Baby Making Gasping Sounds But Breathing Fine [Solved]

As a parent, hearing your baby make gasping sounds can be a frightening experience. 

 BabySleepMiracle  

However, it’s important to remember that gasping sounds in babies are often not a sign of serious respiratory issues and can be caused by various factors. 

In this blog, we’ll explore the different causes of gasping in babies, how to assess the severity of the issue, and what actions to take if necessary.

What Causes Gasping in Babies?

According to the National Library of Medicine, healthy babies typically take 30 to 60 breaths per minute (bpm)

Their breaths may be shallow and irregular, especially when they’re asleep or calm. It’s also common for babies to make noises while they’re breathing, such as grunting, snorting, or wheezing. 

These sounds are usually nothing to worry about and are a result of the baby’s still-developing respiratory system.

  

However, there are certain factors that can cause babies to make gasping sounds, which may be a sign of respiratory distress. 

These include:

  • Congestion: When a baby is congested, mucus can build up in their nasal passages and throat, making it difficult for them to breathe. They may make gasping sounds as they try to clear the congestion and get more air.
  • Reflux: Babies with reflux (also known as GERD) may make gasping sounds while they’re feeding or after they’ve eaten. This is because the stomach acid from the reflux irritates their throat and causes them to swallow more air.
  • Teething: Some babies may make gasping sounds while they’re teething, as the pressure of the new tooth pushing through their gums can cause them to gag or swallow more air.

Other potential causes include allergies, infection, and respiratory issues such as asthma. 

 BabySleepMiracle 

Keep in mind that not all gasping sounds are the same, and the cause may not always be immediately apparent.

How to Assess the Severity of Gasping in Babies

So, how do you know if your baby’s gasping is something to be concerned about? 

  

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Observe the baby’s overall health and behavior: Is the baby lethargic or fussy? Are they feeding and sleeping well? These are all important indicators of the baby’s overall health and can help you determine if the gasping is a cause for concern.
  • Check for other signs of respiratory distress: If the baby is having difficulty breathing, they may also have fast breathing (more than 60 bpm) or show signs of distress such as turning blue around the mouth or nose. They may also have difficulty feeding or be unable to latch onto the breast or bottle.
  • Seek medical advice if necessary: If you’re unsure about the severity of the gasping or if the baby is showing other signs of respiratory distress, it’s always a good idea to seek medical advice. Your pediatrician or a nurse at your local clinic can assess the baby and provide you with guidance on what to do next.

What to Do If Your Baby is Gasping

If your baby is gasping and you’re not sure what to do, here are some general first aid tips to follow:

  • Stay calm: It’s important to remain calm and not panic, as this can only make the situation worse. Take a few deep breaths and try to relax, as your baby will likely sense your anxiety and become more distressed.
  • Provide comfort: Hold your baby in your arms and provide them with comfort and support. You can try gently rubbing their back or singing to them to help soothe them.
  • Follow specific actions based on the cause of the gasping: Once you’ve determined the cause of the gasping, you can take specific actions to help your baby. For example, if the gasping is due to congestion, you can try using a humidifier in the baby’s room or giving them a warm bath to help clear their nasal passages. If the gasping is due to reflux, you can try feeding the baby in an upright position or using an over-the-counter medication to reduce stomach acid production. If the gasping is due to teething, you can try giving the baby a teething ring or using a natural pain reliever like infant acetaminophen.

It’s also important to know when to seek medical attention for your baby. If the gasping is accompanied by other signs of respiratory distress, such as fast breathing or difficulty breathing, you should seek medical attention immediately. 

  

If the gasping persists or becomes more frequent, even after you’ve tried to alleviate the cause, you should also seek medical advice. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your baby’s health.

Now, let’s take a closer look at some specific causes of gasping in babies and what you can do to help.

Gasping Due to Congestion

If your baby is gasping due to congestion, there are several things you can try to help relieve their symptoms:

  
  • Use a humidifier: A humidifier can help add moisture to the air, which can help thin out mucus and make it easier for your baby to breathe.
  • Use a nasal aspirator: A nasal aspirator, also known as a snot-sucker, is a small device that can help remove mucus from your baby’s nasal passages. It’s important to follow the instructions carefully and to clean the aspirator after each use to avoid spreading germs.
  • Use saline drops: Saline drops can help thin out mucus and make it easier for your baby to breathe. You can buy saline drops at your local pharmacy or make them at home by mixing 1/4 teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of warm water.
  • Try a warm bath: A warm bath can help relax your baby and clear their nasal passages. Just be sure to keep the water temperature below 100°F and to never leave your baby unattended in the bath.

If your baby’s congestion persists or becomes worse despite these measures, you may want to consider using over-the-counter medication or seeking medical advice. 

Be sure to follow the dosage instructions carefully and to check with your pediatrician before giving your baby any medications.

Gasping Due to Reflux

If your baby is gasping due to reflux, there are several things you can try to help manage the condition:

  • Feed the baby in an upright position: When the baby is upright, gravity can help keep the stomach acid from flowing back up into the esophagus. You can try using a nursing pillow or a bouncy chair to prop the baby up during feedings.
  • Try an over-the-counter medication: There are several over-the-counter medications that can help reduce stomach acid production and prevent reflux. These include antacids like Tums and H2 blockers like Zantac. Be sure to follow the dosage instructions carefully and to check with your pediatrician before giving your baby any medications.
  • Avoid overfeeding: It’s important to not overfeed your baby, as this can increase their risk of reflux. Follow the recommended feeding guidelines for your baby’s age and don’t force them to finish a bottle if they seem full.
  • Avoid certain foods: Some foods, such as caffeine, chocolate, and spicy foods, can increase the risk of reflux. If you’re breastfeeding, you may want to avoid these foods or speak with a lactation consultant to see if they could be contributing to your baby’s symptoms.

