Baby’s Breathing Patterns

Knowing what is pathological and what is normal in our babies is essential as parents, especially when it comes to the baby’s breathing patterns.

Thanks to this we can discover in time the presence of certain pathologies , which could not be detected in the infant by professionals in routine check-ups and thus, be treated in time avoiding complications or severe symptoms, due to respiratory problems. that compromise the baby’s life.

For this reason to determine what are the signs that suggest improvement or worsening of the health status of babies? It will allow us to refer them to an emergency center or to have peace of mind that the state of health is preserved.

Without forgetting that knowledge always goes hand in hand with the prevention of various diseases, especially in babies, who depend on their relatives or caregivers to maintain optimal health.

Age and breathing patterns

It is important to note that respiratory patterns can vary, even in states of complete normality and depend on factors such as age, physical activity or rest, as well as changes in temperature.

Babies differ from children and adults in the number of breaths per minute, with many more breaths per minute in babies .

Therefore, the normal respiratory rate of the newborn is 40 breaths per minute and can be different when falling asleep, ranging from 20 to 40 breaths per minute.

You will surely be interested in this article about the  First days after the baby is born

What should we evaluate in the baby to know if the respiratory patterns are normal?

The correct observation of babies is extremely important, where changes in the color of the skin and mucous membranes, which show warning signs such as: the presence of paleness, bluish color or redness must be evaluated .

When it is desired to observe the respiratory pattern, the first thing that must be evaluated and be attentive, is that the “patency of the airways of babies” is guaranteed or always fulfilled , that is, the presence of objects (such as cushions, blankets, seat belts, children’s jewelry, stuffed animals or toys, or clothing such as coats, hats, scarves, etc.) are never capable of obstructing the entry and exit of air, in the airways, which would cause decreased or respiratory disability.

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Indicators of illness in the baby according to the respiratory pattern

There are indicators in the baby’s respiratory pattern that can indicate, if something is not quite right, among them we find:

  • If breathing is rapid or irregular , that is, 60 breaths per minute or more, in specific cases it could have an origin, in which the baby is upset accompanied by a crying crisis or is hot, etc.
  • When this type of respiration is related to one of the aforementioned causes , it must be transitory and after the origin disappears, it must return to a normal breathing rhythm, if it does not occur, it represents an alarm sign.
  • Likewise, sometimes the baby’s nasal flaps expand and contract (open and closed), in an exaggerated way or much more evident with the breaths, which may have a cause in the difficulty for the entry of air through the upper airways.
  • Sometimes the baby can be restless and adopt retraction postures, that is, it acquires a fetal position or bends, this being also a sign that the respiratory pattern is not adequate, because the baby makes these movements as a desperate attempt to breathe correctly.
  • The presence of noises in the form of moaning, gasping, coughing , accompanied by crying, is characteristic of respiratory distress.
  • Under normal conditions these noises should not be present and will produce changes in the breathing patterns of babies, due to the increase in metabolic needs present in these eventualities.

Respiratory patterns altered by bradypnea or tachypnea

When the respiratory rate is below normal, that is, fewer breaths per minute, it is called bradypnea , it is a slower breathing than normal, for the life of the baby, characterized by being slow and irregular and can have its origin in complications or health problems such as infections, injuries, fatigue, hypothermia etc.

If, on the contrary, the respiratory pattern goes faster than normal, it is called tachypnea and is the common sign of respiratory distress in infants or newborns and can be caused by feverish symptoms and the presence of pain.

Other alterations in the respiratory pattern

Apnea occurs when there is a respiratory failure of 20 seconds or less . It can occur due to the presence of reflux after feeding the baby, especially in low-weight newborns.

The episodes of apnea can also occur in baby sleeping in positions very straight so it is advisable to use mattresses with an inclination of 30 degrees, which hinder or prevent the presence of reflux, who is able to block the airways, caused apnea

Dyspnea is the product of partial obstruction of the upper airway and may be accompanied by a bluish coloration of the skin and mucous membranes, that is, the presence of cyanosis.

Breathing frequency

It is essential to know what are the normal values ​​of the respiratory rate in babies, to assess whether they are within normal breathing patterns.
For this reason, the World Health Organization establishes, according to age, what is the normal respiratory rate per minute, which is broken down below:

  • For children under 2 months it is up to 60 breaths per minute.
  • From two months to a year it is up to 50 breaths per minute.
  • From one year to four years, it is up to 40 breaths per minute.
  • From four to 8 years, it should be up to 30 breaths per minute.
  • Breathing in newborns is of the diaphragmatic type, that is, a respiration that mainly uses the diaphragm muscle to breathe, being this of the symmetrical and relaxed type.

Emergency due to abnormal breathing patterns

If you observe that your baby has abnormal breathing patterns, you should consult your doctor immediately, in the same way if you observe interruptions in breathing, or absence of respiratory movements, contact the emergency service immediately.

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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.

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