How Do I Know If My Baby Has a Sleep Disorder?

September 14, 2021

A baby needs 14 hours of sleep a day- and no, this isn’t ideal; it is necessary. Not getting enough sleep at this stage can cause problems in their cognitive development and lead to all kinds of behavioural trouble later. Speak to a baby sleep specialist if their inadequate sleep is bothering you. Parents can also refer to this 14 months old baby guide in German, which can help them shape the formative years of a child when it comes to sleep patterns.

There are several sleep disorders that babies can suffer from, and each of them has a list of common symptoms that you can easily detect as a parent. The most common of them include difficulty staying awake during the day, concentration problems, mood swings, overeating, and slow reaction time. Are you interested in learning more about what sleep disorders can trouble your child so that you take extra care to look out for them? Here’s a handy list that will help you detect and nip the problem in the bud before it becomes impossible to manage. 

Restless Legs Syndrome

If your child is low on iron, they may develop this peculiar ailment. Symptoms usually show up within the first year of a baby’s life. RLS creates an uncomfortable sensation in the legs, which can be relieved only by constant movement, and it tends to become more severe during the evening and at night. 

During the day, babies may appear restless and move or scratch their legs continuously (this may look like ADHD, but it’s not). If the restlessness increases during nighttime and prevents the baby from falling asleep, it is most likely Restless Legs Syndrome- which can be easily diagnosed and treated by a pediatric specialist.

Infant Insomnia

Your child can develop infant insomnia for a whole host of reasons- the room temperature, incessant background noise or ambient lighting, too many sugary foods; if not identified early, this can lead to long-term sleep problems. Tell-tale signs of insomnia include the inability to sleep based on a fixed schedule and a tendency to wake up frequently during the night. It’s simple to avoid insomnia; ensure an environment primed for peaceful sleep. Let your baby develop its own internal sleep rhythm.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is of two kinds—obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA). OSA involves an obstruction or narrowing of the windpipe from the nose to the lungs. Your child inhales less oxygen per inhalation and has trouble falling asleep.

CSA is rarer than OSA–here, you can breathe, but your brain forgets that you must. If left unattended, sleep apnea can be life-threatening and cause damage to the brain, heart, lungs, and other organs. How do you detect apnea? Lose a couple of hours of sleep yourself and stay up observing your baby. Irregular and noisy breathing, gasping for air, or snorts can be a sign of sleep apnea. Consult a doctor immediately. Unlike other sleep disorders, sleep apnea can happen at any time during the day. You may observe it during the daytime as well.


Sleep-talking is generally short-lived and should stop after a period. However, it is best to check with a medical professional if it persists or the baby appears agitated during sleep-talking. Most babies outgrow it within a few years. Although it’s genetic in many cases, sleep-talking can also result from a poor sleep schedule or fatigue. It is imperative to maintain a fixed, regular bedtime schedule to help reduce how frequently it happens.

Developing a regular schedule and healthy habits can help improve your baby’s sleep and reduce the chances of a sleep disorder. How do you make sure your bundle of joy stays as far away from them as possible?

1. Set fixed sleep and wake-up times every day

2.  Avoid excess sugary foods and products with caffeine

3. Artificial blue light is your worst enemy. Stay away from electronic appliances like radios, TV, computers, and music speakers at least 1 hour before bedtime.

4. Avoid getting into bed with your baby while they are asleep to ensure they don’t get disturbed.

The early stages of a baby’s development can be tricky to navigate, especially for first-time parents. Enough care must be taken so that there is no adverse effect on both the mental and physical growth of a baby. Furthermore, it would be advisable to regularly consult a pediatric doctor to monitor your child’s health and development.   

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