Newborns often have irregular breathing patterns that concern new parents. They can breathe fast, take long pauses between breaths, and make unusual noises.
Newborns’ breathing looks and sounds different from adults because they breathe more through their nostrils than their mouth and their breathing pathways are much smaller and easier to obstruct.
Their chest wall is also more pliable than an adult’s because it’s made of mostly cartilage.
Their respiration isn’t fully developed since they still have to learn to use their lungs and the associated breathing muscles and they may still have amniotic fluid and meconium in their airways right after birth.
Usually, there’s nothing to worry about, but parents often do anyway. Parents should pay careful attention to a newborn’s typical breathing pattern. This way they can learn what’s normal to be able to tell later if something is not.
Normal newborn breathing
Typically, a newborn takes 30 to 60 breaths per minute. This…