Baby’s breathing can worry and bring many doubts to first-time parents. It is common for the family to be impressed by the rhythm and sounds of the newborn baby, especially at bedtime when the little one is in the cot.
To make your nights easier, we’ve gathered essential information to make sure your baby is breathing well while you sleep. Check out our tips!
How does baby’s breathing work?
Due to the shape of the airways, babies breathe more through the nose, at a frequency three times faster than an adult. This is because breathing is a new task for the little ones (and not so easy). With time, it gets smaller and by 9 or 10 years of age, the child already has a breath more like that of an adult.
The baby’s breathing is irregular too! That is, some are stronger, deeper and faster, others slower, shallower and slower. But rest assured! This lack of pattern is completely normal for the first few months, so don’t worry.
The baby may even go about 10 seconds without breathing. Believe me, that’s normal too! Soon after the period, he resumes breathing as if nothing had happened.
How do I know if my baby is breathing properly?
The main tip is to watch your baby’s breathing carefully! In time, the family will notice that he makes common noises to sleep, suckle and play, for example. In this way, the parents will know when something is not normal. Check out some common noises and behaviours of newborns:
- The chest rising and falling as you breathe;
- Sounds of breathing changing when you change position;
- Respiratory noises (snorting, sobbing, gurgle).
What are the signs of abnormal breathing?
There are some warning signs that parents should watch out for. Check them out:
- Observe if the nostrils are too dilated, indicating effort to breathe;
- Presence of intense and constant moans at the end of each breath;
- Listen if he gives off acute wheezing or the well-known ‘dog cough’;
- Notice if the throat and rib regions sink when the baby inhales;
- Observe if breathing happens more than 60 times a minute;
- See if the chest and neck muscles go up and down hard.
If you notice any of these signs, it is important to inform the pediatrician. But we have already said that these are not always signs of problems. The most serious concern is when the baby becomes more than 10 seconds without breathing e have a blue or purple colour around the forehead, nose or lips. In this case, it is necessary to seek medical attention immediately, as the baby may not be receiving enough oxygen.
How do you check your baby’s breathing while he sleeps?
First-time parents usually check several times during the night whether their baby’s breathing is correct. There is no rule in this case, and the family can look at your child as often as they like. In time, the parents will be safer to leave the little one relaxing alone until he wakes up.
To avoid disturbing the baby’s sleep and make sure he is breathing, just look at the level of the chest and belly, checking that it goes up and down. By bringing the ear to the child’s mouth and nose, the parents can also hear the sound of breathing.
Watch out for the use of electronic nannies! She can worry more than reassure. It’s natural for babies to make little noises when they’re asleep and, because the device amplifies sounds, it can make parents stand up all the time to see if everything’s OK with their child.
Can you prevent sudden infant death syndrome?
Sudden infant or infant death syndrome, better known as cot death, is still the leading cause of death for babies under the age of one year. It is not yet known what causes the syndrome with healthy babies during sleep.
In 90% of cases, death occurs before the child is six months old, most of the cases in cold weather countries. Even though this is not the reality in our country, it is important to know how to prevent this syndrome. Here are some recommendations:
- Before six months, always put the baby face up in the crib;
- Avoid bulky cradle protectors, as they also increase the risk of suffocation;
- Don’t expose the baby to cigarettes;
- Get the baby used to sleeping more in his crib than in his lap;
- Don’t overdress the child.
Although frightening, sudden infant death syndrome is rare. It is important to always visit a pediatrician so that he can examine your baby and clear up any doubts.
Baby sobbing in the belly is normal?
What is your baby’s grade? Learn about APGAR’s test
Baby’s hands may indicate emotional state