How to Count Baby's Respiratory RateDr. Greg Germain, MD
OK: You know your baby has the flu, and you’ve given her infant Tylenol or ibuprofen for her fever and discomfort. But you should certainly call your doctor if you suspect breathing problems such as audible wheezing, struggling to get air in, or breathing more than 60 times in a minute, which you can determine using the following steps.
Steps for Calculating Breathing Rates
- Get yourself and your baby in a comfortable position where you can easily see or hear her breathing.
- Your baby should be calm (feeding works well) and fever-free, since agitation and fever can falsely increase the respiratory rate.
- Now count the number of breaths she takes in 30 seconds.
- Multiply by two and you’ll have your baby’s respiratory rate.
The normal respiratory rate in this age group is 24 to 38 breaths per minute. Slightly higher and your baby may have a viral infection or a stuffy nose. Over 60 means a call to your pediatrician.
More Baby Sickness Help
Looking for advice on soothing a sick child? Check these out:
- The New Parent’s Guide to Monthly Baby Health Worries
- Quiz: Is It a Cold or the Flu?
- “Should I Give My Baby a Flu Shot?”
- 8 Medicine-Free Cold & Flu Remedies