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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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15 days old have cough with the tendency of lip smacking. Is this normal?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
Hi, I stay at Delhi India, My male kid is 15 days old , and during sleep / awake many a times the kid takes out the tounge as if thirsty and trying to wet the lips , but we feeding only with mothers milk... also some times kid tries to clear the throat with very feable cough type sound.
Kindly advise is it normal
Tue, 8 Jan 2013 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 7 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
Lip smacking in infants could be a benign physiological movement and gradually goes away on its own . Infants use their mouth for sensory perception of the surrounding so lip smacking and sucking etc are usually physiological ( normal behaviour ).
However in rare cases neonatal seizures ( convulsions ) can also present as repetitive Oro -buccal lingual movements( chewing , sucking , lip smacking) . So if your baby has very frequent involuntary lip smacking or prolonged smacking (causing lips to turn blue)or has any other movements of hands( tremor or jitteriness , head nodding , etc then it's best to rule out the possibility of a seizure.
However considering your newborn is a healthy baby ( no perinatal problems ie during or after birth) , the weight is above 2.5 kg and baby has no other symptoms ( like poor feeding , excessive crying , fever, decreased urination etc) apart from lip smacking and occasional grunting then I don't think you need to worry at all. Its most probably a normal phase of development and should resolve on its own gradually.
I appreciate your efforts on maintaining exclusive breastfeeding for your baby and do recommend that till 6 months of age the baby needs nothing other than breast milk.
Please don't think that your child is thirsty as breast milk has enough water component to quench a baby's thirst as well as enough nutrients to satisfy his hunger. Just make sure the mother feeds the baby on demand or atleast every 2-3 hourly to maintain his health. I would also recommend you to follow up with his pediatrician for his vaccination and during such a visit do get him physically examined to eliminate any other doubts and know about the normal newborn development and milestones.
As of now I don't think it's worrisome unless your child has any significant birth related problem or any danger symptoms ( as mentioned above).
So you may wait and watch till the baby's routine Health visit.
Hope I have answered your query.
I'll be available for any follow up queries.
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