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Obstructive Sleep Apnea and the Little Astronaut

Updated: Aug 16, 2022

Those of you who know me well know that we have struggled BIG TIME with sleep ever since David was born. It's not just that he has a hard time falling asleep, he has a hard time staying asleep, is incredibly restless, snores loudly, and even gasps for air at times through the night. We have suspected that there was something going on with his sleep, but when I read about Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) in babies at first, I thought that maybe I was off. I remember counting the seconds that he would go without breathing and at one point, he went for a whopping 12 seconds without taking a single breath... then he gasped for air. I thought that surely, something was off. But then I read that some babies just kind of do that... After speaking with other parents and my pediatrician, it sounded like maybe he had some form of mild sleep apnea but that he might grow out of it.

Well, as time has gone on, his sleep patterns have been all over the place. In spite of a standard bedtime routine, a (mostly) standard bed time, and a ton of outdoor time every day, David was still struggling with sleep. Sometimes, he would wake at 1 am, WIRED. He would jump on the bed and then off the bed, on the bed and then off the bed. Finally, he would get the idea to go play with the dog and would RACE down the hallway yelling "REX! REX! CRINKLE BAG!!!" (We call the treat bag the crinkle bag...)

Most naps would last around 20 minutes, and I was always concerned that he just wasn't getting enough sleep. One of the major things our pediatrician told us to look out for was consistent snoring. In the past few months, David's snoring had become more and more frequent until by April, he was snoring pretty much every single night. We took him back to the doctor again to see if there was anything they could do. Our doctor immediately agreed that it sounds like he really did have OSA. He called in for a sleep study, but they said that at barely two years old, he was just too young for a sleep study. So our pediatrician referred us to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. After a 10 minute session with the ENT, he confirmed that yes, this was OSA and we should definitely go ahead and take action.

Luckily, instead of jumping into a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, we would first try an alternative route. Some studies have actually linked use of Flonase (fluticasone propionate) to a decrease in OSA symptoms. Apparently, it seems to "shrink" the adenoids... This seems absolutely wild to me, but after reading study after study, it seemed like it actually might help!

We are on Day 5 of our Flonase treatment, and I thought I would let you know how it is going! Here is my little chart from this past week:

Day 1 of Flonase - June 2: 7 pm

  • Still snoring and restless

  • No gasping that we heard

Day 2 - 550 pm

  • Still Snoring a bit

  • Pooped in swimsuit …

  • Still Restless

  • No Gasping

Day 3 - June 4: 7 pm

  • Gasping during nap

  • Somewhat less Restless

  • Seemed to sleep a bit better

Day 4 - Sunday, June 5: 6 pm

  • Pooped while practicing violin ….

  • Seemed to sleep a bit better

  • No snoring

Day 5- Monday, June 6: 6:30 pm

  • Seemed to sleep a bit better

  • Light snoring

  • No Gasping!

While we are still only 5 days into our 30 day plan, I have been most amazed that I have only heard him gasp a few times and only on one nap. This is a HUGE improvement already! We asked David if he has been sleeping better and even at two years old, he told us that he has been sleeping better. He even has ASKED to go to sleep a few times. He has never in his entire life asked to go to sleep before. What a huge improvement!

We will continue on our 30 day Flonase plan and I will report back to let you know how it is going! Right now, I am just grateful for some improvement for our little guy!

P.S. - You may have noticed some regression notes in the chart with potty training. I'm not sure what this is all about BUT in order to encourage our astronaut-obsessed child to use his potty, we have done one teeny tiny thing...

We simply wrote "NASA" on the potty.


P.P.S. - I was recently contacted by Amerisleep with a link to their OSA page and I found the information to be relevant and helpful to me! Check it out HERE when you get a minute!

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