Baby Snores: Is It Normal? When Should You Be Worried?
You shouldn't be worried unless the problem persists for months.
Babies do all sorts of weird things, when awake and asleep, that you don't know if you should be worried about it or not. Young babies tend to make a lot of noise, from gurgling to smacking their lips to breathing heavily while they sleep. Some even laugh and giggle. They also let out the tiniest, cutest baby snores.
So, should you be worried if your baby snores?
But Why Does Your Baby Snore?
Newborns tend to snore quite a bit because their tiny narrow airways are still developing into larger ones.
Little babies also tend to have their nostrils filled with bubbly secretions. As they breathe in and out, the air passing through these puddles of secretions make different vibratory sounds. Hence, the snoring!
As they grow up, their airways will expand, and your baby will learn to swallow excess saliva, producing less of these snoring noises.
If the snoring persists, then it is an indication that perhaps, their air passages might be obstructing their breathing.
How to Lessen Baby Snores
1. Clear their nostrils of excess secretions
You don't have to go to the doctor just to clear your baby's nose of excess secretions. You can actually do it at home. All you have to do is to gently squirt a few drops of saltwater nose drops into your baby's nose once or twice a day.
You can get this from a pharmacy. Then use a nasal aspirator to suck out the excess secretions.
2. Use steam
You know how you can always breathe a little easier during a nice warm shower? Do the same for your little bub. Get into the shower with your baby just before bedtime and let the steam loosen excess secretions in the airway. Alternatively, you can use a warm-mist vaporiser.
3. Remove allergens from the bedroom
One possible reason why your baby's nasal passageways are blocked could be due to dust and other allergens. Remove dust collectors like rugs, soft toys and animal dander from the room to lessen the dust and dirt.
4. Use an air purifier
Some air-conditioning units have a built-in air purifier. But if your baby doesn't sleep with the air-conditioning on, then getting a standalone air purifier is helpful to improve the air quality in the room. Some stand fans now come with built-in air purifying features too.
5. Change your baby's sleeping posture
One of the reasons for your baby's snoring is also due to posture. Some babies tend to snore a lot when sleeping on their stomachs, but tend not to when sleeping on their backs. Anyway, you should always ensure your newborn sleeps on his or her back to prevent the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
When to Worry About Baby Snores
As your baby grows older, he or she should snore less. Look out for that bubbly, gurgling noise during the pre-teething stage, when he produces extra saliva. But apart from that, the loud snoring should subside.
However, if the loud snoring and blocked nose persist, then it is time to see a doctor. Doctors will run a test called a polysomnogram that records the breathing patterns during sleep.
Sometimes, snoring can be caused by a deviated nasal septum (the bone that divides the two nasal passages), which will cause a partial obstruction of one of the nostrils.
Your doctor will also check your baby's throat to be sure there are no structural abnormalities, such as unusual movement of baby's palate or cysts.
Another thing doctors will observe is if your baby has a quirk called laryngomalacia, which causes noisy breathing. This happens when the cartilage that normally keeps the breathing passages open has not fully matured.
You can also observe for laryngomalacia by watching your baby breathe. If the normal dent in your baby's neck just above the breastbone caves when they inhale, this is a sign of laryngomalacia.
Has this article on baby snores been helpful? Let us know if you have any other tips to reduce baby snores!