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Excessive Yawning in Babies

Excessive Yawning in Babies

Yawning is usually regarded as an involuntary process of opening the mouth and breathing deeply, filling the lungs with air. It’s a very natural often associated with being tired. Excessive yawning in babies usually triggered by sleepiness or fatigue.

Excessive yawning in babies is sometimes regarded as short yawns, and some yawning lasts for some seconds before an open-mouthed exhale. Stretching, Watery eyes or audible sighs may accompany yawning.

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Currently, scientific researchers are not precisely sure why excessive yawning in babies occurs, but common triggers include boredom and fatigue. Yawns may also occur when you see or talk about yawning or hear someone else yawns.

It is believed that yawning that is contagious may have something to do with social communication. In addition, a study published in the International Journal of Applied and Basic Medical Research in the year 2013 suggests that yawning may help cool the temperature of the brain.

Conversely, excessive yawning in babies is that type of yawning which occurs in babies more than once per minute. Although excessive yawning is usually associated with being sleepy or bored, it may be a symptom of underlying medical complications.

Much scientific research also shows that certain conditions can cause a vasovagal reaction, which results in excessive yawning in babies. During a vasovagal reaction, there is increased activity in the vagus nerve. The nerve runs from the brain down to the throat and into the abdomen.

When the vagus nerve becomes more active, heart rate and blood pressure drop significantly. The reaction can indicate anything from a sleep disorder to a severe heart condition.

Causes of Excessive Yawning In Babies 

Excessive yawning in babies is due to any of the following reasons. Nevertheless, it is best to look out for other signs before determining the problem.

Lethargy

 Excessive yawning in babies may occur when the baby in question is lethargic (sluggish) or tired. If excessive yawning seems drowsy or lethargic even after having a good night’s sleep, it is advisable to consult your pediatrician.

Fatigue

According to medical research, if your baby is tired all day, they tend to yawn excessively. The fatigue could also be due to a lack of nutrients.

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So, as a good and responsible parent, you should make sure your baby eats a well-balanced diet. Also, make sure your baby is well-fed and gets all the nutrients needed for proper development and growth.

Excessive yawning in babies can be sometimes seen as an indication that your baby is tired or lacking energy. Also, make sure your baby is active in activities like playing with toys; this will help in drastically reducing the rate at which your baby excessively yawns.

Underlying medical issues

In rare cases, excessive yawning in babies could sometimes be considered a sign of an underlying medical condition, such as epilepsy, stress, multiple sclerosis, stroke, migraine, or anxiety. The underlying condition could increase the core body temperature, and yawning could be a mechanism to correct it.

Drowsiness

Drowsiness may seem like a regular issue. You can not always take it lightly as a parent, especially if your baby constantly feels drowsy. It is best to consult your baby’s doctor if this is the case.

Heart Ailments

In most cases, excessive yawning in babies can indicate an underlying medical threat like heart ailments. The body induces yawns, and more air and oxygen are taken in when the pumping of blood and oxygen is dysfunctional. If your baby is yawning extensively, you are advised to consult the doctor at the earliest.

Epilepsy

If a baby that has just been born yawns excessively, it could be an indicator of an underlying disorder like epilepsy. Suppose the excessive yawning still happens way too much, and it continues over a long period. Consult a doctor and rule out the possibility of any complication.

Excessive Weight

Excessive weight can be a problem as it could be a sign of health issues if your baby weighs more than his optimal weight. Sometimes excessive weight and obesity can cause your baby to yawn more than usual as well.

Is Yawning Contagious In Babies? 

 A study found out contagious yawning can be induced in children after four to five years of age. Babies below this age have immature neural mechanisms to understand the mental state of others and imitate yawning.

Excessive yawning in babies is usually considered a widespread occurrence, according to medical health medical practitioners. 

When Is Yawning Normal In Babies? 

If your baby yawns once or twice per hour when they are tired, sleepy, or going through a growth spurt, you need not worry about it, as this is the regular rate of yawning in babies.

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But anything outside this could mean that you should consult your medical doctor for urgent assistance. Excessive yawning in babies is not a normal condition, and so whenever it is noticed, your baby should be given prompt attention should be given to it.

When should you be Worried? 

Yawning is a regular reflex action in babies when they are sleepy or tired. But, if you notice that your baby yawns frequently or if your baby shows other signs of disturbances, it is best to consult your pediatrician as excessive yawning could be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

Excess yawning in babies could be controlled when the underlying medical reason is addressed.

Ways to Manage Excess Yawning In Babies 

If your pediatrician rules out any underlying medical causes, follow these steps to manage excessive yawning in your baby.

  • Always make sure your baby gets enough sleep.
  • As a breastfeeding mother, you are advised to breastfeed your baby exclusively for the first six months and include nutritious foods in their diet once they start on solids.
  • Take care not to overstimulate them before their bedtime.
  • Establish and follow a bedtime routine.

Conclusion

According to medical research, your baby may excessively yawn when tired or asleep. It is advisable that you stick to their bedtime routine as a parent, and the yawing may subside on its own. But if, in any case, this situation does not halt, then you should book a medical appointment for more clarity.

References;

  • https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yawn
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318414
  • https://muschealth.org/medical-services/geriatrics-and-aging/healthy-aging/yawning
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3678674/
  • https://www.sleep.org/articles/yawning-when-tired/
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