If there's anyone out there who doesn't sleep like a baby, it's an actual baby. Anyone who has cared for an infant can attest to the weird fact that they manage to sleep all the time, but also never get shut eye. It's like a baby superpower. Even so, it's crucial to know the baby sleep problems that are signs of a bigger issue, in case something else is going on with your little one.
Sure, sometimes babies seem to repel sleep for no reason at all, but most of the time there's an explanation for their sleep troubles. Conditions such as sleep apnea, GERD, or even enlarged adenoids can have a massive impact on a baby's ability to sleep. If you and your doctor are trying to treat the sleep issues alone, then you may miss the root cause altogether.
Of course, diagnosing babies is a tricky business. It's hard to know what's wrong when your patient can't communicate all that well quite yet. But if your baby has the following symptoms, as well as any additional signs of the conditions, then it may be time to speak up on your baby's behalf at the pediatrician. After all, everyone deserves good health and great sleep.
1. Early Morning Wakings
Does your baby tend to wake up early, more or less too early? According to the Baby Sleep Site, sleep apnea can lead to frequent early morning wakings. In this instance, your baby's disruptive routine may point to issues with sleep apnea, a sleep disorder in which a person's breathing stops and starts at random intervals, according to the Mayo Clinic. This disorder presents significant challenges to an infant's sleep health.
2. Noisy Breathing
Most babies make some sounds while sleeping. But as noted in Kids Health, noisy breathing in babies may also be a sign of sleep apnea. Consult with your pediatrician if this is a concern, particularly if the child was born premature.
Fussy fatigue is hardly a new thing for babies. But sleep apnea can cause babies to act overtired, as explained by Cedars-Sinai. Your kid's delirious state may be caused by a concerning condition.
Does your baby kick up a serious fuss at bedtime? Gastroesophageal reflex disease (GERD) may be to blame. In fact, the painful condition known as GERD can cause extreme discomfort in babies, as explained in Healthline. Reflux can make sleep feel impossible for baby and caretaker alike.
5. Trouble Falling Asleep
If you've ever tried to go to sleep with acid reflux, then you know it can be a miserable experience. This also holds true for a baby. Infants affected by GERD often have trouble falling asleep, according to the Baby Sleep Site. Consider talking with your physician to get a treatment plan for this disruptive condition.
6. Problems Staying Asleep
Granted, most babies don't sleep through the night without a problem. But infants with GERD may wake up frequently during the night and exhibit colicky behavior, according to Parenting. If your baby shows other symptoms of GERD, then it may be the cause of these nighttime problems.
7. Intense Snoring
Does your kid snore loud enough to disrupt sleep? The adenoids may be to blame. According to About Kids Health, the adenoids are masses of tissue located in the rear of the nasal cavity in children. When functioning normally, they can help fight infection. Sometimes the adenoids become swollen and stay enlarged, though. These enlarged adenoids can cause sleep disruptions such as very loud snoring, as further noted by About Kids Health.
8. Sleep Disruptions
Does your kid have trouble falling and staying asleep? Enlarged adenoids can lead to all kinds of sleep disruptions, according to Healthline. The child basically has to breathe through a blocked nose, which can be very rough on sleep.
9. Sleep Apnea
Sometimes one health condition can cause another. In fact, enlarged adenoids are a common cause of obstructive sleep apnea in children, according to KidsHealth. If your baby's breathing becomes especially uneven during sleep, then the adenoids may be the culprit.