Down Syndrome, Sleep Apnea and White Noise

Down Syndrome, Sleep Apnea and White Noise

Guest blog post from wonder-mum, Jessica Gould, in support of Down Syndrome Awareness Month.


At around 6ish months we realised something wasn’t quite “right” with Bella at night, she woke very often, mostly quite upset, would take great big breaths in on waking. Having an older son who slept like a dream we had nothing to compare to.
So I googled – “babies with Down syndrome and sleep” so many different results came up – namely being sleep apnea. Bella’s paediatrician referred her for a sleep study that confirmed Bella had sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is when the airway becomes restricted when people are sleeping, causing oxygen levels to drop, it is more common with people/children with Down syndrome due to the large tongues/ tonsils/ adenoids they tend to have, when they are fully relaxed or lying on their back they can fall and cause an obstruction in the airway.
Now after lots of tests it was discovered that it was Bella’s tongue obstructing her airway when she sleeps, that and “general” sleep apnea which is where her brain forgets to breathe. So we bought a breathing mat, but when Bella’s alarm goes off if she wakes or If I have to wake her she can struggle to get back to sleep and get really upset, so we bought some white noise toys specifically the myHummy Snoozy, I had read that white noise sounds like the sounds of the womb and babies find comfort in it.
The white noise helped Bella, it helped her to resettle if her alarm went off even now she goes to sleep with white noise in the background. Of course she still has the sleep apnea and nothing will take that away – the doctors say that she will grow out of it (hopefully).
But the white noise has helped Bella resettle on her own. Bella has always slept in her own cot and now with the help of the white noise can mostly resettle herself when she wakes (which can still be quite regularly).
I think Bella will always find comfort in white noise as it has been used from when she was so little. Which is also the brilliance of these toys is that they can grow with the child, the white noise but can be taken out for washing and if the child doesn’t need it anymore.

– Jess Gould x


Would you like to win a myHummy? Jess is giving away one of our award winning white noise toys over on her Instagram!

Reading this after 28/10/18? Shop myHummy here.