How To Tell When A Baby’s Nose Is Developing

As a new mom, you’re always looking for signs that your baby is healthy and growing as they should. One important aspect of your baby’s development that you may not have considered is their nose. Believe it or not, your baby’s nose is developing right from the time they are in the womb! In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to tell when a baby’s nose is developing and what you can do to support their growth.

What Happens During Nasal Development?

Nasal development begins as early as 8 weeks of gestation. At this point, the nasal placodes (thickened areas of ectoderm) form on either side of the developing face. These placodes then invaginate (fold inward) to form the nasal pits. Over time, the nasal pits deepen and eventually fuse together, forming the nasal cavity.

As the nasal cavity develops, other structures such as the nasal septum (which divides the nasal cavity into two sides) and the turbinates (scroll-like bones that help warm, humidify, and filter air) also form. The external nose (which includes the nostrils, nasal bridge, and tip) develops later on, around weeks 10-12 of gestation.

How To Tell When Your Baby’s Nose Is Developing

So, now that you know a bit more about nasal development, how can you tell when your baby’s nose is developing? Here are a few signs to look out for:

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If you’re still pregnant, your doctor may be able to tell you about your baby’s nasal development through ultrasound. Around 18-20 weeks of gestation, a detailed ultrasound can show the nasal cavity and external nose. Your doctor can also check for any abnormalities, such as a cleft lip or palate, which can affect nasal development.


Of course, the most obvious sign that your baby’s nose has developed is when they are born! Newborns have a very distinct nose shape, with a small bridge and wide nostrils. Don’t be alarmed if your baby’s nose looks a bit different at first – it can take a few weeks for the nasal cartilage to fully harden and for the nose to take on its final shape.


Another way to tell if your baby’s nose is developing is by their breathing. A newborn’s nasal passages are quite narrow, which can make it difficult for them to breathe through their nose. You may notice your baby breathing through their mouth, especially when they are sleeping or feeding. As your baby grows, their nasal passages will widen, making it easier for them to breathe through their nose.

How To Support Your Baby’s Nasal Development

While your baby’s nose will develop on its own, there are a few things you can do to support their growth:

Proper Nutrition

Make sure your baby is getting all the nutrients they need to support their overall growth and development. Breast milk or formula will provide everything they need in their first few months of life.

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When your baby is sleeping, make sure they are on their back to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). You can also use a wedge pillow to elevate their head slightly, which can help with breathing.


If your baby is congested, using a cool mist humidifier in their room can help moisten the air and make it easier for them to breathe.

Saline Drops

If your baby is really congested, you can use saline drops to help loosen the mucus in their nose. Simply apply a few drops to each nostril and then use a bulb syringe to suction out the mucus.


Your baby’s nasal development is an important part of their overall growth and development. By knowing how to tell when your baby’s nose is developing and taking steps to support their growth, you can help ensure that they are healthy and happy. Remember, if you have any concerns about your baby’s nasal development, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Can a baby breathe through their nose right after birth?

A: Yes, newborns can breathe through their nose right after birth, although their nasal passages are quite narrow. As they grow, their nasal passages will widen, making it easier for them to breathe through their nose.

Q: Can a baby’s nose be reshaped?

A: In some cases, a baby’s nose may be reshaped through surgery if there is a structural abnormality or if the baby has a cleft lip or palate. However, most changes in the shape of the nose will occur naturally as the baby grows and their nasal cartilage hardens.

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Q: When should I be concerned about my baby’s nasal development?

A: If you notice that your baby is having difficulty breathing or that their nose looks significantly different from other newborns, talk to your doctor. They can assess your baby’s nasal development and check for any abnormalities that may be affecting their breathing.

Q: How can I tell if my baby is congested?

A: Signs of congestion in a baby can include difficulty breathing, noisy breathing, snoring, and a runny or stuffy nose.

Q: Should I use a decongestant on my baby?

A: No, you should not use decongestants on a baby under 2 years old without consulting your doctor first. These medications can have serious side effects in young children.

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By administrator

I am a child development specialist with a strong passion for helping parents navigate the exciting and sometimes challenging journey of raising a child. Through my website, I aim to provide parents with practical advice and reliable information on topics such as infant sleep, feeding, cognitive and physical development, and much more. As a mother of two young children myself, I understand the joys and struggles of parenting and am committed to supporting other parents on their journey.

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