Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Baby Breathing Weird While Sleeping

What Is The Treatment For Noisy Breathing

Baby breathing funny while sleeping | Heiress Mariah

Many treatment options are available for noisy breathing and depend on the cause of the symptoms. At times, monitoring and supportive care are recommended. Certain medications may be helpful in treating symptoms or managing related conditions. For more severe issues, surgery may be recommended. Your Pediatric Otolaryngologist will discuss all possible treatment options with you and make recommendations for the most appropriate treatment.

Typical Newborn Sleep Sounds

Its not just the tossing and turning, lip-smacking and suckling, kicking and flailing, or whimpering and crying that makes newborn sleep so noisy. As their respiratory and digestive systems are immature and still developing, you can expect to hear some peculiar and unexpected sounds coming from inside their little bodies. Here we outline common breathing and digestive sounds your baby might make.

Make Really Painstaking Expressions

All parents do it. Watching a new baby sleep is completely intriguing for new parents. Babies are little sleeping angels when they rest. Watching their facial expressions is a show in itself.

Most likely you’ve seen your own angel sleeping calmly then making a grimacing face the very next second. You’ve wondered what in the world could cause such a grimace. Was it gas? Was it a bad dream?

You’re probably right on the gas, but more than likely your baby isn’t having nightmares. Your new baby doesn’t have full control of his or her muscles, so funny faces will be a normal part of his or her sleeping routine. In addition, his or her nervous system is still developing as well, so those odd faces could just be a result of an immature system.

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When Will My Baby Make Less Noise When They Are Breathing

Generally by around six months of age, babies stop only nasal breathing. Like adults, they learn how to breathe in through their nose and out through their mouth.

Once your baby is closer to six months, their airways will also be a little larger and their swallowing ability has matured – youll probably find they wont be as noisy.

Creepy Things Your Baby Does While They Sleep That Are Totally Normal

Baby Breathing Funny In Sleep

Babies are adorable bundles of joy during their waking hours, which are admittedly few and far between . When they sleep, however, things can get a little strange. You’d be surprised how many creepy things babies do while sleeping that are normal, thank goodness. Whether it’s their breathing, the weird sounds they make, or any other number of bizarre things they do, you might catch yourself wondering if you’re in some kind of horror movie once that squishy baby of yours closes their eyes.

I, personally, was not the most relaxed new mom. With my first baby, I was probably in the “normal” range for checking on my baby while sleeping, but when my postpartum depression and anxiety hit with my second, things got a bit out of control. And when I say a bit, I mean I was waking up hourly to check on my son and make sure he was still breathing. For weeks. Apparently babies are programmed to sufficiently freak the hell out of their parents, while sleeping even, for the few months of their lives, and when you’re suffering from postpartum depression and anxiety, that freak out can feel a million times worse.

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Act Like They’re Falling

Often babies will act as if they’re falling or like they’ve been dropped on their backs. For no apparent reason their arms flail out to the side, palms up and thumbs flexed. Their legs and feet will also stiffen, sometimes followed by a very serious facial expression.

This reflex is known as the Moro reflex. Most times crying doesn’t accompany this, but it can be startling to witness for the first time or even the 100th if you weren’t ready for it. These sudden reflexes are caused by an overreaction to stimulation.

It happens a lot when you go to lay your baby down or even pick your baby up. A loud noise could set him or her off. Another common time for your baby to react this way is when he or she is drifting off to sleep.

Should Parents Use A Baby Breathing Monitor

Whether or not you should use a baby breathing monitor is a bit of a debate.

Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend that parents purchase breathing monitors. Research does not support the idea that these monitors protect your child against SIDS, and some episodes of apnea can be entirely reasonable for a healthy, full-term baby. There isnt a scientific link between sleep apnea and SIDS.

Also, these monitors might lead to unnecessary worry. They can have false alarms, causing you to worry and lose even more sleep. Some parents report that they feel more fear and anxiety with the monitors than without them.

For full-term babies at a normal, healthy weight, most doctors wont recommend a breathing monitor. If your baby experiences any apparent life-threatening event or or a bright, resolved, unexplained event , it might be grounds to use a monitor to keep a better watch on your babys breathing.

Premature babies might benefit from a monitor as well, especially if your baby has a history of breathing troubles or a slow heart rate. Babies with sleep apnea or chronic lung disease would require one as well.

Speak to your doctor about whether or not he believes that a breathing monitor is worth it. Some other rare medical conditions may prompt your doctor to advise using one. Examples of these conditions include transient tachypnea, respiratory distress syndrome, and persistent pulmonary hypertension.

