My Baby Snores: Is It Normal?

While sleeping in the initial few weeks of their lives, babies make all sorts of different noises, such as snoring, snuffling and whistling. These noises are made because of irregular breathing and pauses while taking breaths. Parents often become worried of baby snoring because they expect that their babies would sleep without snoring. They start to think that there is some problem with their babies, but this is mostly not the case. Of course, sometimes there are symptoms which should not be ignored and if noticed, parents should immediately contact their babies’ pediatrician.

Is Baby Snoring Normal?           

Actually, baby snoring is a common problem. Generally, babies make noise during sleep because their breathing airways are very small and filled with secretions. As babies breathe, air collides with the secretions, making all the different sorts of noises which disturb the parents. In most cases, as your infant grows up, the noise will reduce because his airways will expand, allowing air to pass without making noise. Sometimes, however, the snoring noise can be a signal of some deeper issue, indicating that airways have obstructions which make it difficult for your baby to breathe and he has to make extra effort to do so.

Some infants snore not because of air passage obstruction, but because of a cold, an allergy, or an increase in the size of their adenoids or tonsils. In rare cases, snoring sound is made when your baby is in the deepest stage of sleeping, in which their throat muscles are so relaxed that they make snoring sound while breathing.

Solutions for Baby Snoring

1. Hose Your Baby’s Nose

Hosing your baby’s nose can help a lot in helping your baby breathe easily. You can either buy a salty nasal spray from pharmacies or make the spray by yourself by adding a quarter of a teaspoon of salt to around eight ounces of pure water. You should put a couple of drops of the saline nose drops once every day into the baby’s stuffed nose. You should also take out secretions from the baby’s nose through a nasal aspirator.

2. Humidify the Air

Humidifying the air can also help with a clogged nose especially when the air in your baby’s bedroom has been dried out by central heating. You can use a warm-mist vaporizer to make the air in the baby’s bedroom humid. You should also give your baby a warm shower just before bedtime so that the humid and warm air can take away the secretions from the nose, allowing your child to sleep easily.

3. Remove Allergens

Removing allergens would also help with your baby’s snoring. You should take away pet dander, dust, and other allergy triggers from the child’s bedroom or at least away from the child’s bed.

4. Change His Sleeping Posture

Snoring is also associated with sleeping posture in many babies. It is important to note that some children often snore a lot when sleeping on their stomachs or on their backs, but remain very quiet when sleeping on their sides. You should also ensure that your newborn sleeps on his back and not on his stomach since he can’t turn his head to breathe.

When to Be Concerned

Chronic baby snoring is often an indication of a rather complex issue, and you should start to take notes of your child’s symptoms when his snoring gets worse with age, and when it seriously affects his sleep and his mood. Structural problems and sleeping apnea are the common causes of chronic snoring.

1. Structural Problems in Airways

While most children suffer no structural problems, they are possible contributors to chronic snoring issues in children. You should go with your gut feeling and inform the doctor of your baby’s snoring issues whenever you feel that you cannot stop the snoring. The doctor would check the nasal passage of the baby and ensure that the airways are properly structured. Here are some structural problems doctors would check for.

  • Deviated Nasal Septum: One structural problem that can cause snoring is the deviation of the nasal septum to either of the sides. The nasal septum is the bone that actually differentiates between the two nasal passages, and the deviation to one side can obstruct one of the nostrils. The noise is thus caused by the baby taking in and moving out all the air through the other nostril.
  • Enlarged Tonsils: The doctor might also do a test to see if enlarged tonsils are responsible for snoring though the chances are very minute for enlarged tonsils are extremely rare amongst newborns.
  • Abnormalities in Throat: Abnormal movement of palate or cysts can also cause snoring, and the doctor might check the throat of the baby to see for it as well.
  • Laryngomalacia: A cartilage that keeps the baby’s breathing passage open might not have developed completely, resulting in a condition known as laryngomalacia, which can cause snoring as well. The condition isn’t serious though,since it will subside when the cartilage matures by around six months.

2. Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea actually causes instances of total obstruction of the airways and temporarily stops breathing. As a consequence, sleep apnea results in extremely loud snoring and constant sleep disruption with the child waking up from time to time. 

To learn more about sleep apnea in children, watch the video below: