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Archive for the ‘Babies and Breathing’ Category

FAQs – My Baby is Sick and Can’t Breathe!

December 19, 2012 Leave a comment

my baby is sick and can't breathe

Top 5 frequently asked questions in Happy Baby USA.

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Babies and Infection – My Baby has a Cold and can’t Breathe!

September 1, 2011 2 comments

My baby has a cold and can’t breathe!  All parents have dealt with colds that seem to all of a sudden start to crop up after 4~6 months of age.  Unfortunately most parents have also experienced helplessness when they see their child struggling to breathe.  It is especially distressing during this period because your newborn does not quite have the capacity to breathe comfortably through his/her mouth – thus the term obligate nose breathers.

At the time of birth, your baby is blessed with immune help from the mother – antibodies, in the form of IgG is transferred directly from the mother to the baby during the time in the womb.  Babies can also receive additional immune help from the immunoglobulin IgA which is only present in the mother’s breast milk and not formula milk.  (Although IgG is a wonderful protectant to the baby, IgG is less effective in fighting some bacteria namely Gram-negative bacteria.)

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Babies and Breathing – Cry It Out Method and Waterboarding (Part 2)

June 22, 2011 4 comments

Part one of the series talked about four important changes that happens in respiration.  Part two will continue to scientifically build upon the consequences for using the “cry-it-out” method.

An important concept to once again remember is that anatomical development precedes  functional development.  Babies are not fully functional at birth.  They all have their eyes, ears, hands and feet, heart thumping, etc.  however they are still growing – not in the mother’s womb but out in the real world as “immature” human beings.  People tend to associate the word “immature” with psychological aspects but in this case this applies to anatomic, physical immaturity.  Not being mature is not good or bad but frankly this just tells us that the child is not ready for certain tasks.  For example, a baby sits before he/she can crawl.  This is due to continued  development of bodily coordination which matures throughout life. Read more…

Babies and Breathing – Cry It Out Method and Waterboarding (Part 1)

June 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Cry-it-out method and waterboarding.

Many parents have read about the controversy on the Ferber method, more famously known as the  “cry-it-out” method.  The goal of this method essentially claims to help the baby soothe him/herself to sleep.  This article will not try to attempt to explain the pros and cons for using this method for sleep training.  Rather it will scientifically focus on the implications of using such a method.  This article is a two-part series which will first focus on the anatomic and physiological changes in respiration.   Part two will focus on the importance of maintaining an unrestricted airway and why prolonged crying is not recommended especially during the first six months after birth. Read more…

Babies and Breathing – Children and Mouth-Breathing

June 7, 2011 1 comment

This article will talk about a very important topic on Babies and Breathing – Children and Mouth-Breathing.  The human nose has many important roles.  Two obvious ones, smell and taste, often goes hand in hand.  It is also the gateway to the lungs which provides oxygen to the bloodstream.  As part of the defense barrier that works in concert with your immune system, it warms the air and provides humidification and filtration before it goes into your lungs.  The nose can trap foreign particles as small as 5 microns through a series of filtrations starting from the nose hairs, nasal turbinates, all the way to the mucosal membrane and cilia.   Breathing through the nose is very important in facial anatomic maturation, formation and development of airway physiology.

The human nose and nasal cavity.

What about the mouth?  Some people breathe with their mouths?  What if my baby is a mouth breather?

The mouth is not the normal route for breathing air, not for adults and not for children.  Yes there are people who have adapted for a long time to breathe through their mouths.  However there are health consequences that come with mouth breathing. Read more…

Babies and Breathing – Why do babies prefer to breathe through their nose?

June 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Sometimes it is easy to assume that babies are fully functioning “mini me’s”.  This was one of the first things medical school taught us never to assume.  Each age group has different needs and functioning capabilities.  Thus there are divisions of medicine into specialties like Pediatrics, Internal Medicine and Geriatrics.

It has been long understood that babies are obligate nose breathers.  Although this terminology defines breathing strictly through the nose, it is widely written to mean that babies “prefer” to breathe in air through their noses rather than their mouths. [1] (A corresponding article on Babies and Mouth-Breathing is also written for those interested.) Read more…