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It was terrible enough when your spouse alongside you in bed started rumbling in the middle of the night. But now you’re hearing the same noises coming from your toddler’s room. How can someone so little and beautiful make such piercing noises?
The reality is that children aged three and up frequently snore, mainly during the deeper stages of sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, around 27 percent of youngsters snore on occasion (referred to as moderate, transient snoring), and approximately 10 to 12 percent snore on a daily basis (referred to as main snoring).
While much of this is just normal nighttime noise, loud, persistent snoring is something you should talk to your pediatrician about because it disrupts your child’s much-needed sleep and could be a sign of an underlying issue.
Toddler Snoring Loud, When To Worry? The Causes
When the little one is fast asleep, the muscles including the tongue and muscles behind the throat relax, causing airways to become a little narrower.
The sound you hear when your toddler snoring loud is actually the vibration of tissues in the back of the throat. The volume depends on how much air is passing through and how fast the tissue is vibrating.
Some common reasons behind the little one’s snoring include:
- Upper respiratory infections. Flu and common colds are some of the causes of snoring that occur occasionally. This is when the toddler’s nose gets stuffy, it forces her to breathe through her mouth that could increase the likelihood of snoring.
- Seasonal allergies. These seasonal allergies include pollen, dust, grass, and other allergens. These could make the little one’s nose tissues and throat inflamed, causing congestion and snoring.
- Poor air quality. This includes exposure to secondhand smoke, other indoor contaminants, e-cigarette vape, etc, all making it harder for the little one to breathe normally resulting in snores. In addition, it also makes the little ones prone to upper respiratory infections.
- Enlarged adenoids or tonsils. Enlarged adenoids or tonsils. Adenoids are lumpy tissue located where the nose meets the throat while tonsils are lymph tissue situated behind the throat. These are meant to guard the child against infection through trapping viruses and bacteria. At times the adenoids and tonsils become enlarged and if that’s the case, the issue would resolve on its own or when the kid turns 7 or 8.
If your toddler’s snoring can’t be explained by any of the common reasons above, something more serious might be going on, such as:
- Asthma. It, too, can make it harder for your child to breathe normally, which can make snoring more likely.
- Obesity. This is one situation where the airways become narrower and potentially lead to snoring.
OSA or Obstructive Sleep Apnea. An uncommon yet serious condition that takes place in the airways and is temporarily blocked due to the muscles keeping the throat open while asleep. This allows a much more relaxed sleep but also leads to brief pauses while breathing. The pause could sound like an alarm that awakens the body to breathe again, causing the little one to snort or gag or wake up for a second and then breathe again. This cycle could cause sleep disruptions leading to daytime tiredness, trouble concentrating, headaches, and irritability. OSA or obstructive sleep apnea can also be caused due to enlarged tonsils or adenoids, or obesity. Those with certain medical conditions like Down syndrome, craniofacial abnormalities, and cerebral palsy might also experience OSA.
Toddler Snoring Loud - What Can You Do To Help It?
The occasional bout of snoring generally isn’t the cause of concern, especially when the culprit is temporary like a cold. Nevertheless, if the window-rattling noise makes it harder to sleep, there are solutions to take care of:
- Elevate the head of your toddler. You could do this by tucking a pillow under the child’s head and opening up the breathing passages. But, this is only true if she is 18 months old and it’s safe for her to sleep with a pillow. You should still proceed with caution, however, since toddlers can use pillows as steps to climb out of their cribs. Babies should never sleep with pillows or other soft bedding in their cribs.
- Cut the congestion. For colds and allergies, nasal aspirators and saline solutions can help aid the congestion, making it easier for the little one to breathe. If that doesn’t cut it for allergies, you can also talk with your toddler’s pediatrician about whether toddler-safe allergy medication is recommended. Never give your child cold medication without getting approval from your doctor.
- Tackle possible allergy triggers. You might also try removing allergy triggers from your tot’s room. Vacuum carefully, get rid of dusty stuffed animals, switch from down blankets and feather pillows to the non-allergen variety, and banish the pets to somewhere else in the house (sorry, Whiskers).
- Address air quality issues. If you or another member of the household smokes, quitting can curb your child’s exposure to secondhand smoke and potentially help her breathe more easily at night. Suspect the air quality in your home is to blame? Clean and vacuum regularly to get rid of dust, regularly change filters in forced-air heating systems, and consider putting an air purifier in your child’s room.
Toddler Snoring Loud At Night - When To See A Doctor?
There is no need to give the doctor a call if the little continues to snore for a few days if sick and has a stuffy nose/congestion. But if the snoring is frequent or seems to be affecting your little one during the day, it’s a good idea to speak to the pediatrician.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all regular snorers are screened by a doctor as nighttime snoring and loss of sleep could cause behavioral and emotional issues during the day.
You should touch base with the doctor if:
- The child snores at least three nights a week, or more
- Seems to gasp or have trouble when breathing when asleep
- Becomes less alert or is unusually tired in the day
- Has headache
- Has a hard time staying focused
If the pediatrician suspects any kind of obstructive sleep apnea that could be the culprit, they might send you for additional testing. Following this, the pediatric sleep specialist can help understand the underlying factors, such as obesity/enlarged adenoids/tonsils and help aid to get the problem under control.
Toddler Snoring Loud Final Conclusion:
A snoring toddler could at times be a task to deal with, especially if it turns into an affair of struggle.
With the help of the blog post above, we hope you have been able to get some informative study on the “snoring” of the toddler, accompanied with the causes, danger signs, ways to aid the snore, and when to contact a doctor when it turns way out of control.
Maybe be sure to keep a close eye on the little one and be ready to take action, as and when the situation arrives for the betterment of the baby’s struggle and safety. Always speak to a doctor and have them in the loop to be on the safer end of health and comfort.