How Do You Stop a Baby Sleeping with Mouth Open? [5 Ideas]

How Do You Stop a Baby Sleeping with Mouth Open [5 Simple Ideas]

If you’ve seen a baby sleeping with their mouth wide open, you know it can be a bit disconcerting. So how to stop baby sleeping with mouth open?

 This article will discuss why babies might sleep with their mouths open.  We’ll also dig into how you, as a parent, can prevent it. We will also provide tips on keeping your baby safe and healthy while they sleep.

Uncovering the Root Causes of Mouth Breathing in Babies

When a newborn sleeps with its mouth open, it can concern parents. What are the common causes of this?  Let’s look at some common reasons babies mouth breathe.

Mucus or Nasal Congestion

One reason a baby might sleep with their mouth open?  Mucus.  

This mucus could be due to nasal congestion or blockage.  This congestion could cause your little one to have difficulty breathing through the nose.

Jaw Structure

Another cause for babies sleeping with their mouths open could be an immature jaw structure.  Your baby might keep their mouth open because their jaw doesn’t close properly as they sleep. 

A combination of factors can cause this.  Reasons may include genetics, poor nutrition, and development during pregnancy, or an underlying medical condition. 


Another possible reason is excessive saliva production.

This can cause the baby to swallow air while sleeping and lead to open-mouth breathing.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea could be a reason why babies sleep with their mouths open.

When a baby has sleep apnea, their breathing pauses or becomes shallow during sleep.

As a result, their body will try to get more oxygen by opening his or her mouth. This is why babies with sleep apnea may tend to sleep with their mouths open. 


Yes, allergies can cause a baby to sleep with their mouth open.

Allergies can trigger several breathing problems, such as nasal congestion and inflammation.  This can lead to mouth breathing at night.

Additionally, allergies may cause the baby not to get enough air when they breathe through their nose.  Because of this, they will naturally switch to mouth-breathing to receive more air.

If the newborn’s open-mouth breathing persists, it’s best to contact a pediatrician immediately.  

Your doctor can conduct an assessment and recommend an appropriate solution.

How Do You Stop a Baby Sleeping with Mouth Open [5 Simple Ideas]

Other Medical Conditions that Could Cause Mouth Breathing in Babies

Certain medical conditions may cause mouth breathing for your little one.  

Deviated Septum 

Yes, a deviated septum can cause mouth-breathing in babies.

This is because the deviated septum blocks the nasal passages.  This will make it more difficult for babies to breathe through their noses.

This can lead to them resorting to mouth breathing to get enough air into their lungs.

Mouth breathing can be uncomfortable and may cause other symptoms such as snoring or difficulty sleeping.

If your baby has difficulty breathing, consult your doctor for further evaluation and treatment.

Enlarged Tonsils

Enlarged tonsils can also cause mouth breathing in babies.

This is because the enlarged tonsils can block the airway and cause difficulty breathing through the nose.

Treatment may include medications and surgery to remove the tonsils.  Your baby’s doctor will help evaluate how severe the enlargement is.

Chronic Sinusitis 

Chronic sinusitis can cause mouth breathing in babies.

The blockage of the nasal passages causes infants to breathe through their mouths instead of their noses.

Other symptoms associated with chronic sinusitis may include:

  • A stuffy nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Facial pain or pressure
  • Recurrent ear infections.

Treatment for chronic sinusitis may include antibiotics, decongestants, and other medications.  The treatment depends on the severity of the condition.

Be sure to speak with your pediatrician to evaluate any underlying medical conditions.

How Do You Stop a Baby Sleeping with Mouth Open [5 Simple Ideas]

The Health Risks when Babies Sleep with Their Mouths Open

Open-mouth sleeping in babies can lead to health problems.  These might include an increased risk of choking and suffocation, dental issues, and difficulty breathing.  

Let’s take a look at each in a little more detail.

