Babies need not always sleep peacefully. They exhibit different baby sleep habits, like snorting, sweating, head banging as well as kicking, teeth grinding etc.
During sleep, babies sometimes make snorting sound or sometimes they snore in steady breathing pattern. This is a normal baby sleep habit. If a baby has cold and blocked nose, he may snore in sleep. A vaporizer should give relief in such cases.
If the snoring continues and if it is uneven with gasps, it could indicate obstruction of the airway. This could be due to tonsils or adenoids. It is known as ‘obstructive sleep apnea’. It is better to check with the doctor for assurance. Allergy could also be the reason for a baby’s snorting and snoring. A doctor should be consulted for medication, if necessary.
Although sweating in babies during sleep time is common, but if the sweating is abnormally profuse, it could indicate some problem like sleep apnea, some infection or even congenital heart disease. The excessive sweating also could be due to overheating of the room. The sleeping area should be worm and baby should be clothed in comfortable and light dress. If all the factors are normal and still baby continues to sweat, then the doctor should be consulted.
Some babies are found to bang their head on the sides of the crib and this baby sleep habit of head banging could be distressing for the parents. But it is not a very abnormal behavior and mostly the baby could be doing it to ignore or forget teething or such other pain. Generally it is more common between 18 to 24 months and may continue for months. Although it is considered as common behavior, there is no harm in consulting the doctor.
Along with these, there are other common behaviors like breathing pause, teeth grinding, rocking etc. Small babies, till the age of 6 months, show breathing pauses of around 15 seconds. And then again start normal rhythmic breathing. If baby appears to have stopped breathing, a slight nudging should make him resume normal breathing. If not, then (it could be apnea and) it calls for medical help.
Generally at the beginning of the teething time, babies get into habit of grinding their teeth during sleep. This could be due to teething pain or sometimes even due to other infections like ear infection or blocked nose or allergies etc. Teeth grinding may not be harmful, but a doctor could look for any reason or infection causing it.
Some babies rock back and forth to sooth themselves. It is generally not considered as result of any psychological or behavioral problem.