When the Sounds of a Sleeping Child are Alarming
Oh, the noises they make. Does your child make noise in their sleep? Not all noises should set off alarm bells.
Many children scream out in their sleep or talk when they are in various stages of sleep. This is usually not alarming. Often children make a noise but are completely asleep; however, we end up waking them up as we go into the room to check on them. I am guilty of this. I will admit to hiding beside my son’s crib when he woke up a time or two. I thought he was in distress, but I was wrong. He was fast asleep. If you are concerned, wait a few minutes to see if your child stops talking or screaming then go into their room very quietly or stealth like.
Some children scream out if they have experienced a bad dream and they may require reassurance to return to sleep. My best advice is to acknowledge that it was a dream without making a huge deal about it. If your child is experiencing “Night Terrors” on a regular basis it is best to discuss them with your doctor. Changes in routine or being overtired can result in a bad dream.
An alarming sound is snoring or a stop in breathing. Now, not all children that snore have a medical issue. Sometimes it can be due to the way they are positioned or if they are congested. If your child snores on a regular basis, it is something you should speak with your child’s doctor about. When your child appears to stop breathing while sleeping it could be related to sleep apnea. In most cases, this only lasts for a few seconds. Your child’s doctor may recommend a visit to an ENT (Ear Nose and Throat Specialist) or for a sleep study.
This blog post is close to my heart. My little guy has always been a loud sleeper. He began snoring when he was over 6 months old; however, before that, he was a very heavy breather. We had a few occasions when he was an infant that he appeared to stop breathing but started again quickly. We monitored this and informed his Pediatrician. She followed up and advised us to use a saline spray then eventually prescribed a nasal steroid. It helped for a brief period.
When he was just over 2 he was snoring as loud as his father. We went on vacation and he was so loud that he woke up his father, which is hard to do. I was able to record him while he was sleeping. When I brought that to his Paediatrician she agreed that enough was enough. We had tried the saline, nose sprays and other medications. He was referred to an ENT.
The Ear Nose and Throat Specialist diagnosed our little man with enlarged adenoids. Dr. Brooks, from the Alberta Children’s Hospital, informed us that our son’s enlarged adenoids appeared to be making it hard for him to breathe. Dr. Brooks recommended the removal of our little man’s adenoids. My husband and I were at the point that we just wanted our son to breathe better so we agreed to the procedure.
Fast forward to 2 days ago…we made the trip to the absolutely AMAZING Alberta Children’s McNabb Short Term Surgical Unit (previously known as the Day surgery unit) to have our little mans’ adenoids out. The surgical procedure was very quick (20 minutes maximum in the surgical unit) and then the recovery began. Three hours later we were discharged with the recommendation of limited activity and to monitor for signs of infection. We were provided with a pain management strategy and sent on our merry way.
Now we wait for the full effect for the procedure to occur! We can already hear a difference and he is still a tad swollen. Exciting times ahead. It will be awesome to not hear our son snoring.
The goal of this post is to inform you of some of the reasons children make noise in their sleep. If there is ever a time when you are concerned about the noises your child makes in their sleep inform your child’s doctor. To be taken seriously I recommend recording your child while asleep. The video I took was less than 2 minutes. It was enough for the doctor to hear what was going on and we went straight to the ENT without a sleep study.
Remember not all noises are alarming. Noises will happen and when in doubt, talk it out with a professional.
Happy sleeping, everyone!