A newborn baby breathes 40-60 times a minute, in comparison to 12-20 times a minute for an adult. Newborns also do something called periodic breathing. This is when they breathe fast and shallow (almost like they're panting), followed by several second long pauses in their breathing. This is normal. Only be concerned if your baby is also limp, pale, or blue (which would be very unusual). Newborns also have tiny noses, breathe only through their noses, and don't know how to clear nasal secretions. Many seem like they are always congested, even when they're not sick. If your baby is sleeping and eating comfortably, do nothing. If she is uncomfortable, then try putting a few saline drops in her nose and then suction with a blue bulb syringe. Newborns also sneeze, hiccup, sniffle, and snort (like little piglets)! They also cough occasionally to help clear their secretions. Don't let it bother you, as it usually doesn't bother the baby.
Newborn baby breathing problems can be checked by keeping an eye on your baby when he or she is breathing normally. The moment there is an alteration in the pattern or intensity of breathing you will know that your baby is experiencing a certain amount of difficulty with respect to easy breathing. A baby with breathing problems will be experiencing large amounts of discomfort and every effort must be made to ease irritable breathing problems without any delay.