Parenthood may feel completely frustrating and overwhelming, especially if it is your first newborn because you don’t know when your newborn is sneezing a lot or if the sneezing is normal for a newborn. Many thoughts begin to come to mind,. Why is my newborn sneezing a lot? why does he/she keeps sneezing?. Is my child sick? Sneezing in newborns is normal, but when the sneezing is getting too much or your newborn is having a fever, cough or other symptoms, this may be a sign of a respiratory illness which will require urgent attention by a healthcare provider or doctor.
In this article we will take a high in-depth look at sneezing in newborns and the frequently asked questions by parents.
Why Do Baby Sneeze?
It should be noted that sneezing in newborns is a normal and healthy process by which the body knows the nervous system of your newborn is functioning perfectly, as sneezing is a reflex action which is controlled by the nervous system just like in adults. This reflex is initiated when the nasal passages are irritated.
Newborns are always with stuffy noses and sneezing a lot because their nose gets clogged easily and they need to clear their nose more than adults due to smaller nasal passages. Smoke, dust, breast milk and mucus all contribute to sneezing in newborns. They also tend to sneeze as newborns, unlike adults cannot sniff or snort yet, leaving sneezing as the only way to clear their noses.
It will also be observed that newborns breathe mostly with their mouths, which is also a major contributory factor to sneezing. Newborns sneeze a lot as a way which helps them to breathe more easily and to clear their nasal passages. There is no need to panic or go to the doctor; if there are no other symptoms associated with the sneezing, the parent does not need to worry.
Newborns also sneeze as a means of natural protection against unseen germs they are encountered with on giving birth to the world. Due to the poor immune system in newborns, sneezing can help to prevent them from getting sick. Microorganisms and germs may try to enter the newborn system through the nasal passage, which will make the baby sick and sneezing helps to clear those germs.
Newborn sneezing and Associated Common Illness.
It is completely normal for a newborn to sneeze, but when the sneezing is becoming too much then it may be a sign of a common respiratory illness. The common respiratory illness associated with a newborn sneezing too much includes the common cold, the flu or nasal allergies.
Newborn Sneezing and Allergies.
Allergies are common to both newborns and adults, which can aggravate sneezing, especially in newborns. These allergies in newborns are a response to mold, dust or pollen in the environment.
Symptoms of Nasal Allergies in newborns.
The symptoms to look out for in your newborns when they are sneezing too much are:
-When newborn is sniffing and has a stuffy nose.
-Swollen and red eyes
-Restlessness and not being able to sleep at night.
Other signs which will allow the parent to know their newborn is sneezing too much because of an allergy are if there is the presence of a rash or itching.
Remedies for Sneezing Due to Allergy.
The major way to stop sneezing in newborns due to allergies is to eliminate exposure to the allergen. For example, if her allergen is cat fur, then the cat is kept away from the baby.
The sneezing may also be due to the milk the baby is being fed with; once this is noticed, it is advisable to change the diet of your newborn accordingly.
Most medications are not recommended for treatment of allergies for children under 2 years; you can check with your healthcare provider before giving your newborn any medications .
Newborn Sneezing and the Common Cold.
If a newborn’s sneezing is associated with a runny nose, it could be a sign of a common cold has most newborns are susceptible to common colds in their first year due to their immune system has not fully matured. The diagnosis of common cold is made by a doctor or healthcare provider by your newborn signs and symptoms . Most cases of common cold get better without treatment, usually within 7 to 10 days.
Symptoms of Common Cold in Newborns Includes:
- -Nasal Congestion
- -Runny Nose.
When newborns have the common cold, a runny nose is caused by certain chemicals which are secreted by the body.
However, there are some home remedies that can assist in getting rid of cold fast.
-Clear the nasal passage:- The new born nasal passage can be cleared by using a soft rubber suction bulb to gently remove any secretions from the baby’s nose.
Humidifier:- This may help newborns soften the phlegm in the nasal passage.
-Bed Rest:- The newborn should be allowed to rest properly. This will allow the sneezing and runny nose to stop faster.
-Intake of plenty of fluids:- In order to avoid dehydration, liquids are important for your newborns. Breast milk or formula is the best choice of fluid. Breastmilk has also been shown to provide protection against germs that can cause cold.
Newborn Sneezing and the Flu.
The flu is very common among newborn, and it can be unavoidable sometimes. Although, sneezing in the flu is not severe as that of the common cold, this respiratory illness can cause some degree of sneezing in newborns. The flu usually attacks the lungs, nose and throat of newborns. Due to the poor immune system of newborns, they are particularly susceptible to the flu:
Symptoms of Flu.
- Dry Cough
- Runny Nose
- Chills and body aches
Sneezing is not a definite indication that your newborn has the flu. It is important when the sneeze is associated with fever, chills and a runny nose, to consider the possibility of a flu. Contact your health provider if this happens.
