Causes and Concerns: Why Babies Often Sleep with Their Mouth Open

Observing a baby can be a delightful yet perplexing experience, especially when it comes to their sleep habits. One common yet little-discussed behavior is why babies often sleep with their mouths open. This might appear harmless or even cute, but it can sometimes signal underlying health or developmental issues. In this exploration, we delve into the causes and concerns associated with this behavior, shedding light on when it is normal and when it might require a visit to a healthcare provider.

Understanding the Basics: Why Do Babies Sleep with Their Mouths Open?

Sleeping with an open mouth in babies is not uncommon. Typically, it is linked to their developmental stage and the continual growth and changes in their bodies. Young infants might sleep with their mouths open because of their reliance on nose breathing. When nasal passages are blocked, a baby might open their mouth as an alternative way to breathe.

Potential Causes of Mouth Breathing in Babies

  1. Nasal Congestion: This is one of the most common reasons babies might breathe through their mouths, especially during the cold season or due to allergies.
  2. Enlarged Tonsils or Adenoids: Sometimes, babies have larger tonsils or adenoids, which can block parts of their nasal passages or throat, prompting them to breathe through their mouths.
  3. Respiratory Infections: Respiratory infections can lead to temporary mouth breathing due to the congestion and swelling of nasal tissues.
  4. Deviated Septum: A less common but possible reason is a deviated septum, a condition where the nasal septum is displaced to one side, making it difficult to breathe through the nose.

The Potential Concerns with Mouth Breathing

Mouth breathing may seem like a trivial issue, but its implications can be significant, especially if it becomes a persistent habit. Some of the problems associated with mouth breathing in babies include:

  • Poor Sleep Quality: Babies who breathe through their mouths might not enter the deeper, restorative stages of sleep as easily, which can affect their overall health and growth.
  • Dental Health Issues: Prolonged mouth breathing can lead to orthodontic problems later in life, such as malocclusions or altered facial growth.
  • Increased Risk of Infections: Breathing through the mouth can bypass the nasal cavity's ability to filter out dust, allergens, and microbes, potentially leading to an increased risk of infections.

Discovering Solutions and Preventive Measures

To ensure that your baby is breathing correctly during sleep and reduce the risk associated with mouth breathing, consider the following steps:

  • Regular Pediatric Visits: Regular check-ups can help catch and address any issues that might lead to mouth breathing.
  • Airing Out the Home: Reducing potential allergens like dust and pet dander in your home can help prevent nasal congestion in your baby.
  • Humidifiers: Using a humidifier in the baby’s room can help keep their nasal passages clear, especially in dry climates or seasons.

How Sleepout Blackout Curtains Can Help

An often-overlooked aspect of ensuring restful sleep in babies is the sleeping environment itself. Creating a serene, comfortable setting can make a significant difference. This is where Sleepout Home Blackout Curtains come into play. By effectively blocking out excess light, these curtains help maintain a consistent sleep environment, aiding deeper and more restful sleep cycles.

Mother and baby near blackout curtains

When to Seek Medical Advice

If you notice that your baby consistently sleeps with their mouth open, it’s advisable to consult with a pediatrician. This is particularly important if they exhibit other symptoms such as snoring, frequent waking during the night, or signs of discomfort. Early intervention can prevent many of the issues associated with mouth breathing.


While it’s not uncommon for babies to sleep with their mouths open occasionally, understanding the reasons behind this behavior can help you ensure that your baby remains healthy and well-rested. By paying attention to their sleeping environment and maintaining regular pediatric check-ups, most concerns related to mouth breathing can be effectively managed or avoided altogether. Ensuring your baby has the best start in life involves monitoring these small details that can significantly impact their overall well-being.

Mother setting up blackout curtains
Back to blog

Experience 100% Blackout Fabric