What are the basics of baby breathing-

  • Babies breathe faster when compared to adults. A newborn baby may breathe 3 times faster than an adult.

  • This fast breathing slowly reduces to adult levels as the child grows.

  • Healthy babies in spite of this fast breathing, are comfortable, smiling, looking around and responding normally.


How fast do babies breathe?

  • A newborn baby may breathe up to 60 times a minute.

  • You can count the breathing by observing the chest movements when the child is undressed.

  • Any breathing rate beyond 60 times per minute, should be seen by a doctor.


  • Agitated babies breathe fast.

  • Consider counting the rate by observing the chest or tummy movements for 3 minutes when the child is calm or asleep and divide the total by 3.


How do I know my baby is breathing normally?

  • The breathing in a healthy baby is smooth and not laboured (that means there is no in drawing of tummy muscles or chest muscles)

  • The baby should not make any abnormal sounds during breathing

  • There should be no change in colour of baby. Baby should be pink and warm always.


Some episodes of sneezing/ coughing(occasional) can be normal for the baby.  The child needs to be seen if cough/sneeze is not settling.


What are the Danger signs to look out for?

Always see a doctor if your baby has any of these features

  • Baby is drowsy or inactive.

  • If there is a change in colour of baby  

  • If there is an increased breathing effort or severe breathing distress.

  • If the baby is unable to feed.

  • If the baby has excess crying a or continuous cough.

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