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When To Be Concerned

Occasional grunting is probably nothing to worry about, but a grunting sound at the end of each breath can indicate difficulty breathing, especially when it occurs with flared nostrils or visible retractions of the chest and neck muscles. If this describes your baby’s grunting, consult your pediatrician. If you are at all concerned about your babys breathing, seek medical attention at once.

Signs of respiratory distress include: rapid breathing , persistent grunting , nostril flaring , retractions , hoarse cry or barking cough , deep cough , and wheezing .

You can help your baby sleep longer – and get a little more shut-eye yourself – if you learn to distinguish your baby’s sleep noises from his awake noises. When he makes a peep during the night, wait, watch and listen to see whether he settles back to sleep or needs your attention. You’ll soon learn which sounds mean he needs you and which you can hopefully sleep through.

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

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When someone falls asleep, the muscles of the throat relax and the airways at the back of the nose and in the throat become narrow. This can cause snoring or noisy breathing.

Although noisy breathing during sleep is common in children, it may be a sign that the child is having difficulty breathing. In young children, the tonsils and adenoids may grow to be quite large, and this can contribute to narrowing of the airway during sleep. The photo below shows enlarged tonsils in a child with obstructive sleep apnoea.

Obstructive sleep apnoea is a condition where narrowing of the airways at the back of the nose and in the throat during sleep is enough to cause a child to have difficulty breathing or pauses in their breathing. The child will then wake up briefly because they cannot breathe properly, often with a loud gasp or snort. These episodes can happen many times through the night and the disturbed sleep can result in changes in behaviour during the day such as sleepiness, hyperactive behaviour, impulsivity, poor attention and difficulty learning at school.

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How Is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Treated

The treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea depends on what is causing it. The most common treatment is removing the adenoids and tonsils to open up the airway.

If surgery is not appropriate for your child or if your child still has obstructive sleep apnoea after the adenoids and tonsils are removed, then your doctor may suggest treatment with a special mask that your child wears while asleep. This treatment is called CPAP .

When To Take Your Child To The Er For Changes In Breathing

Abnormal breathing can be troubling for any parent to witness in his or her child. While some changes in breathing are temporary and relatively harmless, other abnormal breathing episodes may indicate a larger problem.

A variety of pediatric respiratory conditions can affect your child’s breathing. If you notice chronic breathing concerns, visit a pediatric pulmonologist to determine if it may be due to chronic childhood allergies or pediatric asthma.

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Listen For A Difference Between Upper And Lower Airway Noises Ie: Stridor Vs Wheezing

These are confusing terms, and if your baby is not breathing smoothly its always going to be stressful. When a baby breathes in , and a bark-like cough is heard or other rattling noise, that noise breath is stridor and implies something may not be right with the upper airway like the throat or voice box or even trachea.

However, if a baby breathes out , and makes a noise, and often appearing to be coming from the chest, that is wheezing and suggests that the lungs themselves are the site of the challenge.

While there are exceptions, typically an ENT specialist will need to assess upper airway stridor noises while wheezing is often best assessed by the pediatrician and pulmonary doctors.

So What Actually Happens

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When your baby cries, especially when it is excessive they can easily disturb their normal breathing rhythm, which is normally quite even and controlled.

The muscle that controls your breathing the diaphragm, tries to return your breathing to normal as the crying episode passes.

As the crying throws your babys breathing off a bit, it can deprive them of oxygen or at the very least give them hugely varying levels of oxygen between their sobs.

At this point, their little bodies freak out a little bit and begin prioritizing not dying.

So, in order to return the fine balance to your babys breathing your body overcompensates by taking more irregular breaths until it returns to normal.

For adults and older children, the return to normal breathing may take only a few minutes or so, as you can explain to them to breathe deeply which in itself stops the double breathing.

But for a baby who is using immature bodily systems and that you can not explain to them to breathe deeply, it can last for an extended period of time.


When we cry, we must remember that we are releasing a build-up of emotions. These emotions could be happy, sad, angry, frightened, and everything in between.

We cry to release the pent-up emotion and this is the same whether you are a baby, child, or adult.

The only difference being that your baby is unable to tell you what the cause of their upset is, so it will come down to your parental intuition to figure it out.

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Newborns Have Lots Of Sleep Transitions

Babies sleep cycles are only about 50 minutes long, with many transitions between sleep states, including light, deep, and dream phases, and back again. Sleep cycles lengthen to 90 minutes by preschool age.

It’s during this cycling between sleep states that babies are most prone to move, make noises, and wake up. Babies dont yet know how to put themselves back to sleep, so when they become wakeful or startled between sleep cycles, they may fuss or cry to call for your attention. Others may make noises and move around while they drift back into a deeper sleep.

