Baby Sneezing – Causes, Symptoms and Prevention

6 min read

Written by Suma rp

Suma rp

Suma is an ardent lover of nature and poetry and attributes her writing skills to the combination of both. She regularly follows other writers and orators in the sam

Have you ever seen a newborn sneeze? The way the tiny face scrunches up and the entire body jerks when they sneeze? While it may be a cute sight to watch, on the other hand, we are bound to wonder why the baby is sneezing so many times and if it’s normal or not. Yes, it is normal. Keep reading to know more about baby sneezing, its causes, symptoms and prevention.

Sneezing is nothing but an expulsion of air, which is not in your control. It is your body’s way to remove any foreign particles or those that irritate the nostril. When it comes to newborn babies, they are indoors, and well protected at all times, so why do they sneeze so much?

In This Article

Is It Normal For a Newborn to Sneeze?

Newborn babies sneeze a lot. A lot more than adults. It may seem very concerning to see your tiny baby expel the air so forcefully. However, if they don’t have any other symptoms, you have nothing to worry about baby sneezing.

A newborn baby’s sneeze is not as strong or loud as that of adults or even young children. They do not expel much mucus or other fluids. Their tiny bodies can expel only a little air with force. This is why they seem to sneeze repeatedly to get the nose cleared. They are just tiny, mostly very quiet jerks.

Causes of Baby Sneezing

A newborn is just out of the amniotic fluid they were floating in for months. It clogs their nostrils and nasal passages which will need clearing, to help them breathe normally through their nose instead of their mouth.

Let’s break it down to understand the various reasons why your little baby might be sneezing so often

  • Their tiny noses need clearing frequently, to help them breathe freely. They do not know to breathe through their mouths yet.
  • They cannot snort out the fluid or sniff it in to help clear their noses. And they can only sneeze.
  • Sneezing is the body’s natural way to effectively expel any clog in the nostril.
  • Babies are very sensitive and almost anything can trigger a sneeze – your hair, pet hair, dust, any new strong smells, and more.
  • Breastfeeding can cause one nostril to be pressed closed, which a sneeze can help open up and clear the passage for breathing.

[Read : 5 Effective Ways To Clean Your Baby’s Nose]

Why Does Your Baby Sneeze So Much?

A newborn is new to their environment. Every element in their surroundings is new to them and foreign to their bodies. Their bodies will start fighting every germ they come across until the body adapts and accustomed to them.

A baby’s nose is very sensitive and almost anything can trigger a sneeze. The blocked nostrils due to the amniotic fluid, the new germs in their surroundings and their inability to breathe through their mouth makes them sneeze very frequently.

Unless your baby has a runny nose or other cold or flu-like symptoms, there is nothing to worry about those cute sneezes.

Top 5 Ways to Prevent Baby Sneezing

If you try to stop your baby from sneezing, you are just stopping their bodies from functioning normally. We are all born with the reflex where we sneeze to expel something stuck or trying to enter our nasal passage. Intervening here is intervening with the body’s way of functioning properly.

That being said, it does not mean you need to expose your baby to everything right away. Here are some ways in which you can reduce the triggers

1. Avoid Perfumes

Avoid wearing perfumes or any scented products when you are carrying your little one. Babies will lean their faces on your body and they will be in very close proximity to those chemicals in perfumes. If you have to or already wearing perfume, add a layer of cloth or towel between your baby’s face and your clothes.

2. Avoid Room Fresheners and Other Scented Products

Just like perfumes, room fresheners, incense sticks, mosquito coils, and scented candles can be too strong for your baby’s nose. Ensure you keep the room well-ventilated and don’t use scented products in the room.

3. Reduce Handling

You don’t have to let everyone carry and cuddle your newborn. It is very unsafe for them. Not only can it trigger sneezes but their immunity is very low too. It can lead to many unnecessary infections.

4. Maintain Optimal Room Temperature

Babies are kept warm inside the womb. Coming into the world can be a drastic difference in the temperature for them. This is why babies feel very comfortable when you swaddle them. Ensure your room is not too cold. You may suffer postpartum sweats and fluctuations in the body temperature due to hormonal changes, but you can’t keep the baby in a very cold room.

5. Avoid Dust and Pollen

Dust and pollen can trigger a bout of sneezes in your newborn. If you are taking your baby out for fresh air and some sun, do it first thing in the morning when the air is relatively pure. Don’t take them close to flowers or pets.

[Read : Loss of Appetite in Babies]

When Should You Worry About Baby Sneezing?

Sneezing is very common among babies. You need not worry unless you spot the following along with those sneezes:

  • Runny nose and difficulty breathing due to clogged nostrils.
  • The chest moves rapidly indicating difficulty in breathing.
  • A loss of appetite as they can’t suck much with a clogged nose.
  • The baby seems lethargic or less active than usual. It can indicate a low oxygen supply.
  • Wheezing
  • Whistling noise while breathing.
  • Crying in pain or discomfort every time they sneeze.

[Read : Breathing Problems in Babies]

When to Consult a Doctor?

If you notice the above symptoms along with the bout of sneezes, it can indicate some infection or other issues. While there is no reason to panic unnecessarily, with a newborn you just need to be extra cautious. Check with your doctor to rule out any complications and let your baby just sneeze.

Sneezing is very common in newborn babies. Especially the continuous or numerous sneezes in a short span of time. Baby sneezing is normal and it is just how those tiny bodies adapt to their new environment and get the body to function effectively. Do not worry unless other concerning symptoms accompany your baby’s sneezes.


1. Does a Baby Sneezing Mean They Have a Cold?

Not always. In many cases, it is just their body’s natural reflex working to expel all that is clogging the nostrils. Since they were in the amniotic fluid for months, their nasal passage is bound to be blocked with a lot of liquid which the body needs to get rid of. If they have a runny nose or other flu symptoms, it could indicate a cold.

2. How Much Sneezing in Babies is Normal?

It varies from child to child. However, newborn babies can sneeze excessively and constantly, in comparison to adults. Unless your baby seems to be struggling to breathe or cries in pain, there is nothing to worry about.

3. Can You Put Vicks on Baby to Reduce Baby Sneezing?

No, it is not advisable to use Vicks for newborn babies. Even Vicks baby rub is advisable only for babies above 3 months of age. If you plan on using it on their feet or clothes, it is still important to consult your doctor first.

Read Also: Snoring In Babies – Causes, Side Effects and Treatment by Dr. Srikanta J T

Suma rp,M.Sc (Organic Chemistry) Rayalaseema University B.Sc (Biotechnology) Sri Krishna Devaraya University.

Suma is a passionate content writer with a strong keenness to understand the miracle of pregnancy, birth, and parenting. Suma has successfully transitioned into a full-time content writer and a key contributor at Being The Parent. She leverages on her experimental background in chemistry and experience in writing to come up with well-researched content that helps parents struggling to deal with various medical conditions of their children.Read more.

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