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Understanding Why Your Baby Pants Like a Dog

Why is my baby panting like a dog?

A baby might pant like a dog due to several reasons:

  1. They have smaller lungs than adults, leading to more frequent, shallow breaths.
  2. They are unable to clear their throats, causing saliva to accumulate, which air must pass over, creating a panting sound.
  3. Overexertion, such as crying or fussing, can lead to increased breathing, often sounding like panting.

What does it mean when a baby is panting?

Typically, a baby panting is part of a normal breathing pattern and doesn’t signal any immediate concern. However, if the panting is excessively rapid, persistent, or associated with other symptoms like distress or fever, it might indicate an underlying issue that needs medical attention.

Why does it sound like my baby is panting?

The sound of a baby panting is primarily due to their small air passages and the accumulation of saliva at the back of their throats, which the air needs to bypass. Additionally, emotional states, like excitement or distress, can temporarily increase a baby’s breathing rate, resulting in panting-like sounds.

Why is my 6-month-old breathing like a dog?

At around six months of age, babies begin learning how to breathe using both their nose and mouth, much like adults. During this learning process, their breathing pattern might change and could sound like they’re panting or breathing like a dog. However, if you’re concerned about your baby’s breathing, it’s always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional.

Why does my baby breathe like a pug?

The breathing pattern of babies can sometimes resemble the distinctive sounds of a pug. This is due to their small nasal passages and the accumulation of saliva in their throat. However, this is typically a normal part of their development, and the sound should decrease as they grow and their breathing patterns mature.

Why does my baby pant like a dog when excited?

Much like adults, babies can also have increased breathing rates when they’re excited or overstimulated. This heightened state can cause them to breathe more rapidly, often resulting in a panting-like sound.

Baby panting and kicking legs

Babies pant and kick their legs often as a form of self-expression and communication. They’re discovering their bodies and testing their capabilities. However, if this behavior is accompanied by distress or other worrying signs, it might be worth discussing with your pediatrician to rule out any potential health concerns.

Baby’s Breathing Patterns: Different From Adults

Babies, unlike adults, have smaller lungs that cannot contain a large amount of oxygen. This causes them to breathe more rapidly, averaging about 40-60 breaths per minute. Between these shallow breaths, there might be slight pauses. Parents often find this rapid breathing and pausing pattern to be disconcerting, but it’s actually a typical baby behavior. Sometimes, this quick and shallow breathing can even sound like your baby is panting like a dog.

Is Your Baby Panting Like a Dog Normal?

Healthy babies often exhibit breathing patterns that include brief pauses and swift breaths. These patterns might lead to a panting-like sound due to the baby’s small air passage and the collection of saliva at the back of their throats. This is because babies, unlike adults, are not yet able to clear their throats. Therefore, if your baby appears to pant like a dog but shows no sign of respiratory distress, there’s usually no cause for concern. As your baby grows, their breathing pattern will evolve.

The Impact of Overexertion on Baby’s Breathing

Babies sometimes get fussy and cry when they need attention. If they cry or fuss to the point of exhaustion, it can lead to increased breathing that can sound like your baby is panting like a dog. While overexertion can be a factor behind this behavior, it can also serve to strengthen your baby when not done excessively.

Can Quiet-Breathing Babies Pant Like a Dog?

Just like adults, babies react to their environment. Some babies might start to pant like a dog in response to allergens or when in distress due to a fever or illness. By keeping your baby away from allergens or treating their illness, you can potentially reduce or eliminate these panting episodes.

When Baby’s Panting Should Cause Concern

While panting can be typical behavior for babies, there are instances where it can signal an underlying problem. If your baby exhibits persistent, rapid breathing beyond 60 breaths per minute, or if there’s a noticeable in-out movement of the muscles under their ribs and neck, it might be time to consult your GP.

The Gradual Transition from Baby Panting

Most babies typically take rapid, shallow breaths through their noses until about six months of age. After that, they start to learn how to breathe using both their nose and mouth, much like adults. As they practice and refine this skill, their breathing patterns become more coordinated, and the panting noises typically decrease over time and eventually disappear.

How Can Help with Baby’s Panting

While understanding and monitoring your baby’s panting can be an essential part of caregiving, it can also affect your baby’s sleep patterns and your peace of mind. This is where can assist. is dedicated to helping parents improve their baby’s sleep habits. By understanding the causes and effects of behaviors like panting, you can better respond to your baby’s needs and improve their sleep quality. This can lead to better sleep for both you and your baby, reducing stress and fostering a healthier lifestyle.


Understanding your baby’s breathing patterns and learning when to differentiate between normal behaviors and potential concerns can alleviate some of the worry that comes with parenting. Although a baby panting like a dog can sound unusual, most of these sounds are just part of your baby’s communication. However, always remember to consult with a healthcare professional if you notice your baby’s panting is persistently above 60 breaths per minute.

1 thought on “Understanding Why Your Baby Pants Like a Dog”

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