Baby breathing hard what to do?

(September 3, 2012)

Most first time mothers are anxious about their baby's wellbeing and tend to constantly monitor the baby including its breathing pattern. Typically, the baby making a variety of squeaks, snorts and related sounds while it is sleeping is natural and not a cause for concern. However if the baby is breathing hard or has labored breathing then it is a cause for concern as the baby may be suffering from some medical ailment that may require immediate attention.

Reasons for baby breathing hard:

  • One of the commonly observed reasons for a baby breathing hard is because of a soft and flexible tissue developing in the trachea. This tissue causes the baby to breathe heavily. This is termed as tracheomalacia and is not usually a harmful medical condition.
  • Sometimes the baby may also be breathing hard or make a whistling sound while breathing if its nose is blocked with milk or mucous. In such cases, you are supposed to use a bulb syringe to slowly suck out the mucous or the fluid causing the blockage.
  • The baby breathing hard may also be attributed to chest congestion  which can be taken care of naturally by holding the baby upright for some time till he falls asleep and then a visit to the doctor may also be required for long term relief.
  • In some serious cases, a reason for the baby breathing hard may be the baby having fluids in its lungs caused by pneumonia. In such cases, along with labored breathing the baby will also have a constant cough. Other respiratory ailments that may result in the baby breathing hard or having a high squeal when it breathes are croup and asthma. These require immediate medical intervention.
  • One of the symptoms of a baby breathing hard which may be a cause for concern is when the baby grunts at the end of a breath. This is typically because the body of the baby is working extra hard to open the airways. This is also the case when the baby is observed flaring its nostrils or the rib muscles moving in and out more than usual.
  • Heavy or labored breathing may also be on account of poor blood oxygen levels. In  such cases there are also other tell tale signs such as a blue tongue, lips and even the vagina turning blue in case of females.

Submitted by J on September 3, 2012 at 04:49

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