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Comment: My friends says that after a baby is born, he/she can drink and breathe at
the same time. He has no idea what changes occur to not allow adults to
do this, nor does he know when these changes occur (after 30 days? 4
months?). I have never heard of this, but he claims to have read it in a
textbook somewhere.

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Avril
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Sounds impossible to me. Maybe it's because the baby doesn't let go of the nipple that it appears to never need to come up for air, but babies, like us, can breathe through their noses. And they do. They can hold milk in their mouths to take in air, but so can we. Breathing and swallowing can't happen at the same time, but breathing and drinking might. That's not a spectacular feat, though.

Av "is there a doctor in the house?" ril

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LizzyJingleBells
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If I remember right, a baby will take two or three swallows, then breathe. At least, that's how my kid does it, but maybe he's just weird. [Wink]

Lizzy "like his mom" Bean

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Erin
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I have three week old niece, and having fed her often, I can easily see that she sucks and the breathes. In fact, after she sucks she's breathes heavily after from her effort.

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Tabbymago
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True, according to my linguistics textbook (which I already sold back and therefore cannot cite). Infants' throats are aligned differently so there's greater division between the airway and the esophagus. It shifts into the adult alignment after a few months, at which point the baby's vocal range increases and it becomes able to make linguistic sounds.

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Jinxie
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Isn't it also true that babies can remain under water for semi-long periods of time (I don't know how long I heard) with out having problems?

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evilbeth
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My child spent a long time in the Neonatal Intensive Care unit after birth and didn't drink from a bottle until she was over a month old. One of the problems we had with her was getting her to coordinate her sucking and her breathing. She would (as do many preemie babaies learning to nurse either from bottle or breast) only do one or the other. Her oxygen sats would dip way down when she was drinking and a couple times she had to be bagged to get her breathing sufficiently again.
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LizzyJingleBells
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quote:
Originally posted by chappell78:
Isn't it also true that babies can remain under water for semi-long periods of time (I don't know how long I heard) with out having problems?

Babies, when put underwater, automatically hold their breaths. But they can't last very long, since their lungs are so small. Which is why you have to be so careful around children and water. They can drown very quickly.

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just Lisa
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The person who said that never tried to nurse a baby with a stuffed up nose.

Normally it is suck, suck, inhale through nose, suck suck. When the nose is plugged, the baby has to either let go after a few sucks to breath, or chomp down harder and try to breath through the sides of the mouth.

Guess which way my kids picked?

Li "OW!" sa

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SpookyGirl
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I remember this from linguistics class also. IIRC, infants have the same throat structure as non-human primates, so they can breathe and swallow at the same time. It's a mechanism that keeps them from choking, and one that they lose as they mature and develop the ability to speak.

I don't remember if the change in structure happens because the baby begins using its throat for talking, or if it's just part of the growth process.

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Mr. Furious
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2XL told me about this, so it must be true!

15 points if you have any idea what 2XL is. [Smile]

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Jay Tea
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I heard my Mum talking about this with a friend of mine who was talking about how he plays the digeridoo, they were discussing circular breathing, and my Mother was saying it's the same basic concept that babies used at the breast and crusties use to play the didge...

...my Mum then embarrassed me thoroughly by saying " Ah! Here's Jay - when he was at the nipple he used etc etc"  -

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The Spider in the Ointment
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Babies of course grow up in fluid until they're born... so I would think that a new born baby would not drown as easily as an adult human.

I don't know enough about this, but perhaps some oxygen travels via the placenta... so the breathing is done for it.

Baby swimming is very fashionable. Most famously featured on the cover of Nirvana's most popular album. Some say this is to do with our evolution... more simply, it's because a baby's breathing apparatus is quite different, not because we're necessarily an amphibious species at heart.

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