Newborn Sneezing a Lot? Is it Normal

Written by Renee    Published on 05/16/24     Read Time  8 min

Baby Sitting | My Organic Company

As a new parent, it can feel overwhelming to figure out what is considered "normal" baby behavior and when something is wrong. Every last hiccup, sniffle, and sneeze can make families stop and wonder if there is something they should be concerned about. Is the baby cold? Do they not feel well? 

In this article, we will provide peace of mind by explaining why a newborn sneezes and when you should be worried. 

Table of Contents:

1. How Much Newborn Sneezing is Normal?

2. Infant Reflexes

3. Newborn Sneezing

4. Is it Normal for a Newborn to Sneeze? Illness

5. Newborn Sneezing and Stuffy Nose

6. Why Do Newborns Sneeze?

How Much Newborn Sneezing is Normal?

Each sneeze from your little one can make you wonder if they are not feeling well or perhaps you are dealing with an allergy. The good news is that newborns commonly sneeze more often than older kids or adults.

Baby About to Sneeze | My Organic Company

Newborn Reflex

Your newborn was born with several reflexes that will be lost as the nervous system matures. Sneezing is one of those spontaneous movements that will be present lifelong. 

A newborn's sneeze is a natural defense mechanism to clear the nasal passage and helps protect the body from germs. Sneezing can indicate that your little one's nervous system is functioning correctly.

Not only are sneezes common and nothing to worry about, but they are a good sign that your little ones’ systems are working. This includes when your newborn's tiny nasal passages can quickly become blocked or irritated, prompting some grunting and sneezing from time to time.

Common Newborn Sounds and Sneezing

From the moment your preemie or newborn arrives, families will be treated to many noises and reactions from their mouth and nose, from sneezing to the cutest little squeaks.

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Infant Reflexes

​​Many of your baby's movements in their first weeks are done by reflex. You may have noticed simple things like if you put your finger in your little one’s tiny mouth, then your baby will suck reflexively. They shut their eyes tightly or even sneeze when entering a brightly lit room.

These are automatic muscle reactions that occur in response to stimulation. Other examples of infant reflexes include grasping, stepping, and reflexive smiling. Most of these normal responses will disappear as a baby becomes older. 

 Muscle | My Organic Company

Newborn Sneezing

Sneezing is one of the baby’s reflexes that does not fade over time. This protective impulse helps the body to eliminate irritating or harmful things. Newborns sneeze to eject any germs and particles in the nose and protect themselves from illness. 

Can Babies Have Allergies?

An allergic response happens when your baby’s immune system reacts to something it thinks is a threat. The immune system is used to protect your baby and keep it from worrisome germs. 


Environmental allergies can cause babies to sneeze frequently. Watch for pollen, dust mites, pet dander, grass, or mold, especially if there is a family history. Parents may also notice a stuffy nose, a mild cough, and watery eyes.

If nasal allergies trigger your little one’s sneezing, the best strategy is to keep irritants away from your little one. Common irritants and allergens are pet dander, mold, dust mites, tobacco smoke, and strong odors.

Tips to Keep Infant Allergies at Bay

  • Keep pets outside or in a separate room away from where your baby sleeps, plays, and eats
  • Check your house for mold and replace carpets if necessary. Use a dehumidifier to prevent future mold build-up, especially in damp areas like the basement.
  • Wash bedding in hot water weekly to prevent dust mites, and use mattress covers
  • Refrain from smoking or the smell of tobacco smoke around your baby, and don’t use or spray strong fragrances.

Although these allergens can irritate your baby, there’s usually no reason to consider this an emergency. If symptoms interfere with daily routines and prevent your little one from sleeping, eating, or socializing, your healthcare provider can offer some solutions and help you determine the cause.

If you believe your little one’s allergies may be caused by their baby formula or other food-related discomforts, the signs and symptoms will be much different. 

Dry Air

Newborns have smaller nasal passages compared to adults, which causes mucus to dry up quickly. Dry air outside and cycling through your home can lead to sneezing. 

Running a humidifier in their room can be a practical solution to combat dry air and manage your baby's nasal congestion. This can significantly improve their comfort and overall health. Cool air humidifiers can help loosen the mucus and congestion of a stuffed-up newborn.

Mom Holding Baby | My Organic Company

Is it Normal for a Newborn to Sneeze? Illness

Although sneezing is, for the most part, a typical sign of a healthy newborn, there are times when your baby may be sick. Frequent sneezing in a newborn could be one sign of a cold. 

Frequent sneezing along with a cough, fever, and trouble breathing can also indicate that it is more than a cold, like a respiratory infection. Please seek immediate medical attention.

Newborn Keeps Sneezing

As your little one grows more robust, their immune system will continue to work hard. While they are young, their immune system is relatively weak, making them more susceptible to illness.

Perhaps the simplest but one of the most essential habits your family can practice is washing your hands.

Washing Hands | My Organic Company

Newborn Sneezing and Stuffy Nose

A newborn baby is more susceptible to stuffy or blocked nostrils due to having a tiny and narrow nasal passage. This results in them needing to clear their nose more frequently, which is done by sneezing.

What to Do When a Newborn Has a Stuffy Nose?

Stuffy noses can be concerning for a parent when their little one becomes irritable or fussy. This is especially true when babies cannot use their mouths for breathing, so they rely on their noses. 

Blocked nostrils, illness, and a stuffed-up nose can make breathing harder for them. To help clear tiny air passages, families can turn to saline nose drops, saline nose spray, or a bulb syringe.

Bulb Syringe | My Organic Company

If your little ones’ mucus is too thick to suction, you can thin it with saline. Make sure to gently wipe off the mucus around the baby’s nose with tissues to prevent irritation, and it is best to limit suctioning to no more than four times each day to avoid irritating the nose.

Is Your Baby Formula Causing Sneezing?

Cow's milk allergy can cause symptoms such as sneezing and an itchy, runny, or blocked nose. If your baby has a chronic cough, persistent runny nose, and raspy, wheezy breathing, it's crucial to seek professional advice from their doctor about it. 

If you suspect your baby is not tolerating cow's milk-based formula well, you may consider switching to a hypoallergenic formula.


Hypoallergenic formula is specifically designed for infants fed formula with cow's milk allergies or intolerances. The unique formula contains hydrolyzed milk proteins broken down to make it easier for babies to digest, even if they have a food allergy.

Pediatricians may recommend formulas labeled HA when infants are sensitive to milk proteins or at considerable risk of developing food allergies due to family history. 

HiPP HA Stage 1 | My Organic Company

Why Do Newborn Sneeze?

Newborn sneezing is common and a protective reflex that helps those tiny nasal passages get rid of common irritants. When newborns sneeze a lot, it is usually a good sign that their reflexes and senses are functioning.

Whether your little one is dealing with sneezing, constipation, or sensitivity, My Organic Company has nutrition to support your little one from the first day through the toddler years. We are here for your family


Please be aware that this information is based on general trends in babies, and it is not medical advice. Your doctor should be your first source of information and advice when considering any changes to your child’s formula and when choosing your child’s formula. Always consult your pediatrician before making any decisions about your child’s diet or if you notice any changes in your child.

Breastfeeding is the best nutrition for your baby because breast milk provides your child with all the essential nutrients they need for growth and development. Please consult your pediatrician if your child requires supplemental feeding.

Author Bio:

Renee is an infant nutrition consultant and a full-time writer. Due to her experience in seeking better nutrition for her premature daughter, she advocates for European baby formula. Renee is fully committed to contributing value to this critical area of child development as a mother of a large family, foster parent, and adoption supporter.

Renee enjoys camping outdoors, swimming, and hiking with her family when she is not working.

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