27 answers

Newborn Making Gasping Noise When He Eats

I have a 2 week old baby boy and every time he eats ( he is bottlefed) he makes this weird gasping noise, sorta like he is trying to catch his breath. He takes really fast, short breaths....like he is having trouble breathing. It is really loud and is really starting to bother me. He mainly only does it when he eats and sometimes, but very rarely, when he is sucking on his pacifier. At first I thought it was just cause he was getting too excited and eating too fast, but the more I listen to it the more I begin to think that it is not normal, especially since he does it at every feeding. I did mention it to his pediatrician last week during his 2 week checkup and she recommended that I change bottles, which I did, and it didnt help. She also mentioned that it may be a problem with his trachea, that some babies are born with a small trachea. Has anyone ever heard of this? I want to take him back to the pediatrician next week and feed him there so they can hear it for themselves, but any info in the meantime would be great. Thanks!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks to everyone for your support and advice. I decided to go into the pediatricians office on Monday. I fed him there and let the dr listen to the noises. She sent us to get a chest xray and a barium swallow test done. His heart and lungs look good, she thinks it may be tracheamalacia, also known as a floppy trachea. She is going to do a recheck on Monday to make sure he is gaining weight properly and if not we will go see a pediatric ENT. If it is tracheamalcia, then he will eventually grow out of it.
Thanks again to everyone!!

Featured Answers

It sounds like he has some sinus congestion, probably because his sinus are just learning to work correctly, getting used to breathing in dust and allergin particals. I wouldn't worry about it right now, but if it continues for more than a week, I would have his doctor look at him. There could be a blockage, but I would think that it's more getting used to all the different stuff in the air.

First congrat on the new baby. I am the mother of 7 children. I would INSIST that the doctor hear this for themselves. Many problems caught early on are easier to treat than later.

The hole in the nipple might be too small.. try snipping a little bit bigger hole so he dosen't have to work so hard.

More Answers

Make sure when you feed him that he is sitting up as much as possible. Ideally at a 90 degree angle. After he eats, keep him at the 90 degree angle for about 5 minutes. Please let your peditrician listen also.

I am a 22 year old mother of a 3 week old son, and he does the same thing while eating(he is breast and bottle fed)He does it more with the bottle, and I think it's because he has to work harder to get something from the breast, and does the same thing for the bottle and winds up needing a breath, but he also does it when he is nursing, just not every time. When it happens, just pick him up over your shoulder like you're going to burp him-- it helps him get his breath back.(I think it's harder to get his breath back while trying to swallow lying down-their throat muscles are still developing tone, and all that) try switching to another slower flow nipple on your bottle ( I use the evenflo comfi bottles---I think avent is the best on the market for problems like what you're having) Good luck with "nipple experiments", and hopefully that will help. If it doesn't get better in a couple more weeks, reask your doc, and if answer is the same, seek a second opinion. GOOD LUCK TO YOU AND YOUR BABY BOY!!!!!

A..... i hope it's nothing serious. And of course always follow up with your doctor. but in the mean time.... i would check the tightness of the cap and nipple on the bottle. If the the cap is screwed on tight then the baby has to suck harder to get the fluids. You can try to see if this helps by loosening the tightness of the cap by only screwing the cap on to the bottle just barely.... enough that it doesn't come off but not much more. then see if your little guy does better. i am guessing that he is trying to drink so hard that he looses his breath and then has to gasp. most of this is normal. and many prayers that it is nothing else. -mb

It could be reflux. Mother of two - 17 mos baby boy and an 8 week old baby girl. My new baby was doing something similar. It started at around a week to two weeks. She would gasp for air along with a host of other things. It started gradually and it initially appeared she just had not mastered the suck, swallow, breath rhythm while feeding (Bottle). She would also suck for a few seconds, then gasp and just hold the nipple in her mouth along with the milk. She would eventually spit the milk out. The feedings started taking a very long time and by 4 weeks it would take an hour or two to take 2 ounces. By the time she finished, she would have severe hiccups and cry for an hour then it was time to feed again. No sleep and hunger make for a very fussy baby. We ended up in a vicious circle where she was hungry all the time but didn't want to eat. I knew something was wrong but when I called the doctor they just said some babies just feed slower than others and it will get better as she gets bigger. Finally, at around 5 weeks, she started to wheeze and cough during and after feedings. When she developed congestion, I took her in for a cold. As it turned out, she the doctor found she had an ear infection which is apparently rare for a 6 week old baby and was usually the result of bad reflux.

I don't know for sure but you might want to ask about acid reflux. My baby had that and it can be scary. Babies don't know they can breathe through their mouth so if they have acid reflux it blocks their breathing passages and sometimes they gasp. Mine did make some gasping noises but usually she just stopped breathing. It can be dangerous so you do need to rule that out.
From B. mother of 6.

It doesn't sound normal to me either. Pester the doctor. I've heard of cases where the mother was the only one concerned, and finally the doctors would check it out, and find a problem. You are more aware of what goes on with your baby. You are with him all the time.

It sounds like he has some sinus congestion, probably because his sinus are just learning to work correctly, getting used to breathing in dust and allergin particals. I wouldn't worry about it right now, but if it continues for more than a week, I would have his doctor look at him. There could be a blockage, but I would think that it's more getting used to all the different stuff in the air.

A.,
My daughter A., has a nine month old,Brayden, that had the same problem, tracheomalacia. It really does sound a lot worse than it is. The trachea is soft and elongated, so it makes this horrible sound. He has outgrown it.
I know you are concerned, but relax. Talk to your pediatrician about this on his next visit.
Google tracheomalacia, and research a little more. You'll feel better when you are more informed.

Hope this helps,
T.

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