If your baby’s reflux persists or becomes worse despite these measures, you may want to consider seeking medical advice. 

Your pediatrician may recommend prescription medication or other treatments to help manage the condition.

Gasping Due to Teething

If your baby is gasping due to teething, there are several things you can try to help relieve their pain:

  • Give the baby a teething ring: A teething ring can provide your baby with something to chew on, which can help alleviate pressure on their gums. Just be sure to choose a teething ring that is safe for your baby’s age and to never leave them unattended with it.
  • Use a natural pain reliever: Infant acetaminophen (such as Children’s Tylenol) or ibuprofen (such as Children’s Advil) can help relieve your baby’s teething pain. Be sure to follow the dosage instructions carefully and to check with your pediatrician before giving your baby any medications.
  • Try a cold compress: A cold compress can help numb the area around the tooth and reduce swelling. You can use a clean washcloth soaked in cold water or a frozen teething ring. Just be sure to wrap the compress in a cloth or towel before applying it to your baby’s gums to avoid frostbite.

If your baby’s teething persists or becomes worse despite these measures, you may want to consider seeking medical advice. 

Your pediatrician may recommend other treatments or medications to help alleviate your baby’s pain.

Gasping Due to Other Causes

If your baby is gasping and you’re not sure what’s causing it, there are several other potential causes to consider:

  • Allergies: If your baby is allergic to something in their environment, such as pet dander or pollen, they may experience symptoms such as gasping, sneezing, and runny nose. If you suspect allergies, you may want to consider seeking medical advice or trying an over-the-counter allergy medication.
  • Infection: If your baby has an infection, such as a cold or flu, they may experience symptoms such as gasping, coughing, and fever. If you suspect an infection, you may want to consider seeking medical advice or using over-the-counter medication to help alleviate your baby’s symptoms.
  • Respiratory issues: If your baby has a respiratory issue, such as asthma, they may experience symptoms such as gasping, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. If you suspect a respiratory issue, you should seek medical attention immediately.

It’s important to seek medical advice if your baby’s gasping persists or becomes worse, even if you’re not sure what’s causing it. 

Your pediatrician can assess the baby and provide you with guidance on what to do next.

Gasping in Preterm Babies

If your baby was born prematurely (before 37 weeks), it’s important to pay extra attention to their breathing patterns. 

Preterm babies are more prone to respiratory issues and may experience more difficulty breathing than full-term babies. 

If your preterm baby is gasping, it’s especially important to seek medical advice as soon as possible.

There are several special considerations for preterm babies when it comes to gasping:

  • Observe the baby’s overall health and behavior: Preterm babies may have more difficulty feeding and may be more lethargic than full-term babies. These are important indicators of their overall health and can help you determine if the gasping is a cause for concern.
  • Check for other signs of respiratory distress: Preterm babies may have faster breathing (more than 60 bpm) or show signs of distress such as turning blue around the mouth or nose. They may also have difficulty feeding or be unable to latch onto the breast or bottle.
  • Seek medical attention immediately: If your preterm baby is gasping and showing other signs of respiratory distress, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. Preterm babies are more prone to respiratory issues and may need specialized care to help them breathe.

FAQ

Can gasping in babies be caused by allergies?

Yes, allergies can be a cause of gasping in babies. Allergies can cause symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and coughing, which can make it difficult for the baby to breathe. If you suspect allergies, you may want to consider seeking medical advice or trying an over-the-counter allergy medication.

Is it normal for babies to gasp during sleep?

It’s not uncommon for babies to make noises while they’re sleeping, including gasping sounds. These sounds are usually nothing to worry about and are a result of the baby’s still-developing respiratory system. However, if the baby is gasping and showing other signs of respiratory distress, such as fast breathing or difficulty breathing, you should seek medical attention.

When should I be concerned about gasping in my baby?

You should be concerned about gasping in your baby if it persists or becomes more frequent, even after you’ve tried to alleviate the cause. You should also be concerned if the baby is showing other signs of respiratory distress, such as fast breathing or difficulty feeding. If you’re unsure about the severity of the gasping or if the baby is showing other signs of respiratory distress, it’s always a good idea to seek medical advice.

Can gasping in babies be a sign of respiratory issues?

Gasping in babies can sometimes be a sign of respiratory issues, such as asthma or other underlying conditions. However, it’s important to note that not all gasping sounds are the same and the cause may not always be immediately apparent. If you’re concerned about your baby’s breathing or if the gasping persists or becomes worse, you should seek medical advice.

Conclusion

Gasping sounds in babies can be alarming, but they are often not a sign of serious respiratory issues and can be caused by various factors such as congestion, reflux, and teething. 

It’s important to assess the severity of the gasping and to take specific actions based on the cause. 

If the gasping persists or becomes worse, or if the baby is showing other signs of respiratory distress, it’s important to seek medical advice. 

Remember to stay calm and provide comfort to your baby, and never hesitate to seek medical attention if you’re concerned about their health.