Why Does Your Baby Sneeze All the Time?
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Does your little one sneeze a lot? If yes, then you must be thinking that they are sick. Their every sneeze or sniffle might make you wonder that something is wrong with them, and you may panic. But you don’t need to worry if your newborn is sneezing too much. Find out why your newborn might be sneezing too much and what you can do about it. Also, learn about when a baby starts sneezing, the causes behind your little one sneezing and home remedies to treat infant sneezing. Let’s explore this topic so that you can give your bundle sneeze-free time!
Video : Baby Sneezing a Lot – Is It Cold or Something Else?
Is It Normal for a Newborn to Sneeze?
If your newborn sneezes a lot, you should be reassured that her body is working just fine. Sneezing is a healthy action and you should be happy to see your baby sneezing. It is a reflex action controlled by the nervous system which helps clear the dust particles in the nasal passage or to remove congestion in the respiratory system. The air we inhale is filled with dust particles, chemicals, pollutants, germs, and other impurities which needs to be cleaned through sneezing. So, if your 2-month-old baby is coughing and sneezing but does not have a fever or other symptoms, you need not worry about any serious illness – you can speak to your child’s doctor if you have any concern.
Instead of worrying about the frequent sneezes, you should be happy that your baby’s body is reacting in a natural way. Sneezing will help clear the dust particles and impurities clogged in the tiny nasal passage of your baby and keep the flow of air in and out of her nasal passage in a natural way. However, if she is sneezing continuously, you should consult a doctor.
Why Does Your Baby Sneeze So Much?
All newborns have a different pattern of breathing. For instance, some babies may take rapid short spurts of air and then slowly steady their breathing. So it may take your little one a while to master the art of breathing normally. baby Sneezing a lot is a common phenomenon in newborns but there are quite a few reasons why they may sneeze so much.
1. To Clear Impurities in the Nose
Newborns usually breathe through their nose and it takes them around 3-4 months to breathe through their mouth. It is difficult for them to make a sudden transition from nose breathing to mouth breathing. Hence, babies need to sneeze quite often to clear their nose and resume their normal breathing pattern.
2. Due to a Tiny Nose
Newborns have tiny noses, and tiny noses mean tiny nasal passage. Your little bundle of joy’s cute tiny nose also has a narrow nasal passage which can easily attract dust particles from the atmosphere. Hence, she may sneeze to clear her nasal pathway.
3. To Unclog a Blocked Nostril
Babies often suffer from a clogged nostril. When you breastfeed your baby, her tiny nostrils may get pressed or flattened (as she might be clinging to you). This may cause a temporary block in her nostrils which then gets unclogged by sneezing.
4. Due to the Presence of Irritants in the Air
The irritants like cigarette smoke, strong cologne or perfumes, dust particles, etc., present in the air can also make your baby sneeze. Babies also vomit milk; if your little one vomits milk, it can enter her nostril and cause irritation and sneezing. Since your little one can’t snort or sniff to get rid of the impurities, she may eventually have to sneeze. In order to prevent this, you can keep your house ventilated. You can either install exhaust fans in your house or keep the windows open frequently for better air circulation.
5. Due to Fever or Illness
Sneezing in babies can also be a sign of a cold. The most common symptoms of cold include upper tract respiratory infections, sneezing, coughing, and nasal discharge. Due to an immature immune system, your baby may catch a cold from other members of the family, if they have a cold. So as a parent, you must ensure that anyone who takes the baby in their arms washes their hands properly and uses a sanitizer before holding the baby. Alternatively, you can also use anti-histamines as per the doctor’s prescription. Also, once infected with cold, immediate treatment is required to prevent severe infection.
6. Due to the Dryness in the Air
As your little one has a tiny nasal passage, the mucus in her nose may dry easily. You may witness this more in the winter months or at dry places or in air-conditioned rooms. As a result, she may sneeze more often. In order to avoid this, you can use make her use a vaporizer – it will help lower nasal dryness.
7. Due to Some Allergy
Hay fever can also be one of the causes if your baby is sneezing frequently. Also known as allergic rhinitis, hay fever causes nasal congestion. The impure particles in the atmosphere cause allergic reactions which lead to hay fever. It can also occur due to dust, insect bites, or animal hair. This can be avoided by protecting babies from foreign particles and allergies. Since it is not practically possible to do so, you may also use anti-histamines as per doctor’s prescriptions.
How Soon After Birth Do Babies Start to Sneeze?
After a few days of being born, a baby may start sneezing. Your newborn may be sneezing to clear their noses of amniotic fluid.
What Are the Types of Allergies That Cause Baby Sneezing?
The following allergies may result in a newborn sneezing a lot:
1. Environmental Allergies
These can include allergens like pollen, dust mites, pet dander, or mould. When a baby is exposed to these allergens, it can trigger sneezing and other allergic reactions.
2. Food Allergies
Certain foods, such as cow’s milk, eggs, soy, or peanuts, can cause allergic reactions in babies, including sneezing. Food allergies often manifest with other symptoms like hives, vomiting, or diarrhoea as well.
Home Remedies for Infant Sneezing
Here are some home remedies that can help if your baby is sneezing a lot.
1. Breast Milk or Formula
Feeding your baby with breast milk or formula helps keep them well-hydrated, which can thin mucus and reduce sneezing caused by congestion.
2. Warm Compress
Apply a warm, damp cloth to your baby’s forehead and nose. This can help soothe congestion and provide some relief from sneezing.
3. Elevate the Head
Elevating your baby’s head slightly during sleep can assist with drainage and reduce sneezing caused by nasal congestion. Place a rolled-up towel or a crib wedge under the mattress to achieve a slight incline.
When to Consult a Doctor?
Babies sneeze quite frequently in a day and at times in a row which is again very normal. But if your baby has a runny nose, is sneezing all the time, and shows symptoms of a cough and fever, then you should consult your baby’s paediatrician immediately. Also, if your baby suffers from the following symptoms then she will require immediate medical attention:
- If she is breathing very fast or is panting for breath, it means she is finding it difficult to breathe.
- Forceful chest movements and straining while breathing is also a sign of illness and difficulty in breathing.
- If your baby seems to eat less than she used to before and also feels less energetic.
- If your baby sleeps more than the usual 8-10 hours of a day and has low energy levels you must consult your doctor immediately.
Some other common signs which newborn babies experience include hiccups and rattling noises while sleeping and breathing, etc. Some babies even make funny noises while sleeping which can also be considered as baby snores. But remember there is no reason to panic till you witness some very serious signs of illness. Regular doctor visits and detailed discussion regarding the baby breathing patterns will put your mind at ease.
1. How Long Does Newborn Sneezing Usually Last?
Ordinary cold symptoms, like sneezing in infants, typically persist for a few days to a few weeks. This is generally considered normal unless there are additional, more serious signs like fever and respiratory problems.
2. Is Breastfeeding Effective in Reducing Newborn Sneezing?
Breastfeeding can offer newborns antibodies and essential nutrients that have the potential to enhance their immune system, reducing the likelihood of respiratory infections that could lead to sneezing.
3. What Over-the-counter Medicines Can I Give My Newborn for Sneezing and Congestion?
It is typically discouraged to use over-the-counter cold medications for babies and very young infants. While saline nasal drops or sprays can assist in alleviating nasal congestion, it’s crucial to consult a physician before giving any medication to an infant.
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3. Kuender D. Yang, Chih-Chiang Wu, Ming-Tsung Lee, et.al; Prevalence of infant sneezing without colds and prediction of childhood allergy diseases in a prospective cohort study; National Library of Medicine; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5800937/; January 2018
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