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My baby is almost 3 weeks old and she sounds congested. She’s not coughing but when she cries it sounds like she’s sick and I’m really worried and don’t know what to do. She also won’t stop crying.

Baby Help Line:

Congested Newborn – Normal Or Not?

In newborns noisy breathing that happens occasionally is normal. On the other hand, noise breathing caused by troublesome breathing problems is usually persistent and hence you would most likely hear it all the time. Nevertheless, if you are concerned about any breathing problems in your baby, be sure to contact your pediatrician. And really that pays for any age baby. It is always better to get information and reassurance from the doctor.

There are some interesting facts about normal baby crying that would be useful for you to know. Baby crying is at maximum in the first three months. A baby normally cries about 2 hours per day during the first three months and the crying occurs more frequently in the late afternoon and evening. Most babies cry for 30 minutes or less in any period of the day.

There are several reasons that could explain baby crying. For example, it is possible that babies are less able to regulate crying once started. If your baby appears healthy, does not have a fever, is not lethargic and if you are able to calm her down, the most plausible explanation of your baby crying is that your baby has a bit of tummy pain or other discomfort and the two of you haven’t really learned how to communicate yet.

It takes time to recognize the different cries a baby makes, hunger, discomfort, fear. And the more anxious you are, the more baby picks it up and will be unsettled.

If your baby cries for extended periods every day and can’t be settled, it can be infant colic, which you can read more about here.

So the best thing is to get her checked out, then if nothing is wrong you can relax and focus on lots of body contact and getting the hang of feeding, etc. It is a pretty full-on time with a newborn, and she will need heaps of cuddle time and feeds while she adjusts to being out in the big wide world!

Hope this helps,

(Answer approved by our Medical Reference Team)

More On Breathing And Crying In Newborns

Find comments below.


Oct 26, 2013 Cough and possible congestion 7 week old
by: Anonymous

The advice given here has truly settled me down. I was really upset and praying what did I do wrong, 4 am feeding and what I heard from her will still keep me cuddling her to keep listening, and once I moved her a little and readjusted the way I was holding her, she sounded better but if she starts the cough again I’ll go to the hospital. Better to get her checked out and feel reassured if in doubt take her to the hospital.

Advice you’re given made me feel much better

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