Health Topics

What Problems Can Occur During a Child’s Sleep?

What Problems Can Occur During a Child’s Sleep?

It is not uncommon for your baby to experience sleeping issues. However it is important for you, as the parent, to be able to recognize when problematic sleeping behaviors are causing other heath issues, or are a clue to another, deeper health issue. Learn more by viewing the information listed below.

When Should I Seek a Doctor’s Help?

Sometimes, problems with your child’s sleeping can occur. These behaviors can be similar to normal sleep behaviors at first glance. However, by watching your child sleep, you can notice potential harmful symptoms that occur when your baby has trouble sleeping. Contact a doctor if:

  • Your baby seems to be extremely fussy/irritable or cannot be soothed – he or she may have a medical problem such as colic or reflux (backward flow of content from the stomach into the esophagus).
  • Your baby appears to have a breathing problem.
  • Your baby has a difficult time being awakened from sleep.
  • Your baby is uninterested in feeding or persistently shies away from activity.

Guidelines to Prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Unfortunately, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a real possibility. However, SIDS is easily preventable by being careful and watchful when your child sleeps, and by following a few simple tips:

  1. Place your baby on his or her back to sleep at night and during naptime.
  2. Place your baby on a firm mattress in a safety-approved crib with slats that are no greater than 2 3/8 inches apart.
  3. Do not place your baby on a waterbed, sofa, soft mattress, pillow or other soft surface to sleep.
  4. Your baby’s head and face must remain free and clear of blankets or any other coverings inside the crib.
  5. If a blanket is used, it must be tucked in around the mattress, and must be no higher than chest high against your baby.
  6. Remove pillows, quilts/comforters, plush toys and any other objects from the crib – these could interfere with your baby’s breathing. Also, make sure there are no objects with cords or ties or anything with sharp corners or edges.
  7. Do not allow smoking in and around the crib area.
  8. The room temperature for your baby should be the same as it is for an average adult.
  9. Remove all hanging toys from the crib at about 5 months of age, an age when your baby begins being able to pull himself/herself up in the crib.
  10. Your baby can be placed on his/her stomach while awake during the daytime (not in the crib) to help develop muscles and eyes and to help prevent flattened areas on the back of the head.