My Babys Amazing Baby Care,Sleep Tips Why Do Babies Sleep With Their Mouths Open?

Why Do Babies Sleep With Their Mouths Open?

baby sleeping with mouth open
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Sleeping with your mouth open may be breathing through your mouth, which is not natural breathing. Occasional mouth breathing is harmless. However, frequent mouth breathing can be a sign of an underlying medical condition and difficulty breathing. Breathing through the mouth often indicates an obstruction or blockage of the nasal passages or airways. Leaving it unattended is not advisable, and sooner or later parents will have to seek medical advice. Read on to learn why babies sleep with their mouths open and how to treat the underlying condition.

Is It Normal for a Baby to Sleep With the Mouth Open?

Mouth breathing, even cracked breathing, during sleep is not a normal, biological, or healthy way of breathing. Healthy newborns automatically breathe through their noses. Therefore, when babies sleep with their mouths open, there is a good chance that their noses will be blocked. If the newborn sleeps with its mouth open a few times, or only for a short period of time, this may not be a cause for concern. However, babies sleeping with their mouths open are more prone to many problems in the long run.

Experts warn that oral breathing in babies is considered a breathing disorder. Your baby is more likely to have sleep problems, behavioral problems, and oral problems. They may have difficulty eating or learning how to move their tongue. If you notice your baby often sleeps with his mouth open, it’s important to do some research to determine why.

Should You Be Worried If Your Baby Sleeps With An Open Mouth?

Newborns are not good at breathing through their mouths. It takes a while for a baby to fully develop this survival reflex. So if your baby is not breathing through their nose but through their mouth, this may indicate that their nasal passages and airways are blocked. Unattended for long periods of time may affect the baby’s health.

Possible Reasons Why A Baby Is Sleeping With Their Mouth Open

Why A Baby Is Sleeping With Their Mouth Open

As mentioned, several reasons why babies breathe through their mouths are nasal and airway obstructions due to the common cold or illness. Let’s explore the potential causes of newborns sleeping with their mouths open or breathing through their mouths:

1. Mucus

Mucus that builds up in your baby’s nose can block the nostrils and make breathing difficult. Once they find it difficult to breathe through their nose, they start breathing through their mouth. Mucus may build up due to a cold or an allergy to something present in the environment. Babies cannot clear mucus on their own and compensate by mouth breathing.

2. Sleep apnea

This is a condition in which the airway (upper) becomes blocked for different reasons, such as swollen adenoids, swollen tonsils, and infection. This condition in infants may show symptoms such as snoring, irregular breathing, mouth breathing, fear of sleep, exhaustion even after prolonged sleep, and insomnia.

3. Deviated nasal septum

The nasal septum is a thin layer of tissue that separates the nasal passages. When one side of the nasal septum is deformed or displaced, it can make breathing through the nose difficult. The deviated nasal septum may occur during fetal formation. This often results in abnormalities of the cartilage and bones that form the nasal septum. This can cause the baby to breathe through the nose.

4. Allergies

Babies are prone to allergies because too much mucus can block the nasal passages. A nasal aspirator can help reduce congestion in the nose and make breathing more comfortable.

5. Habits

Babies with breathing problems may automatically develop a tendency to open their mouths to breathe.

6. Stutter

Newborns with limited tongue movement cannot touch the tongue on the roof of the mouth. This makes sucking difficult. When breathing through the nose, the tongue rests on the roof of the mouth, otherwise, the mouth will open. This abnormality can cause breathing through the mouth during sleep and can also make breastfeeding difficult. Sometimes, the tongue slips back into the airway, causing some obstruction.

Consequences Of A Baby Sleeping With An Open Mouth

Here are some indicators and the effects of sleeping with your child’s mouth open.

1. Dry lips

Breathing through your mouth causes saliva to evaporate quickly, which can dry out your lips and mouth. Babies who are used to sleeping with their mouths open are more likely to have dry mouths and dry lips.

