More About Rapid Breathing in Newborns

Transient tachypnea [TACK-up-NEE-uh] of the newborn is a mild breathing problem. It affects babies during the first hours of life. Transient means it is short-lived. Tachypnea means fast breathing rate. The problem usually goes away without treatment in about 3 days.

Your baby's healthcare provider may use a chest X-ray to help diagnose the problem. On X-ray, the lungs look streaked and overinflated. The symptoms of this breathing problem may be similar to other more serious respiratory problems. These include respiratory distress syndrome. Often transient tachypnea of the newborn is diagnosed when symptoms suddenly go away by the third day of life.

Symptoms may occur a bit differently in each child. They can include:

  • Rapid breathing rate of more than 60 breaths per minute
  • Grunting sounds with breathing
  • Flaring of the nostrils
  • Pulling in at the ribs with breathing

The symptoms of this breathing problem can look like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.