Choking and Suffocation

Choking and suffocation can occur when the baby’s airway is blocked while sleeping with an open mouth.

It can make it harder for the baby to get enough oxygen into their lungs.  Why?  This could result from the unnatural airway positioning when they sleep with an open mouth.

Dental Health

Open-mouth sleeping can also damage dental health, leading to misaligned jaw growth.  This can cause irregular spacing between teeth.

Effective Strategies for Stopping Your Baby’s Sleeping with An Open Mouth

Now that we’ve explored some possible causes let’s jump into strategies.  If your baby has a habit of sleeping with an open mouth, effective options are available to help you.

Identify the Right Approach

Knowing the cause of your baby’s mouth being open during sleep is crucial before jumping to strategies.

For example, allergies and stuffy noses are frequent culprits.  

If this is the cause for your baby, you may want to consider humidifiers and nasal decongestants.  These interventions may help your baby breathe while sleeping.

But if the cause is something else, you’d want to consider alternate strategies.  Be sure to talk to your baby’s doctor to help evaluate and find recommendations.

Create a Healthy Sleep Environment for Your Baby

The baby’s sleep can be enhanced by adjusting the room’s temperature, noise level, and lighting.

Calming rituals and bedtime reading could aid your infant in falling asleep with their lips closed.

With the right strategy in mind, there are a few ideas you can try to prevent your baby from sleeping with its mouth open.  In the second part of this article, let’s explore these ideas, from positioning to natural remedies.

The Best Positions for Baby to Sleep to Prevent Open-Mouth Sleeping

Are there any specific sleeping positions that can help prevent a baby from sleeping with its mouth open? Let’s dig into some answers for how to stop baby sleeping with mouth open.

While there is no single best sleeping position to prevent open-mouth sleeping, some can be more effective than others.

Aligning Their Heads and Necks

Ensure the baby’s head and neck align for optimal sleep positioning.  Doing so will help to reduce the risk of open-mouth sleeping.

This means keeping the chin tucked in and ensuring the back of the head is supported.

Putting Them to Sleep on Their Backs

Babies should sleep on their backs to avoid open-mouth breathing.  The American Association of Pediatrics recommends this sleep position for several safety reasons. Among them, this position helps align babies’ heads and necks.

With proper alignment, your little ones’ airways remain clear.  This alignment also helps to prevent babies from rolling onto their stomachs during sleep.

How Do You Stop a Baby Sleeping with Mouth Open [5 Simple Ideas]

Natural Solutions and Home Remedies for When Your Baby Sleeps with Mouth Open

When it comes to open-mouth sleeping prevention, there are many natural solutions and home remedies for how to stop baby sleeping with mouth open.


 A humidifier in the baby’s room will increase moisture levels in the air and make breathing easier for the baby. 

Humidity can help keep the air from becoming too dry. Humidifiers can help create an environment more conducive to nose breathing and optimal respiratory health.


Ensuring the baby is adequately hydrated during the day can help prevent open-mouth sleeping.

Feeding the baby on a regular schedule can help ensure that they are getting enough food.  This can help keep them from becoming hungry and developing open-mouth sleeping.

Ensuring the baby gets enough fluids between feedings can also help prevent dehydration.  This can be a cause of open-mouth sleeping.

Warm Compresses

Placing a gentle warm compress on their chest or forehead before bedtime may help them relax.  This can also help reduce nighttime breathing issues.

Essential Oils

Essential oils can be used to promote relaxation and soothe any airway irritation too. Be sure to use essential oils safely for your baby.

  1. Dilute essential oils by mixing a few drops with a teaspoon of carrier oil (almond, jojoba, or coconut oil).
  2. Test the diluted solution on a small skin patch before applying it to your baby.
  3. Place the diluted solution in an aromatherapy diffuser.  Keep it at least three feet away from your baby’s sleeping area.
  4. If you use the diluted oil directly on your baby, do not apply it to the face or chest area. Instead, use a cotton ball or tissue.  Lightly dab it around the pillowcase and other surfaces near where your baby sleeps.
  5. Do not leave any essential oils in your baby’s sleeping area overnight. Make sure to remove them before bedtime each night.

