What is the Short of Breath Problem in Newborns?

What is the Short of Breath Problem in Newborns

Does Your Newborn Baby Breathe Fast? Should You Concern About It or It is Normal?

Newborn babies sleep 18-22 hours a day. It is quite essential for their proper growth and overall development. New moms often worry that their newborn baby is experiencing shortness of breath in their sleep. Is it a concerning issue or something you shouldn’t worry about? Continue reading to learn some important facts about newborn sleeping short of breath problem!

  • Should you worry if the newborn baby breathes fast?

Most of the new moms worry that their newborn baby is breathing so fast. They wonder whether their baby is healthy or not. Guess what, it’s completely normal for newborns to breathe fast. There is no need to worry about it.

A newborn baby breathes fast because he mainly breathes on his belly. So, when you hold the baby, it feels like he is breathing quite fast. Moms often worry because they compare babies’ breathing habits with adults. What you should worry about is the baby’s sleeping posture. Make sure the baby is sleeping in the right position so that he can breathe conveniently.

  • How many times does a newborn breathe in a minute?

New moms want to ensure the baby is fit and healthy. Therefore, it’s tough for them to sit calmly if the baby is breathing too fast. A healthy baby would breathe up to 40 times in a minute. It’s 24 times faster than an adult person! A healthy adult person breathes only 12-16 times in a minute.

Suppose your baby is breathing 60-70 times in a minute, it is shortness of breath! You should take an expert doctor’s support to ensure your baby is happy and healthy.

There are many reasons due to which a baby can experience shortness of breath in the sleep. A newborn baby’s breathing habits mainly depends on his current health conditions. Suppose your baby breathes fast since his birth and he has no health problems, it is not a concerning issue.

If your baby is experiencing health problems and shortness of breath, you must take your baby to a pediatric doctor. The doctor will make all the necessary checks to diagnose health issues and treat them.

What are the Causes of Shortness of Breath in Newborn Babies?

Newborn babies breathe much faster than an adult person because their respiratory tract is under development. This fast breathing pattern is normal for all the newborns because their body parts develop constantly. Babies, who experience abnormal growth, they may suffer from shortness of breath in the sleep. The following things can cause newborn sleeping short of breath problem!

  • Physiological reasons

Your newborn baby may suffer from shortness of breath problem due to physiological reasons. Babies fully develop during the first year of their life. Newborn babies have a short nasal cavity. That narrow nasal cavity can cause shortness of breath in the sleep.

Some babies can also have a rare condition known as Choanal atresia. Babies experiencing this problem have their nasal passages blocked by tissues or bone. It affects both nasal passages and babies experience shortness of breath. Parents must take their baby to a pediatric doctor to ensure the baby does not have such a health problem.

  • Infection in the respiratory tract

One of the major causes of shortness of breath in infants is respiratory tract infection. The respiratory tract remains under development in babies. The incomplete development of larynx allows foreign things to pass easily. Babies can inhale germs and viruses which can cause respiratory tract infection.

This issue can cause shortness of breath in sleep. Many babies suffer from the flue, viral bronchiolitis, and pneumonia due to lower respiratory tract infection. You should immediately meet a doctor to diagnose this problem. Proper treatment can cure the RTI problem faster and then your baby will breathe normally!

  • Innate factors

Respiratory infections and physiological causes certainly cause shortness of breath in infants. Many babies experience this issue because of innate factors! If the pediatric doctor tries to diagnose the cause of the issue and none of the above-listed reasons causes shortness of breath, it can be due to baby’s structural abnormalities.

The doctor will make further tests to ensure the baby is growing normally. If not, abnormal development of vascular structure, heart issues, and trachea abnormalities can cause this problem. A specialist doctor will diagnose the root cause of the problem and provide an effective cure to treat it quickly.

What are the Symptoms of Shortness of Breath in Newborns?

Infants breathe much faster than adults. Their heartbeats are also much faster than adult people. Therefore, new moms often worry that their baby is experiencing shortness of breath in sleep. You will not worry a lot if you know the symptoms of newborn sleeping short of breath. These symptoms will also help you in understanding the baby’s poor sleeping habits.

  • Fast breathing rate

Newborn babies breathe 40-60 times in a minute. It is a natural breathing pattern for all newborn babies. Adults breathe only 12-15 times in a minute. You should not worry if your baby is breathing at this rate. It only describes that the baby is healthy and comfortable.

Suppose the baby breathes over 70 times in a minute, it is shortness of breath. This symptom indicates that something is troubling your newborn child. You should carefully observe if it happens throughout the day. Take the baby to the doctor to diagnose the root cause of the problem. Medical treatment would be mandatory in such a situation!

  • Baby breathes deeply

Babies breathe smoothly and deeply when they are sleeping. If the baby suffers from shortness of breath problem, chest depression can occur. You will observe depression where the lower edge of ribs and abdomen muscles meet. Some parents observe depression at the center of the sternum.

It is certainly a symptom of shortness of breath if you observe depression at the joint of the upper sternum and neck. Such kind depressions occur because the breathing muscles get laborious.

  • It gets noisy when the baby breathes

Do you hear some noise when the baby is breathing? It can be a symptom of shortness of breath if your baby makes noises while breathing. Noises can occur due to narrow respiratory tract and also due to increased secretions in the respiratory tract.

You can hear loud breathing noise when babies experience the problem. That loud noise worries many moms because it is the first time they hear babies breathing too fast.

Sometimes that breathing noise is too low that you cannot hear it. Doctors use the stethoscope to check whether the baby is making breathing noises. If it is happening, it is a sign that the baby may experience shortness of breath problem. 

What Should Do When Your Baby Experiences Shortness of Breath Problem?

It is pretty daunting for parents to find out what is troubling their newborn child. Babies can’t express things trouble them. Therefore, you have to be extra cautious and do what we have explained below:

  • Try to reveal the cause

Several things can cause shortness of breath in babies. Therefore, it can be tough for parents to understand whether they should take the baby for treatment or he will recover quickly. You can take a sigh of relief if you know the cause. So, try to understand things causing shortness of breath in the sleep. If it is something serious, you can take the baby immediately to the doctor and get proper treatment.

  • Carefully observe the baby

You should observe everything when you have a newborn baby at home. Your cute child is vulnerable to many health problems. Careful observation will help you in avoiding many health issues. You will comfort the baby in the best possible way to keep him fit and healthy all the time.

  • Improve air circulation in the home

It should be your top priority to improve indoor air quality. Use high-quality appliances to improve air circulation. Provide your baby with clean and fresh air to breathe so that he can stay healthy. Timely open windows and doors or use an air purifier in the home to remove all the pollutants from the air.

  • Clean up nasal cavity

You should clean up the baby’s nasal cavity timely to prevent infections and allergies. Harmful bacteria can enter easily into the baby’s respiratory system. It can cause allergies, health issues, and shortness of breath problem. Take an expert pediatrician’s help to ensure your baby’s nasal tracts are clean and free of germs.

  • Take your baby to the doctor

Many newborn babies experience shortness of breath in sleep. Parents should observe the symptoms and focus on the causes. If this problem continues to trouble the baby, you should take your baby to the doctor.

It can be serious health issues and pediatric doctors specialize in treating such issues. The doctor will provide your baby with the best treatment and your baby will feel comfortable again. So, take your baby for a regular health checkup to make sure he is fit and healthy.


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