Many of these sleep sounds developed to help babies get the attention they need to get back to sleepor a diaper change or their next meal.

How Is Laryngomalacia Diagnosed

Doctors often suspect laryngomalacia at birth or soon after based on the baby’s symptoms and an exam. To confirm the diagnosis, a pediatric ear, nose, and throat specialist will do a procedure called flexible laryngoscopy. To do this, the doctor passes a thin tube through the baby’s nose or mouth to look at the airway and vocal cords in the voice box.

The doctor may check oxygen levels and order other tests to check for swallowing problems or GER. The baby’s good weight gain and growth are very important.

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Normal Newborn Breathing Sounds

Your newborn may make some odd respiratory noises as they sleep. Most are nothing to be concerned about, including:

  • Gurgling/throat sounds: Newborns dont have their swallowing mechanism perfected at first, so they may routinely gurgle up some milk or saliva. This is more likely to happen while they are sleeping. Eventually, newborns fine-tune their swallowing and this happens less.
  • Stuffy nasal passages: Newborns have notoriously stuffy noses. It’s rare that a newborn has an actual coldalthough, if they show signs of a viral infection, they should be seen by a doctor ASAP. The reason for the stuffiness is that babies primarily breathe out of their noses, rather than their mouths, to make feeding easier. Nasal breathing is noisy because of a newborn’s tiny nasal passages and the protective role of mucus. Plus, their respiratory systems aren’t fully developed yet.
  • Sneezing/snorting/rattling/whistling: Babies are also frequent sneezers, snorters, and whistlers. Again, this is because they are nose breathers rather than mouth breathers and because their nasal passages are still very narrow. This tendency is outgrown by about six months.
  • Coughing: Newborns often cough in their sleep. They may be coughing on milk, saliva, or mucus. Usually, their coughing will clear the issue up on its own. If you are concerned and/or the coughing persists, you can pick up your baby, burp them, or gently tap their back to help clear out their lungs.

What Do Breathing Difficulties Look Like

Crazy Noises By Sleeping Baby
  • Breathing may be faster than usual, or irregular
  • Your childs nostrils may flare when they breathe
  • They may wheeze when breathing out
  • They may make a high-pitched sound when breathing in
  • They may make a grunting sound when breathing out. if this happens
  • The muscles under their ribs may suck in with each breath. for urgent medical help.

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Sleep Easy For Parents

SIDS is the biggest concern for any parent, and we know that its a real risk even if SIDS is rare. Using one of the best baby breathing monitors gives you the peace of mind to be able to sleep well.

Always talk to your doctor if you feel as if this is the right decision for you. He might be able to let you know if its appropriate for your baby or not. Most importantly, remember that these monitors just ring the alarm. They wont do anything to save your baby in the event of an emergency. So, always have a plan, including babysitters.

Get To Know Your Newborn’s Breathing

One of the best things that you can do is simply spend time with your baby and quietly listen to them breathe. Whether they are awake or asleep, make note of the different noises that they make.

Your baby’s breathing sounds can vary depending on what they are doing, such as eating, sleeping, or just being quietly awake. Getting to know those different sounds can save you from mistakenly becoming convinced that something is wrong.

If you have a hospital birth, rooming-in can be advantageous when it comes to learning more about your new baby. If you have questions, a nurse will be readily available to help.

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Laugh And Smile In Their Sleep

Have you ever wondered what was so funny that your baby’s was smiling and giggling about in his or her sleep? Maybe she was dreaming the funny face her daddy made or he was thinking of that time he peed on mom while she was changing him. No matter what you think is going on in their minds, they have the cutest way of expressing their joy.

This is actually called neonatal smiling and it’s not connected to emotions at all. So, when your baby is smiling in his or her sleep, it’s not an actual response to anything in their minds or dreams. This neonatal smiling is very short-lived. It usually lasts from birth to about one month. It’s more common the younger the baby, so preemies will smile more than full-term babies.

When your baby laughs while sleeping it’s most likely a result of REM sleep. This restless time of sleep is well-known for most of the ruckus a baby causes during resting time. This holds true for laughing as well.

Snore Like A Freight Train

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You didn’t know the Union Pacific was scheduled to stop in your bedroom did you? Well, in bringing home baby you also brought home a tiny person who can challenge the roar of a freight train! Maybe you can blame all the snoring on your husband and how that trait comes from his side of the family.

More than likely, your baby takes after both of you perfectly and his or her snoring is completely normal. Although it does sound awful, and the extreme noise can be disturbing, snoring doesn’t have to freak you out.

Babies have small airways that are still filled with secretions, so breathing can sound labored. After all that time in the womb with amniotic fluid-filled lungs, can we blame them for making their breathing known to the rest of the world?

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