Why do babies sneeze a lot?
There are various reasons for a newborn sneezing a lot. Sneezing implies that their nervous system is working properly, since sneezing is a reflex controlled by the nervous system. It’s completely normal for newborn babies to sneeze more frequently, along with yawning, spitting up, hiccuping, burping, and gurgling.
Newborn sneezing is a reflex that occurs upon irritation of their nasal passages, similar to when adults sneeze. Since the nasal passages of newborns are smaller than those of adults, they can get clogged easily and need to be cleared more often. Newborns sneeze to remove mucus, smoke, dust, and breast milk from their nose.
Newborn sneezing is also a natural way that babies protect themselves against the large number of germs they are regularly exposed to. Sneezing helps clear out the particles and germs that try to enter their nasal passages.
Why do newborns have stuffy noses?
There are a wide range of causes of a newborn’s stuffy nose. These include:
- A runny nose and stuffy nose due to nasal congestion or a cold.
- Amniotic fluid that entered the nasal passage during birth that can take a few days to clear up.
- Deep breaths, causing turbulence in the nasal passages, can make the breathing of a newborn sound stuffy. It’s normal for newborn breathing to be shallow at first, followed by a few pauses and then deeper breaths.
- Regurgitated milk that entered the nasal passage and caused mild swelling. This can happen because infants often have reflux during the initial months of their life.
- Babies’ nasal passages contain tiny hairs and glands that produce mucus to prevent dust, dirt, and other particles from entering the lungs. Due to this, the breathing of a newborn may produce stuffy sounds.
- Naturally smaller nasal passages create a stuffy sound during newborn breathing.
- A deviated nasal septum can cause a stuffy nose.