Babies Snoring, toddler snoring, and how to stop it.

4 January 2022
Babies Snoring, toddler snoring, and how to stop it.

According to Healthline, snoring in newborn babies, in most cases, is not a sign of something dangerous. Newborns have small nasal passages, which means that they quite often make noises when they are breathing, especially if they are asleep.

Babies Snoring

Small amounts of dryness or mucus in a baby's nasal passage can cause them to snore or breathe noisily. As a baby gets older, their airways become bigger and therefore, their breathing becomes quieter and what sounded like snoring starts to reduce. Ensure that you monitor your baby as additional symptoms can be the result of a more serious problem, such as swollen tonsils, adenoids, deviated septum or sleep apnoea.

If you are worried about your baby and their snoring, ensure that you contact your doctor or paediatrician.

Snoring Child

Like adults, children can have periods where they are more inclined to snore. This can differ for each child and is quite often brief and does not cause any long term effect, either to the sleep of the child or their health.

How common is snoring in children

A study: Snoring in primary school children and domestic environment puts a figure on how often minor, occasional snoring occurs. They suggest in up to 25% snore infrequently and 15% snore regularly. light, temporary snoring does not usually raise health concerns. Regular snoring needs some advice from a qualified medical practitioner.

What can cause a child to snore?

Snoring in children is caused the same way as it is caused for us adults; by air not being able to flow freely through the airway at the back of the throat. However, there are some causes that may influence the reason behind a snoring child, such as:

  • Large or Swollen tonsils and adenoids - These are located at the back of the throat and are part of the immune system. If you have an infection, they can swell and block the airway, which in turn causes snoring. If the child has naturally bigger tonsils, this may also result in the same snoring. If the child is not experiencing short term snoring, this is the most common cause of the snoring.
  • Congestion - If your child has a cold or a stuffy nose, this can cause congestion, which will block the airflow and can also cause the tonsils and adenoids to become swollen.
  • Asthma - If your child has asthma, this can cause them to snore.
  • Obesity - Children who are overweight have an increased risk of snoring. This is due to obesity being able to narrow the airway and cause the flow to be restricted.
  • Environmental effects - If your child is exposed to certain air pollutants, such as smoke from cigarettes, then this can cause an increase in the possibility of a child snoring.
  • Allergies - If a child has known allergies and the allergies cause a flare-up, it can cause inflammation in the nasal passage and airways, making it harder for the child to breathe and therefore causing them to snore.

If you are concerned about your snoring child, always contact your GP or a paediatrician to ensure it is not something more serious.

The  Sleep Foundation has listed some of the ways in which you can monitor your child and note when it could be a bigger issue, such as:

  • Gaps in their breathing or if you notice that they are having difficulty breathing whilst they sleep
  • If you notice that they are snoring for more than three nights per week
  • Weight gain
  • Loss of weight

It may be worth tracking your child's sleeping habits to monitor their snoring. If you have been to the doctor and they have found no serious conditions, then you may benefit from making a few changes to the environment, such as:

Encouraging them to sleep on their side

Sleeping on your back can cause the tongue to sit at the back of the throat, partially obstructing the airway, meaning that they snore. If you encourage your child to sleep on their side, it reduces this risk.

Healthy diet

As mentioned, obesity in children can cause them to snore, so ensuring that they have a healthy balanced diet can reduce the chances of them snoring and help to reduce their snoring if they do currently snore. A BMI calculator can help you to judge whether you need to change both the type of foods and the quantity, but if in doubt do consult a medical practitioner. 

Use an air purifier

An air purifier can be a great way to element two different causes of snoring. In the first instance, if it is environmental issues that are causing your child to snore, then this is a great way to remove them from the air, although this should not be the only way you eliminate these kinds of issues. Secondly, this is a great way of being able to remove allergens from the air that are causing allergies and thus your child's snoring. A purifier can remove dust and particles from the air that are irritating the airways when they breathe. One of the allergens that have a seasonal effect is pollen, the tiny grains that are dispersed by plants to fertilise plants. If the pollen comes from grasses then the allergy is called hayfever but they can be produced by trees as well as shrubs, annuals and perennials. There are many air purifiers on the market that claim to be capable of removing these allergens from the air and lowering the problems of pollen and other allergens.

Sleep Inclined

If the head side of the mattress is inclined, or your child's head is elevated by pillows to a comfortable height, then this helps to reduce snoring. If your child is very young, this is not recommended. Only use this method if your child is of age and already sleeps with a pillow.

Good sleep hygiene

Sleep hygiene can help to change sleeping habits and promote better sleep.

We have an article on the importance of good sleep hygiene which could help you to improve your child's sleep. Good sleep hygiene may not solve your child's snoring but improving sleep is always beneficial and can help to mitigate the broken sleep that results from snoring.

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