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Everything About Newborn Sneezing

Everything About Newborn Sneezing

You’re grinning down at your bundle of joy and suddenly you hear a tiny sneeze. You giggle at how cute a newborn sneezing is, but then there’s another, and another, and another…

1. Newborn sneezing is natural

There are airborne particles floating all around us and sneezing (from birth throughout adulthood) is simply a mechanism to clear the nostrils when the breathing passages become inundated. Newborns are particularly susceptible to these nasal disruptions because they are acclimating to the new world they’ve been introduced to. If you observe your healthy newborn sneezing at a rate that you might find alarming then do not rush to panic. As long as they are not exhibiting any symptoms of illness it is actually quite natural.

2. General causes of newborn sneezing

Newborn sneezing is most commonly attributed to the fact that their olfactory organ is just so tiny. Tiny nostrils and the narrow pathways behind them are at the mercy of the same particles that make even adults sneeze frequently with no symptoms of sickness.

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At the expense of being in a womb for nine months, newborn babies are literally thrust into an air-breathing environment in a single moment. Consequently, they tend to breathe through there mouths early on because their noses and the conduits behind them have a lot of adapting to do. So, when nature does compel them to switch to breathing through their noses it is often greeted with sneezes to clear the airways.

A nostril that may become momentarily closed, due to an inadvertent source of pressure, or even a small hug slightly compressing the facial features of a newborn, will commonly be greeted with a sneeze to naturally reopen the nasal passage. Another example is through the concept of breast feeding. Sneezing occurs often, either intermittently or after breast feeding, because one nostril is usually pressed against the breast while the other nostril is doing double-time. Each nasal passage equally needs an opening, or a sneeze.

3. Alternative causes of newborn sneezing

Dry air is a possible contributor to newborn sneezing. Wintry weather, excessively dry seasons, and the overuse of indoor air conditioning, can all rapidly dry naturally secreted nasal moisture intended to make breathing easier. This leads to sneezing and even runny discharge. One countermeasure would be the purchase of a vaporizer to introduce moisture to the dry air.

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Avoidable irritants such as excessive dust, mildew, and cigarette smoke (obviously) all contribute to newborn sneezing, which is quite difficult enough to manage without these added complications.

Recommendations to avoid these complications include changing air conditioner filters regularly, dusting and cleaning a bit more than usual, and threatening by bodily harm (figuratively of course) any individual who may find it acceptable to pull out a cigarette and light it up anywhere near your child.

Another possibility is that allergies may be causing your child to sneeze. Whether it is pollen or something your infant is allergic to, sneezing is always the first sign that there might be a larger picture. It will not take long to find a common denominator, whether it’s sneezing every time they are near a cat, or whether their nose begins to run when they are among dandelions or ragweed, among many other possible things. If you find yourself avoiding certain settings because of your newborn’s excessive sneezing then there is probably a reason for it.

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Consult with your pediatrician if you suspect your infant might be allergic to something that consistently inflames their sinuses. The doctor can prescribe antihistamines to combat a diagnosed allergy.

Due to newly developing immune systems, newborns are more vulnerable to catching colds. If your newborn is sneezing and exhibiting cold or flu-like systems it is quite possible they caught it from another child or adult who might not even feel very affected.

Parents also need to be diligent about washing their hands and making sure those whom hold their newborns have clean hands, as well. If a cold or influenza is diagnosed by a pediatrician it is imperative to treat the symptoms immediately to avoid potential complications.

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4. Medical Attention

Whether newborn sneezing occurs often, in spaced out intervals, in rapid succession, or even only occasionally, it is common behavior. It should not raise any alarms, as long as it is only sneezing. Additional symptoms suggesting a visit to your pediatrician include runny nose, coughing, trouble breathing, loss of appetite, and lethargy.

Featured photo credit: Jeroen/Flickr via techtimes.com

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Published on January 30, 2019

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

In roughly 60 percent of two-parent households with children under the age of 18, both parents work full time. But who takes time off work when the kids are sick in your house? And if you are a manager, how do you react when a man says he needs time to take his baby to the pediatrician?

The sad truth is, the default in many companies and families is to value the man’s work over the woman’s—even when there is no significant difference in their professional obligations or compensation. This translates into stereotypes in the workplace that women are the primary caregivers, which can negatively impact women’s success on the job and their upward mobility.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of long-term time-use data (1965–2011), fathers in dual-income couples devote significantly less time than mothers do to child care.[1] Dads are doing more than twice as much housework as they used to (from an average of about four hours per week to about 10 hours), but there is still a significant imbalance.

