home

What are your concerns?

close
Inaccurate
Hard to understand
Other

Share


Or copy link

New

Baby Snoring: Why Does My Baby Snore? Should I Be Worried?

Baby Snoring: Why Does My Baby Snore? Should I Be Worried?

It doesn’t surprise us when adults snore, but when babies do it regularly, we might start wondering if all is well. After all, snoring, which is the sound of obstructed breathing, could be a sign of a serious health issue that needs prompt treatment. Here’s what you need to know about baby snoring.

Generally, Baby Snoring is Normal and Nothing to Worry About

The first thing to keep in mind about baby snoring is that it’s most likely normal and nothing to be concerned about.

Doctors explain that babies have a small nose and air passages, so even a small amount of mucus can cause them to snore or have noisy breathing. Some pediatricians even call babies “piglets” because of all the noises they make when they breathe.

As they grow, their breathing becomes quieter until snoring completely subsides.

When to Worry About Baby Snoring

Although rare, snoring in babies could still be a sign of an underlying health condition that needs medical attention.

For instance, snoring shouldn’t interfere with your baby’s sleep. If they seem to have long pauses in breathing and it makes them gasp for breath, it’s best to bring them to the doctor as soon as possible.

Some of the other warning signs to watch out for include [2]:

  • Deeper breathing, one that makes your baby’s ribs stick out.
  • Grunting, particularly at the end of a breath.
  • Flaring of the nose
  • Persistent coughing or a high-pitched barking cough, which may be a sign of croup
  • High fever
  • Cold or flu-like symptoms and other signs of illness

Possible Causes of Baby Snoring

Below are the potential causes of snoring in babies:

Stuffy or Clogged Nose

Most cases of baby snoring happen because they have a stuffy nose. Due to the presence of mucus in the baby’s air passages, air cannot move freely, causing noisy breathing.

If this is the case, parents are likely to notice right away because of the mucus. Home remedies that might help include increased breastfeeding and the use of nasal saline drops.

Now, if their snoring doesn’t get better or becomes worse even after performing these home remedies, bring your little one to the doctor.

Deviated Septum

A deviated septum occurs when the cartilage that separates the nasal cavity is off-center. Reports say it’s a common condition: approximately 20% of newborns have it [3].

Note that many babies who have a deviated septum do not experience any signs and symptoms. Still depending on the deviation, this condition might cause breathing issues and even congestion.

Swollen or Large Tonsils and Adenoids

Baby snoring might also happen due to large or swollen tonsils and adenoids, organs found at the back of the throat.

You see, when the tonsils and adenoids are larger than usual or swollen due to an infection (tonsillitis, etc.), airflow may be interrupted and cause snoring.

While many cases of enlarged tonsils and adenoids do not lead to symptoms, some children might prefer breathing through their mouth [4]. Parents should take note of mouth breathing because it might interfere with the baby’s feeding.

Meanwhile, if it’s due to infection, parents should observe for other symptoms such as fever.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Finally, baby snoring might also be due to sleep apnea, a condition where breathing involuntarily stops for brief periods during sleep.

In infants, possible causes of OSA include:

  • Laryngomalacia or the inspiratory collapse of laryngeal tissues.
  • Narrowing of the posterior nasal airway (choanal atresia)
  • Cleft palate
  • Subglottic stenosis

Key Takeaways

Generally, baby snoring is normal and nothing to worry about. If it’s just the way your baby breathes, and you notice no other symptoms, chances are your little one is just fine.

However, snoring could also be a sign of an underlying issue that needs treatment. If you’re concerned, film your baby during sleep and then show the video to their doctor.

Learn more about Baby Care here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

1) Why Do People Snore? Answers for Better Health, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/why-do-people-snore-answers-for-better-health, Accessed October 5, 2021

2) Common respiratory conditions of the newborn, https://breathe.ersjournals.com/content/12/1/30, Accessed October 5, 2021

3) Prevalence of Nasal Septal Deviation in New-borns and Its Precipitating Factors: A Cross-Sectional Study, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3431516/, Accessed October 5, 2021

4) Enlarged Tonsils and Adenoids in Children, https://www.msdmanuals.com/home/children-s-health-issues/ear-nose-and-throat-disorders-in-children/enlarged-tonsils-and-adenoids-in-children, Accessed October 5, 2021

5) Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Infants, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5448577/, Accessed October 5, 2021

Picture of the authorbadge
Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated 2 days ago
Fact Checked by Bianchi Mendoza, R.N.