your baby is moaning or grunting with every breath.
  • Your baby’s nostrils are flaring, as they are making more effort to take oxygen into their lungs.
  • The muscles around your baby’s collarbones, on their neck, or under their ribs are pulling in and out more deeply than normal.
  • Your baby is having difficulty eating along with breathing problems.
  • Your baby has a fever along with breathing issues.
  • Your baby is lethargic, and their energy levels are decreased.

Newborn breathing patterns are often irregular and can make parents worry. Babies often make distinctive noises while breathing, breathe quickly, and take occasional pauses between breaths. Though these newborn breathing patterns are normal, you should pay close attention to them.

What Might Breathing Problems Mean In A Newborn

Signs Your Child Is STRUGGLING TO BREATHE | The Child Repair Guide

Babies breathe much faster than older children and adults. A newborn’s normal breathing rate is about 40 to 60 times per minute. This may slow to 30 to 40 times per minute when the baby is sleeping. A babys breathing pattern may also be different. A baby may breathe fast several times, then have a brief rest for less than 10 seconds, then breathe again. This is often called periodic breathing and is normal. Babies normally use their diaphragm, the large muscle below the lungs, for breathing.

Changes in a baby’s breathing rate or pattern, using other muscles and parts of the chest to breathe, or changes in color may mean the baby is having respiratory distress and needs immediate medical attention.

Signs of respiratory problems may include the following:

For any sign of respiratory problems, consult your baby’s healthcare provider immediately.

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