2. Asthma worsens

The nose filters irritants, dust, and pollutants. However, the mouth cannot perform these actions. Breathing through the mouth can cause potential allergens to enter the lungs, increasing the risk of asthma in babies who already have asthma.

3. Push the tongue

Babies who are used to mouth breathing may tend to push their tongues against their front teeth. This condition is called tongue thrust. Repeated mouth breathing can weaken the tongue and oral muscles, causing them to tingle. It can eventually lead to problems such as misplaced teeth, abnormal oral posture, difficulty chewing food, and even language barriers.

4. Facial changes

Mouth breathing may interfere with the healthy development of the jaw and facial muscles. This can cause changes in the structure of the face, making it appear longer or narrower than usual.

5. Postural changes

Mouth breathers usually tilt their head to make breathing easier. This puts pressure on their pelvis, back, shoulders and neck. This can lead to poor posture and can interfere with the baby’s healthy musculoskeletal development.

6. Behavioral changes

Research suggests that mouth breathing may lead to sleep disturbances, which in turn may cause symptoms similar to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Additionally, children with ADHD often experience sleep deprivation, which can also lead to mouth breathing.

7. Lack of sleep and development

Babies grow up in their sleep. If babies breathe through their mouths while sleeping, chances are they’re not getting quality sleep. In the long run, a lack of restorative sleep can affect a child’s growth, concentration, behavior, and overall development.

Tips to Getting Rid of the Habit of Mouth Breathing in Babies

Tips to Getting Rid of the Habit of Mouth Breathing in Babies

Here are some ways to help your baby break out of the mouth breathing habit.

Humidify the air: If excess mucus is causing difficulty breathing through the nose, use a cool-mist humidifier to increase the moisture content of the air. This added moisture can help relieve nasal congestion and make nasal breathing easier.

  • Take a hot bath: Giving your baby a hot bath not only helps them relax, but also clears up mucus that has built up in their nasal passages.
  • Try saline: If the mucus in your baby’s nose is too thick to drain, try saline drops, which can help dilute it so it can be easily sucked out. These drops are safe and can be used regularly.
  • Hydrate frequently: Feed your baby enough milk or formula to keep him hydrated. Adequate fluid intake can prevent dehydration and keep mucus flowing.
  • Filter the air: Allergens present in the air can be the culprit behind your baby’s allergies, which in turn can lead to nasal congestion and mouth breathing. Buying an air filter can improve air quality and reduce the chance of mucus blockages.
  • Using a nasal syringe: You can use a nasal syringe to help suck out excess mucus from the baby’s nose. However, due to the delicate nasal passages of babies, extra care is required when using them.
  • Keep the environment clean: If you have pets in your home, you must vacuum the room frequently for pet hair. Keep the house free of pet dander and other allergens.

When to See a Doctor

If you notice your newborn is having trouble breathing, choking, or turning blue or purple, call 911 or take them to the emergency room right away. These are signs that your child is not breathing, or is having trouble breathing.

In most cases, the occasional mouth opening while sleeping is a sign of a traffic jam. If you’ve tried the above treatments and your baby is still sleeping with his mouth open, it’s worth talking to your pediatrician.

In some cases, enlarged tonsils and adenoids do not respond to home treatments and may become infected. In other cases, they may be larger due to genetics. Your doctor may recommend tests, sleep studies, or surgery to address more serious problems.

As a parent, try not to become panicky or overly anxious, but to be observant. Watch for these symptoms, use home remedies to relieve congestion if necessary, and be sure to call your pediatrician with any questions or concerns.

The Takeaway

Your baby’s mouth breathing during sleep may also be a key clue to their health.

If your baby is just congested, there are a lot of things you can do to help them breathe easier. If the problem persists, it’s worth raising with a pediatrician or dental health professional.

Once you’ve treated any obstructions or other conditions, you’ll both be able to sleep better at night

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