This is not just an issue between spouses; it’s a workplace culture issue. In many offices, it is still taboo for dads to openly express that they have family obligations that need their attention. In contrast, the assumption that moms will be on the front lines of any family crisis is one that runs deep.

Consider an example from my company. A few years back, one of our team members joined us for an off-site meeting soon after returning from maternity leave. Not even two hours into her trip, her husband called to say that the baby had been crying nonstop. While there was little our colleague could practically do to help with the situation, this call was clearly unsettling, and the result was that her attention was divided for the rest of an important business dinner.

This was her first night away since the baby’s birth, and I know that her spouse had already been on several business trips before this event. Yet, I doubt she called him during his conferences to ask child-care questions. Like so many moms everywhere, she was expected to figure things out on her own.

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The numbers show that this story is far from the exception. In another Pew survey, 47 percent of dual-income parents agreed that the moms take on more of the work when a child gets sick.[2] In addition, 39 percent of working mothers said they had taken a significant amount of time off from work to care for their child compared to just 24 percent of working fathers. Mothers are also more likely than fathers (27 percent to 10 percent) to say they had quit their job at some point for family reasons.

Before any amazing stay-at-home-dads post an angry rebuttal comment, I want to be very clear that I am not judging how families choose to divide and conquer their personal and professional responsibilities; that’s 100 percent their prerogative. Rather, I am taking aim at the culture of inequity that persists even when spouses have similar or identical professional responsibilities. This is an important issue for all of us because we are leaving untapped business and human potential on the table.

What’s more, I think my fellow men can do a lot about this. For those out there who still privately think that being a good dad just means helping out mom, it’s time to man up. Stop expecting working partners—who have similar professional responsibilities—to bear the majority of the child-care responsibilities as well.

Consider these ways to support your working spouse:

1. Have higher expectations for yourself as a father; you are a parent, not a babysitter.

Know who your pediatrician is and how to reach him or her. Have a back-up plan for transportation and emergency coverage.

Don’t simply expect your partner to manage all these invisible tasks on her own. Parenting takes effort and preparation for the unexpected.

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As in other areas of life, the way to build confidence is to learn by doing. Moms aren’t born knowing how to do this stuff any more than dads are.

2. Treat your partner the way you’d want to be treated.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a man on a business trip say to his wife on a call something to the effect of, “I am in the middle of a meeting. What do you want me to do about it?”

However, when the tables are turned, men often make that same call at the first sign of trouble.

Distractions like this make it difficult to focus and engage with work, which perpetuates the stereotype that working moms aren’t sufficiently committed.

When you’re in charge of the kids, do what she would do: Figure it out.

3. When you need to take care of your kids, don’t make an excuse that revolves around your partner’s availability.

This implies that the children are her first priority and your second.

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I admit I have been guilty in the past of telling clients, “I have the kids today because my wife had something she could not move.” What I should have said was, “I’m taking care of my kids today.”

Why is it so hard for men to admit they have personal responsibilities? Remember that you are setting an example for your sons and daughters, and do the right thing.

4. As a manager, be supportive of both your male and female colleagues when unexpected situations arise at home.

No one likes or wants disruptions, but life happens, and everyone will face a day when the troubling phone call comes from his sitter, her school nurse, or even elderly parents.

Accommodating personal needs is not a sign of weakness as a leader. Employees will be more likely to do great work if they know that you care about their personal obligations and family—and show them that you care about your own.

5. Don’t keep score or track time.

At home, it’s juvenile to get into debates about who last changed a diaper or did the dishes; everyone needs to contribute, but the big picture is what matters. Is everyone healthy and getting enough sleep? Are you enjoying each other’s company?

In business, too, avoid the trap of punching a clock. The focus should be on outcomes and performance rather than effort and inputs. That’s the way to maintain momentum toward overall goals.

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The Bottom Line

To be clear, I recognize that a great many working dads are doing a terrific job both on the home front and in their professional lives. My concern is that these standouts often aren’t visible to their colleagues; they intentionally or inadvertently let their work as parents fly under the radar. Dads need to be open and honest about family responsibilities to change perceptions in the workplace.

The question “How do you balance it all?” should not be something that’s just asked of women. Frankly, no one can answer that question. Juggling a career and parental responsibilities is tough. At times, really tough.

But it’s something that more parents should be doing together, as a team. This can be a real bonus for the couple relationship as well, because nothing gets in the way of good partnership faster than feelings of inequity.

On the plus side, I can tell you that parenting skills really do get better with practice—and that’s great for people of both sexes. I think our cultural expectations that women are the “nurturers” and men are the “providers” needs to evolve. Expanding these definitions will open the doors to richer contributions from everyone, because women can and should be both—and so should men.

Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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