Why is My Newborn Sneezing A Lot ?

If you are a new parent, it could make you worry if your newborn sneezes a lot. It is obvious that you might wonder if there is something wrong with your child, if your baby got an infection or cold. However, worry not; “it is not always true that a newborn sneezing a lot is suffering from some infection, cold or any other illness.” Well, in this article we will look at this topic; i.e. “Newborn sneezing a lot”.

Why is My Newborn Sneezing A Lot ?

Why is My Newborn Sneezing A Lot ?

Newborn sneezing a lot could make you know how actually they clear their nasal and respiratory passages of congestion and other airborne particles. Moreover, sneezing also helps in reopening a temporarily closed nostril. So before we discuss the causes of a newborn sneezing a lot, it is necessary to understand that sneezing is really a healthy thing to see your baby doing. When your newborn sneezes, that means that their nervous system is correctly working; as sneezing is actually a reflex that is controlled by the nervous system. So, be aware that sneezing in newborn is absolutely common and normal, just like, yawn, hiccups, gurgle, and burp.

Primarily newborn sneezes a lot because they have to. They sneeze because of the following reasons.

Clearance Of Impurities In Their Nose:

Naturally newborn breathe via their nose and may eventually begin to breathe through their mouth too. It usually is very difficult for the babies to all of a sudden make a transition from their nasal breathing to the mouth breathing. Thus, babies require sneezing too often so as to clear their nose and again resume the normal pattern of breathing.

Also, your newborn has got a very tiny nose and a narrow nasal passage and this can attract the dust particles found in the air very easily. So, newborn may sneeze often to clear the tiny passage. Hence, one of the main reasons of a newborn sneezing a lot is to clear the nasal passages, which is often required to be done frequently.

Because They Breathe Through Mouth:

One more reason of a newborn sneezing a lot, could be that babies also try to breathe through mouth as a part of their development. This could sometimes contribute to frequent sneezing as they are still adjusting to breathe through their nose.

Due To The Irritants In Air:

There are irritants found in the air and this causes irritation even in the adults. Now, imagine how miserable it could be for the little ones who cannot even tell about their difficulties. The irritants in the air, such as tobacco or cigarette smoke, dust particles, strong perfumes can result in sneezing a lot. Even the breast milk which your baby vomits can even enter their nostril and result in irritation and also cause sneezing. Thus a newborn sneezing a lot could mean that their nasal passage is getting irritated by something around them.

You can prevent this by keeping your house well ventilated. Moreover, you can even install exhaust fans and air purifiers in the rooms or maintain good ventilation in the house. It is also important to note not to smoke near your baby.

Due To Unclogging Of A Blocked Nostril:

Newborns usually suffer from a clogged or blocked nostril. This is because when they are nursing, they get gently pressed towards their mother and this causes their tiny nostrils to get pressed or get flattened. This results in a temporary block in their nostril which could be unclogged by sneezing. This is another reason for a newborn sneezing a lot.

Dry Air Causing Sneezing:

There is a tiny or small nasal passage in newborns, because of which, the mucus present their nose easily dries up. This may be witnessed more during the winter seasons or if the baby is residing in dry places, or is living in an air-conditioned room. This is a common cause of newborn sneezing a lot.

You can use a vaporizer or a humidifier to avoid this and reduce the dryness in the baby’s nose.

Because Of Some Allergy:

Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, could be one more reason why newborn is sneezing a lot. This condition causes congestion. The impure particles present in the air result in allergic reactions and this causes hay fever. Apart from this, it also can occur because of insect bites, dust or because of animal hair. So, it is essential for you to protect your baby from the foreign particles as well as from allergies. However, you may also give your baby, anti-histamines that have been prescribed by your doctor.

Because Of Fever Or Other Illness:

Newborn sneezing a lot could also be because of fever and a symptom of cold. In fact sneezing, coughing, and discharge from nose and upper respiratory tract infections, are the commonest cold symptoms. Because their immune system is very weak, newborns generally can easily catch cold from their mothers or other family members. So, you must ensure that anyone in your family holding your baby, properly washes their hands before holding them. In addition, it is essential to note that once your baby is infected with cold, instant treatment is essential so as to prevent any severe infection.

Due To NAS ( Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome):

One more reason why newborn could be sneezing a lot, is due to NAS or Neonatal abstinence syndrome. This syndrome occurs when the mother has abused addictive opiate drugs while she was in her pregnancy phase. Some other symptoms of NAS, in addition to sneezing, include unsustained suck, nasal stuffiness, and abnormal nipple latch.

So, if a newborn has neonatal abstinence syndrome, then the baby is essentially experiencing the withdrawal syndromes from the drugs that their mother took during her pregnancy. Alcohol, methadone and heroin are some of the commonly abused substances.

Newborn Sneezing A Lot: When Should You Worry?

Newborn sneezing a lot need not always be a reason to worry. However, if your little one also shows symptoms like those of fever or runny nose, along with the sneezing then you should consult with your pediatrician and take the essential steps to help your baby get rid of the condition.

  • Apart from this, it is always a reason to worry and requires an emergency medical attention, if your newborn shows the following symptoms.
  • If your newborn is breathing too fast or if the baby is having trouble in breathing.
  • If there are forceful movements of chest or straining while the newborn is breathing. This could also be one sign of difficulty while breathing.
  • If your newborn eats less than normal or if the baby is feeling less energetic than before.
  • If the newborn sleeps more than 10 hours in a day or becomes lethargic.
  • Do not panic if your baby shows all these symptoms. Simply take your baby to your child doctor and discuss about the issue.


Newborn sneezing a lot is usually normal. Even if it sometimes may seem excessive to you, it is most probably normal, as newborns tend to sneeze more than the grownups. However, keep it noted that if your baby has other symptoms such as fever or runny nose, then you must see your child doctor as the baby might be sick or having cold or some other infection.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 8, 2022

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