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Is It Normal for Newborns to Sneeze a Lot?

By Chelsea Fitzgerald ; Updated September 26, 2017
The sneezes of a newborn often cause concern for new moms.

Second-guessing every move that your newborn makes is normal for new parents or those who have another baby years after the first child arrives on the scene. Sneezing is typically not a cause for concern, but if it is accompanied by other symptoms, it may be necessary to contact your baby's pediatrician.

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Normal Sneezing

Frequent sneezing in a newborn frightens many inexperienced parents because they worry that the baby has allergies or is getting an infection, as stated by the experts at the Kids Health website. Sneezing is a common occurrence with infants and does not indicate a problem unless it is accompanied by other symptoms, like fever or abnormal congestion. The sneezing is a normal reflex to help clear the nasal passages of germs and other airborne particles, according to the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital website. Lint from clothing, blankets and even milk curds can cause the sneezing as well, advises the Pediatrics Associates website.

Normal Congestion

The newborn’s nasal passages are quite tiny; therefore, it is normal for them to breathe in a noisy manner or as if they are congested. This is due to small amounts of nasal fluid. It clears up quickly if the parent uses saline nasal drops and a bulb syringe to help remove the mucous. The innate sneezing reflex also helps clear the nasal passages.

Symptoms That Require a Doctor’s Attention

Your newborn may sneeze a few times in a row, several times a day. If the sneezing increases more than normal for your baby or is accompanied by a cough or congestion that makes it difficult for her to breathe, call her pediatrician. Indications that the infant is having problems breathing are if she breathes at a faster than normal rate or her chest movements seem forceful. Other signs that indicate a trip to the doctor is necessary are if the baby seems less energetic than normal and doesn’t eat as much as she usually would.

Other Behavior Common in Newborns

Newborns tend to hiccup often, and this often bothers the parents more than the infant. The hiccups usually stop on their own after a few minutes, when the babies go to sleep or during the next feeding. You can also give her a small amount -- about an ounce -- of warm water to help them go away. Yawning, passing gas, belching and even looking cross-eyed for a few minutes are all common occurrences with young infants. If you are concerned about any of these symptoms, ask your baby's pediatrician at her next checkup.

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About the Author

Chelsea Fitzgerald covers topics related to family, health, green living and travel. Before her writing career, she worked in the medical field for 21 years. Fitzgerald studied education at the University of Arkansas and University of Memphis.

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