Why Babies Keep Their Mouths Open
It is common to see infants keep their mouths open longer than adults. This is referred to as ‘fish gape’, and there are a few reasons why infants do this.
Comfort and Well-Being
Babies keep their mouths open as a way to feel more comfortable in their environment. This can help promote relaxation and provide a sense of well-being.
Mouth-breathing may also be a way for babies to increase their oxygen intake. Babies are still developing their respiratory systems, so mouth-breathing might be essential for their growth and development.
Babies may keep their mouths open because of reflux. This is when stomach acid backs up and irritates the baby’s throat and vocal cords. Keeping the mouth open helps alleviate the symptoms.
Distraction From Pain
Babies may also keep their mouths open as a way to distract their minds from pain. This is especially true for babies who are teething or have colic.
Tips to Help
If your baby is keeping their mouth open all the time, it is important to talk to your pediatrician. Here are some tips to help keep your baby’s mouth closed and promote better breathing:
- Feeding and Bottle Position: Try to keep your baby upright while they’re eating. This will help reduce the amount of air they take in and can help keep their mouth closed.
- Swaddling: Swaddling your baby can help them feel secure, reduce reflux, and keep their mouth closed.
- Pacifier: A pacifier can help distract from uncomfortable sensations like teething pain and can help encourage mouth-closing.
- Humidifier: Dry air can irritate a baby’s throat and cause mouth-breathing. Consider using a humidifier in your baby’s room.
Overall, it is normal for babies to keep their mouths open. However, if you have any concerns, it is important to talk to your pediatrician and find ways to help promote better breathing.