It is true that a baby sleeping is apparently the most adorable sight in the world. It is found that 10% of the babies make different noises while sleeping. In most circumstances, snoring in babies is nothing to be concerned about. Often, it is associated with immature and constricted airways overfilled with mucus, an issue that usually resolves as the airways develop. However, does snoring in babies point to any underlying condition that needs medical attention? Continue reading to know more about snoring in babies.
Why Do Babies Snore?
Snoring happens when there is some sort of blockage of airflow through the baby’s nose and throat. This can happen due to:
- Stuffy nose
- Underdeveloped airways
- Upper-respiratory infections like cold
- Sometimes the baby snores only during deep sleep. This happens when the muscles in baby’s throat become more relaxed so it makes a sound as if the baby is snoring
Causes Of Snoring In Babies That Need Medical Attention
Some more significant problems that can cause snoring in babies include:
- Apnea of infancy: Apnea refers to the temporary interruption of breathing. Infant sleep apnea is a sleep linked breathing disorder. It occurs in babies who are less than one year of age. It involves reduction and a temporary break in breathing that occur in the course of the baby’s sleep
- Deviated septum: A deviated septum is a state in which the nasal septum (the part that divides the nasal cavity of the nose in half) of the baby is considerably deviated from the center, making breathing difficult. This often gives rise to loud breathing and snoring during sleep
- Asthma: Snoring in babies is predictive of baby developing asthma. Studies have shown that babies with asthma are two times more likely to snore than the ones without asthma
- Apnea of prematurity: Apnea of prematurity is a problem that occurs in babies born prior to 34 weeks of pregnancy. Owing to their underdeveloped respiratory system, a premature baby develops breathing issues. This results in snoring. Continuous and close monitoring of baby is essential in such situation
- Enlarged tonsillitis: Even though it very rarely happens in babies and newborns, enlarged tonsillitis can be a reason behind snoring in babies. It is otherwise called obstructive apnea. Gasping and labored breathing are also associated with snoring as enlarged tonsillitis blocks the airways while sleeping
- Laryngomalacia: This can be described as a condition in which a floppy tissue, which actually is a soft, immature cartilage, placed above the vocal cords falls inward into the airway when a child breathes in. This condition causes the child to snore loud
- Abnormalities in throat: Any unusual movement of the palate (the roof that separates the oral cavity from the nasal cavity) can give rise to snoring in babies. Likewise, throat abnormalities like cyst can cause snoring in babies
Side Effects Of Snoring In Babies
It is found that babies who snore habitually are likely to develop the following problems in long term:
- Poor memory and concentration
- As they grow up they tend to develop more social problems
- Are more anxious and irritable
- Show symptoms of depression
- Less active and want to sleep during the day
- Cognitive dysfunction
How To Ease Your Baby’s Snoring?
If snoring is due to any underlying cause as mentioned above, treating that particular problem can help solve the snoring problem in babies. If the cause is insignificant, like blocked nose and underdeveloped airways, here are some tips, which can help to ease snoring in babies:
- Use nasal aspirator: After taking out lingering secretions like mucus from your baby’s nose with the help of nasal aspirator, use a saline nasal spray at least twice a day. This will help to clear the nasal passage thereby easing the baby’s snoring issue
- Changing baby’s sleeping position: Gently changing the sleeping position of your baby is another method to ease the problem of snoring. First, find out in which position your baby is snoring more and which position helps your baby to breathe easily. Try to maintain that position by gently turning the baby if he or she prefers to sleep in the wrong position
- Using a humidifier: If snoring is due to blocked nose, using a humidifier in your baby’s room will help to ease the problem of snoring. Likewise, standing in a warm shower with your baby helps to loosen excess mucus in the airway. Remember to do it just before bedtime so that your baby has a sound sleep and it eases snoring
- Inclining position: Place a pillow under your baby’s mattress. Inclining your baby’s head while sleeping could help get rid of congestion and clear up the airways and thus prevent snoring
- Get rid of possible allergens: Most importantly, ensure that your baby’s room is allergy-proof. Remove dust collectors like carpets and thick curtains, from your baby’s surroundings
Do Snoring Babies Become Troubled Children?
As parents we often associate snoring in babies with deep sleep. But studies have shown that snoring along with mouth breathing and sleep apnea are symptoms of sleep disorder in babies and can predict problems in a child’s emotional and behavioral well being in the long run. It is researched that babies who are around 6 months and have sleeping problems are 20% more likely to develop behavior problems like hyperactivity etc. by the time they reach the age of 7. So it is necessary that you speak to your pediatrician about consistent snoring in your baby. The pediatrician will assess your baby’s symptoms and suggest a mode of treatment that will help to reduce the risk of your baby developing any social or emotional problems later in life and also have a peaceful and quieter sleep at night.
Mommies, did your baby snore at night? What did you do to help your baby overcome this problem? Do share your experiences in the comments section below.