Baby development

Is it normal to check a newborn’s breathing?

If you find yourself checking your newborn’s breathing in the night, you’re not alone. Worrying is a part of motherhood, but here’s how to know if it becomes a problem.

Is it normal to check a newborn’s breathing?

Photo: iStockPhoto

I can’t stop checking to see that my sleeping newborn baby is still breathing. Is this normal? It is totally normal. This little human was created by you, in you! As a mom of four, I can attest to the urge to make sure your baby is breathing. It’s an impossible impulse to ignore. Many babies also have “periodic breathing,” during which they seem to hyperventilate then hypoventilate, meaning they alternate between breathing very quickly and very slowly. This is normal. As your baby grows and becomes stronger, you’ll likely relax a bit. Most of us aren’t checking on our five-year-olds anymore. However, if you feel like your constant breath checking is interfering with your life and you’re unable to get the rest you need, it could be a sign of anxiety or depression, so you should talk to your healthcare provider.

Read more: Should I make people wash their hands before holding my baby? 
Will my newborn baby's head shape change?

This article was originally published on Feb 14, 2018

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Dina is an entrepreneur, pediatrician, emergency medicine doctor and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario. She is the founder and CEO of Kidcrew, a multidisciplinary kids' health clinic.