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.
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.
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.
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.
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