Is My Baby Breathing?

How often do I have to check my baby’s breathing?

How much you think is needed. Moreover, if you feel a need to check his breathing constantly, you are not alone. Look at that need as a reflection of how seriously you have taken your role as a parent.

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It is nice for you to know that babies have many types of sleep – sometimes it’s deep and peaceful, sometimes more active, and sometimes it is even accompanied by noises coming from your baby. You will get less worried as the time passes by, but it’s ok to go into the baby’s room, a couple of times a night, just to check if your baby is breathing, it’s also normal for this to continue happening even a few years from now.

 How do I stop worrying about the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in newborns?

Maybe the fact that the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is rare and only occurs in one out of a 1000 babies may comfort you. In addition, in 90 % of all cases with the appearance of the syndrome, it has appeared in babies younger that six months and it’s safe to say that the risk totally disappears when the child passes its first year of life.

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No one knows for sure what causes the sudden death (although there are many theories) and there is no way to prevent it. Luckily, the cases of SIDS are becoming rare, as we identify more and more risk factors of this syndrome, and parents learn how to avoid them. To prevent the death syndrome always put the baby to sleep lying on its back and if you or any other member of your family is a smoker, you or he should give up smoking. In addition, it’s a good idea to learn how to give Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) to newborns. Knowing CPR, will make you feel more prepared and strengthen your confidence in this matter, also it will help you react to any breathing problem the baby might have.

 How to conclude that the baby has stopped breathing and what to do?

Breathing in newborns is periodical: they breathe quickly and deeply, then the breathing becomes slower and shallower, then they stop breathing for 15 sec and then they start breathing again progressively and deeply. That’s normal, in time the baby will develop what is called a more mature “Pattern for breathing“, with occasional huffing and puffing in the few months of its life. If you think the baby has stopped breathing, or if you just want to check if he is breathing, touch him or pick him up to see if he will react. If you get no reaction, it may be caused by a condition called apnea and ambulance should be called.

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If you conclude that the baby is not breathing, and you have gone through a CPR course, you should start aiding the baby, and have someone else call the ambulance. If you are alone with the baby, give him CPR for two minutes, then call an ambulance and then continue with the CPR on the baby. It’s not uncommon during this state that the baby’s feet, hands, and skin around his mouth go blue. However if the forehead and the chest are a more intensive blue, that’s a sign of a serious situation.

In most cases, the changes in baby’s breathing are not something you should worry about. Nevertheless, in babies whose breathing has stopped more than once, there is a great chance of long-term complications or even the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Those kids may become loose, go blue, or suffocate.

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Yasmin