Frequently asked questions about sneezing in newborns.
How to stop sneezing in newborn?
As it has been said earlier, sneezing in newborns is essentially normal and becomes a problem when it comes with additional symptoms or it happens more frequently.
Your health care provider may suggest easy ways to treat your newborns symptoms if their sneezing is related to a respiratory infection like the common cold.
– Among the recommended treatments is clearing blocked nasal passages with a bulb syringe or using a cool mist humidifier, which assists in keeping the nasal passages moist.
-If you are someone that has pets in the house, you will need to keep the pet in a separate room or keep them outside from your newborn.
-You must also avoid smoking around your newborn or the spraying of perfumes and fragrances.
-You must also ensure they are hydrated at all times.
When Should I Be Concerned About My Newborn Sneezing?
As sneezing frequently is a normal process in newborns, parents should be worried when the sneeze is associated with a runny nose, when the sneeze is happening almost all the time, and when your newborn begins to show signs of fever and cold. This may be a sign of a respiratory illness, then your baby’s pediatrician should be consulted immediately.
Other signs to look for are :
-When your newborn is breathing very fast or very slow, which means they are finding it difficult to breathe
-If your newborn is having trouble sleeping and making funny noises with their nose.
Can a 2-week-old get a cold :
It has been shown that a baby can get colds at any age or time of the year. Cold in newborns are very common. The viruses that are the major causative agent live in the air and surfaces of materials, which makes transmission easier even without being in contact with someone that has a cold. The chances of your baby getting colds increase when they are around older children. In newborns, the common cold is not considered dangerous, but when not noticed quickly can escalate to pneumonia or something worse. Common signs of cold in newborns include a running nose and sneezing too much.
Why does my newborn sounds congested ?
Parents should not panic as this is common to all newborns because of their tiny little nasal passages and they sound congested in the first few weeks of life. After delivery, there may still be some residual amount of fluid left in their sinuses; this may cause them to sound congested. Due to the tiny passages, they are easily blocked by mucus or dry air, which makes the baby sound congested. They may also sound congested when they breathe in irritants, smoke and dust. They produce mucus to trap these particles leading to congestion. This is typically normal and it can be resolved by using a nasal saline spray and a cool mist humidifier. It is advised to see the doctor when the congestion is not allowing the baby to breathe properly or breathing too fast.
What position should a congested baby sleep in?
The best position for a congested baby is to sleep on their back with the head elevated by a pillow. If the baby can’t sleep with the congested nose, try to hold the baby upright for 10 to 15 minutes before settling them down. When a baby is congested, you can place a towel or pillow under their head in order to keep it elevated, which will help drain the mucus from your baby’s nose and mouth and clear the congestion.
Can my baby suffocate from a stuffy nose?
It is not likely your baby can suffocate from a stuffy nose when it is congested. Most babies breathe through their mouth when the nose appears to be congested or they cant breathe through the nose properly. However, newborns can suffocate from a stuffy nose when the congestion is so great that it interferes with breathing. Therefore, it is important for parents to be very observant of their newborns and be at alert at all times.
How do I make my baby sneeze and clear his nose?
Babies can be made to sneeze in order to clear their stuffy nose by putting saline water into each nostril using the nose dropper. Make one or two saline nose drops into each nostril and use a rubber suction bulb to extract the content.
How do I clean my newborn nose?
Cleaning your newborn’s nose is important in order to allow them to breathe properly and effectively. Different ways of cleaning newborn nose include:
– Use of a rubber bulb syringe: This is used by parents to suck out mucus from their new born nostrils. It is advisable to use the rubber bulb syringe with a nasal saline drop because it softens the hardened mucus and makes it easier to extract.
-Nasal Aspirator: This can be used instead of the rubber bulb syringe. Using this equipment, you will be creating a auctioning power with your mouth rather than your hand in case of the rubber bulb syringe.
The aspirator is carefully placed in the nostril and the mouthpiece in the mouth; then the content is gently sucked out of the nostrils.
-Nasal Spray: Nasal sprays are used to soften the mucus and clear the nose when the baby sneezes.
Is it normal for newborns to sneeze and cough?
Sneezing and coughing for newborns are certainly normal, as these are common reflexes. When both the sneezing and coughing are getting too much, contact your healthcare provider or a pediatrician for proper care.
How much sneezing is normal for a newborn?
Newborn baby sneezing is normal and in fact an indication of a healthy baby, even if it happens repeatedly. It is an important reflex action in babies that helps them clear their nose and prevents invasion of germs, particles and irritants through the nasal passage.
It is imperative for us to know that sneezing is a normal process. however a parent or guardian should be alert, especially when it is associated with other signs and symptoms, and contact their doctor or healthcare provider.