Baby health

Why do newborns sneeze?

Concerned your brand new baby has a cold? Don’t worry—there’s a totally harmless reason for a baby to sneeze after birth.

By Dr. Dina Kulik

Why do newborns sneeze?

Photo: iStockphoto

My baby is only a day old and he is sneezing. Could he actually have a cold already?

Most babies will sneeze in the first few days after birth, and it usually has nothing to do with being sick. Your baby has been floating in amniotic fluid that certainly went up his nose; this congestion tends to clear up over a few days. You can try to expedite the process by putting a few drops of saline in your baby’s nostrils and then using a nasal aspirator to gently clear the airways. But if your baby’s sneezing is accompanied by a rectal temperature above 38˚C or 100.4˚F, see your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room as soon as possible.

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