Newborn babies are precious bundles of joy, but as a parent, it’s natural to worry about their well-being. One of the concerns that might keep you up at night is apnea, a condition where breathing pauses for short periods. While some apnea episodes are normal in newborns’ sleep in apnea, others can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition. This guide aims to equip you with the knowledge to identify potential apnea signs in your newborn and take the necessary steps to ensure their health.

What is Sleep Apnea in Newborns?

A disorder known as children’s sleep apnea occurs when a child’s regular breathing rhythm is disrupted while asleep. A blockage or obstruction in the airway causes a child to breathe differently since the brain cannot realistically communicate with the respiratory muscles.

The brain will tell your lungs to start processing breathing when its senses and the body’s reaction to the air intake are different. Your youngster may wake up frequently at night due to this challenge in the brain-muscle connection.

Even if your child is a little older, most of the time, they won’t even notice that this issue is occurring. It will be similar to hearing the phone ring and returning to sleep without answering. That kind of situation will affect children with sleep apnea!

The next day, you may find that your child’s sleep routine has been disrupted too frequently, causing them to feel restless. During the day, you will notice that he or she is weary, which indicates that you need to take them to the doctor immediately.

What Are the Types of Kids’ Sleep Apnea?

For your reference, the three main categories of causes of pediatric newborn sleep apnea are as follows:

– Obstruction:

When there is an obstruction in the airways, it is regarded as one of the most prevalent types of sleep apnea in children.

– In the center:

It is considered to afflict babies frequently and is one of the rarest forms of sleep apnea. This occurs only when the baby’s brain finds it difficult to communicate with the muscles involved in breathing.

– Combination:

This kind of central apnea only manifests when a child with obstructive apnea receives CPAP machine treatment.

What causes Apnea in Newborns?

Several factors can contribute to apnea in newborns, including:

– Prematurity:

Babies born before 37 weeks of gestation are more prone to apnea.

– Low birth weight:

Babies with a low birth weight are also at higher risk.

– Neurological conditions:

Certain neurological conditions, such as cerebral palsy, can affect the brain’s ability to control breathing.

– Upper airway abnormalities:

Structural abnormalities in the baby’s airway can cause obstructive apnea.

– Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD):

GERD can cause stomach acid to reflux into the esophagus, irritating the airway and triggering apnea.

What Are the Treatments for Sleep Apnea in Kids?

Depending on the nature or severity of the underlying problem causing the symptoms, there are several methods of sleep therapy for children. The list of treatment options for various intensities of sleep apnea kids suffer is provided here to give you a rough sense of the available possibilities. You can contact your doctor to learn more about the specific treatment methods.

In orthodontics

Using mandibular advancement machines or quick maxillary expansion devices are two orthodontic treatment options for sleep apnea in children that you can implement with the assistance of skilled pediatric dentists. This method involves using dental gear to open up enough space inside the mouth to encourage airflow through the opening.


In children, swollen tonsils or adenoids frequently cause sleep apnea. This condition can be treated surgically with an adenotonsillectomy.


Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or CPAP, is the name of the device that continuously pumps air through the child’s airway. As they sleep, the children receiving this treatment will wear a mask connected to the pump. It could be challenging for kids to get into the routine of wearing a CPAP mask every night.

Additional Tips for Parents:

– Track your baby’s sleep patterns:

Record your baby’s sleep times, breathing patterns, and any noticeable changes. This information can be helpful for your doctor to evaluate.

– Create a calming sleep environment:

Ensure a quiet, dark, and comfortable sleep environment for your baby.

– Avoid exposing your baby to secondhand smoke:

Secondhand smoke can worsen apnea symptoms.

– Join a support group:

Connecting with other parents who have faced similar experiences can provide valuable emotional support and information.


Conclude the blog by reassuring parents that, while apnea can be concerning, being informed and vigilant can make a significant difference. Encourage open communication with healthcare professionals and prompt action when needed. Remember, every baby is unique, and parental instincts play a vital role in ensuring the well-being of their newborn. Book a Free Consultation at SLG hospitals. If you’re concerned about your newborn’s sleep, SLG Hospitals offers free consultations with pediatric experts until January 31st. Their experienced team can help you understand the signs of sleep apnea, diagnose any potential issues, and recommend the best course of treatment for your baby. Don’t hesitate to reach out and give your child the gift of peaceful sleep.