Air Purifiers

Air purifiers can be beneficial in preventing a baby from sleeping with its mouth open. Air quality plays an important role in this type of sleeping pattern.

They can help maintain proper humidity levels.  They will also filter airborne particles, reduce allergens, improve sleep quality, and limit snoring.

Ultimately, these devices can make the air easier to breathe, leading to better sleep hygiene for the baby.

Now that we’ve explored how to stop your baby from sleeping with their mouth open let’s look at some common questions parents ask when researching this topic.

Why is my baby sleeping with an open mouth?

Babies often sleep with their mouths open, which can cause concern for parents.  This is especially troubling when their baby has trouble breathing through the mouth.

There are a variety of reasons why babies may sleep with their mouths open, including:

  • A stuffy or blocked nose.
  • Issues with their airway 
  • Reflux or apnea 

Speaking to your pediatrician if you are concerned about your baby’s breathing pattern while sleeping is essential.

How to keep a baby from sleeping with an open mouth? 

Keeping a baby’s mouth closed while sleeping is a great way to ensure that their airways are clear.  This will help make sure can breathe freely.

  • You can use a pacifier or bottle for them to suck on, as this will help keep their jaw closed.
  • Swaddling your baby in a light blanket or wrap can provide extra support. 
  • Put your baby to sleep on its back, ensuring their head and neck are aligned.

Should babies sleep with their mouths closed?

Yes, babies need to sleep with their mouths closed.  

Sleeping with closed lips can help them breathe properly and prevent snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

This may also help prevent dryness and irritation in the throat.

Should you worry if your baby breathes through the mouth while sleeping?

It is not uncommon for babies to sleep with their mouths open; in most cases, it is nothing to worry about.

Sleep may also be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

If your baby has a habit of breathing through their mouth while sleeping, this requires further observation.

Talk to a doctor if you notice that your baby is sleeping unusually.

When do you call the doctor if a newborn sleeps with her mouth open?

If your baby is sleeping with their mouth open, it’s essential to keep an eye on them.  You want to ensure they are breathing properly.

If the mouth remains open for longer than a few minutes, it could signify something more serious.  If this is the case, you should call the doctor.

You should seek medical attention if the baby is snoring loudly, having trouble breathing, or experiencing pauses in breathing. 

Ultimate Guide to Baby Sleep: Surprising Tips & Tricks for Success

If you’re looking for comprehensive information and guidance on baby sleep, check out this guide.

Exploring various aspects of infant sleep, the article delves into topics such as sleep patterns, sleep training methods, and creating a conducive sleep environment.

Discover valuable insights and practical tips to help your baby establish healthy sleep habits and promote restful nights for the entire family.

References and Additional Reading

Do you want to keep learning how to stop a baby from sleeping with its mouth open?  Be sure to check out these references to learn more:

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

The AAP is a trusted source for information on child health and development.

They have an article on safe sleep practices for infants.  This article includes information on how to position a baby to reduce the risk of mouth breathing during sleep:

Mayo Clinic

The Mayo Clinic is a well-known medical institution that provides a wide range of health information.

They have an article on mouth breathing in children.  This article includes information on causes, symptoms, and treatment options:

National Sleep Foundation

The National Sleep Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving sleep health.

They have an article on sleep and breathing in babies.  This includes information on why it’s important to encourage proper breathing during sleep and tips for doing so:


Healthline is a trusted source of medical information and advice.

They have an article on mouth breathing in children.  They provide an overview of the causes, symptoms, and treatments for this condition:


WebMD is a well-known website that provides information on health and medical topics.

They have an article on sleep problems in babies and children.  This includes information on mouth breathing and other sleep-related issues: