31 answers

Sleep Apnea/Snoring- 2 1/2 Year Old

Anyone with information on tonsils and adenoids being removed @ 2 1/2? I'm a little anxious/nervous, but know it needs to be done. My child snores as loud as a man and has episodes of sleep apnea. Then, because he is not sleeping well, we encounter behavioral prblems during the day. Help!?!?

What can I do next?

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My son had his Adenoidectomy and tubes placed in his ears when he was 1 1/2 yr old. He did really good with it. i tried to convince the ENT to take his tonsils out too, but he said he was to young. Anyways... My son no longer snores and has only had 1 ear infection since then and now hes 3. Just read about it because in some cases Adenoids do grow back. Good Luck!!!

Dr. James Toung with TEXAS ENT is great with children.

It sounds like you have a plan, but please do not let the sleep apnea continue. My dad, which has had sleep apnea for quite a number of years, has developed atrial fibrulation in his heart as a result. Not to worry you more, just more of an incentive to try to fix it now. If it does not improve after the tonsils are out, maybe you could look into getting a CPAP machine for him.

When I worked at Texas Children's Hospital we had numerous children in and out for Tonsil's and Adnoids. Find a good pedi-ent. Dr. Albright at TCH (Texas Ear Nose & Throat ###-###-####) is wonderful!

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Please consult a reputable pediatric ENT as soon as possible. Sleep apnea is dangerous. Sound sleep is THE FOUNDATION for a healthy life--physically, mentally, emotionally, behaviorally, academically, socially, etc. Talk to the ENT about your concerns. You are wise to relate your child's behavioral issues with lack of sleep. Remember, lack of sleep is a health and safety concern. Tonsillitis = strep, which can damage the heart. Chronic ear infections can affect hearing, speech, and balance, which can impede academic performance and social skills. Your child could be at risk for accidents as well. My child had tonsils/adenoids removed, plus 3 sets of ear tubes put in by Dr. Sawyer in Austin, beginning at age 2. Good luck and follow your instincts. J., former OT in schools & hospitals


My daughter had her tonsils & adenoids removed and tubes put in her ears when she was barely 26 months old. We were nervous too (my husband more than me :p), but it all went really well and she was a new kid after the surgery.

Because of the size of her tonsils, she had to stay overnight. The toughest part was the time we had to spend in the surgery center. All of the medication was making her cranky.

When we arrived at home the next morning, you would never have known she had just had surgery! She was actually making me nervous! She didn't require any more pain medication. She never stopped eating (even chips and crackers- a no no). She ran around playing while I laid on the couch trying to recover from spending the night in a hospital bed with a 2 year old!

When we went to her 2 week check up, I told the doctor that if I hadn't been there to witness her at the surgery center, I would wonder if she'd had anything done to her! He laughed and said that babies heal so fast. Their bodies are new and healthy and recover so much better.

My nephew who is almost three just had his out and had some trouble wanting to eat and drink. It just depends. But don't be afraid of a little one going in. They'll take good care of him!


Hi L.,

Our daughter had the same issue. We video recorded her sleeping one night and it was frightening to watch due to sleep apnea and snoring. We had to wait for six months for her to turn 3 in order to have surgery, so we used a prescription Flonase for that time period. She had surgery the day after she turned 3. At the recommendation of our ENT doc, she stayed overnight at the hospital because she was so young. Her condition improved 100%! We also noticed a huge change in her "terrible two/terrible three" attitude. We think that is due to getting a good night's sleep.


Hello L.,

This is the best thing we ever did for our son. Good luck.


My son had his Adenoidectomy and tubes placed in his ears when he was 1 1/2 yr old. He did really good with it. i tried to convince the ENT to take his tonsils out too, but he said he was to young. Anyways... My son no longer snores and has only had 1 ear infection since then and now hes 3. Just read about it because in some cases Adenoids do grow back. Good Luck!!!

Dr. James Toung with TEXAS ENT is great with children.

It sounds like you have a plan, but please do not let the sleep apnea continue. My dad, which has had sleep apnea for quite a number of years, has developed atrial fibrulation in his heart as a result. Not to worry you more, just more of an incentive to try to fix it now. If it does not improve after the tonsils are out, maybe you could look into getting a CPAP machine for him.

Hi L.. My daughter had hers removed at 2 1/2. It was like night and day. She had her surgery at the Children's Hospital in Austin and we stayed for 2 days because of her age. Her doc wanted to make sure that she didn't have any problems. She was just coming off of a round of strep throat. She is now 4 and hasn't had any more problems and the strep throat has stayed away. I was very nervous too but she sleeps better, is so much healthier and goes non-stop. Good luck to you!


my daughter was 3 when hers were removed..it was an out patiednt surgery performed in a clinic. She threw up blood a couple of times after the surgery (it is natural as it impossible to prevent a small amount from draining down their throat during the surgery itself) and then she spoke harsely for about a week after. The hardest part was getting her to stop talking through her nose. The natural alternative to regualr speaking when your throat is in pain..

Considering the alternative (the apnea, the snoring, the deep purple rings from lack of sleep, it was well worth it and she doesn't remember any of it today (she is 10 years old).

My son was 2 1/2 years old when he had his tonsils and adenoids removed. He was having constant bouts of strep throat and snoring. The procedure went fine and recovery was not bad. He's 6 now, and I'm glad I had it done when he was young. It helps ease their anxiety to do it at a younger age. Older children are more aware of what's going on and get scared. He has no memory of it, and has been much healther since the surgery.

I've never heard of it being done that young but I'd be more concerned about NOT stopping the sleep apnea. That can be very serios. If this simple procedure will solve that problem, I'd go for it. I'm sure the doctors are very capable and knowledgeable.

The thing I would clarify is that the surgeon performing the procedue has worked on a toddler before. I'm sure as a nurse, you've already thought of that! :-)

My name is M. and when my son was born he was always sick with colds or sore throats.He would often wake up in the middle of the night saying he could not breathe.He snored louder then my husband also. When he was three he had a throat infection for two months. After that we took him to a ear nose throat specialist.They stuck in the children hospital so fast and had his tonsils and adenoids removed and after that he had not gotten sick as often and is now 21yrs old and is in good health.He went from seeing the Dr's every week to seeing them once a years just for annuals.
Just put your baby in GOD's hand and he will lead you in the right direction.Hope everything works out for you.

Yes, my child had the same problem and went in to have both removed. However, the doctor left his adenoids to maintain good speech. This worked well and fixed his problems. He was about 3 yrs old when he had the surgery and did well. It can be a difficult recovery. My son recovered well. Hope this helps. I am a nurse as well. I am currently not working and a stay at home Mom...

My daughter just had it done and i was a nervous reck... it was a cinch.. she was up playing two hours after we got home... a little groggy when she first came out.. drank some juice ate an ice cream and was gone home.... we were home by noon... good luck ...

Hi L.,

My daughter had her adenoids removed and her sinus drilled and irrigated when she was 2 1/2 because of chronic sinus infections. Hers was a day surgery, she bounced back quick once the anesthesia wore off. She has had only one infection since then, and she is almost 17 now.

I would suggest discussing this with your Peds Dr and ask if there is a peds ENT close by. As a healthcare provider you know how to locate one. Ask a pediatric dentist if you know one or just call a highly used office and ask who they refer to the most. is there a medical school near you? I think you should address this issue and let things lined up on the medical end and see if things get better naturally. I know they do not recommend the surgery until 6yrs but it all depends on the Dr and the situation. I would get at least three opinions at this point. Worst case scenairo you will be educated on this subject to make an informed decision for your child. you are a great mother go out there and find the answer that sounds and feels good for your little one! good luck sgp, dds

My 3yrs old son just had his tonsills and adenoids removed this past Thursday. He is doing great. He was in full action as of yesterday. He is still eating soft foods and still taking his pain meds almost every 6 hrs. From what I was told by his doctor the worst days are days 5-7 after surgery, it is when the pain is the worst. Let me know if you have any other questions!!!

Good Luck

When I worked at Texas Children's Hospital we had numerous children in and out for Tonsil's and Adnoids. Find a good pedi-ent. Dr. Albright at TCH (Texas Ear Nose & Throat ###-###-####) is wonderful!

Hi L.,
My son had his removed at 3 years old. He was find. He was sedated with gas and his dad was too scared to watch so I had to do it. He is fine however he is now 8 yrs old and still snores. The snoring is just not as bad. Hope this helps.

Before having them removed have a sleep study done and then about two month after the surgery have another sleep study just to make sure everything is alright. My son had 64 non-breathing events in 8 hours during his first sleep study and after the surgery he had only 4 which is normal. It has changed the way he sleeps and dramatically helped his behavior problems. Before the surgery whenever he would wake up in the morning or from naps he would cry because he was still so tired and grumpy, now he wakes up (after sleeping 10 straight hours) smiling. We had the surgery done when he was three and he's had no problem (sleep or allergies) for the last two years.

My son just went through that procedure back in February. Boy, the doctor let me know that after the surgery my son would be a totally diffrent person. He was right. A week after having the procedure done, he was sleeping through the night and has not woken up since then. You son will have a sore throat for a cople of days and then told us to give him lots of cold and soft foods. Do not give your don anything thing that would be crunchy because that will iritate the tonsil area. You may also notice that he will have bad breath that you can not get rid of. This is normal when the adnoids are removed. This smell will go away. My son had to stay the night at Texas Children's Hospital overnight so that they can monitor his breathing. Our doctor told us that children over the age of three tend to bounce back from the anestetic more quickly. So, the night in the hospital was just precautionary. This kind of surgery is very common in little ones so you should not stress that he had to have the procedure done. the porcedure will last about 40 minutes or so. They did not take him away from us until the or room was done and everyone was scrubed up. When they take him back, they will put him on the table and put the mask on him and he will be out in the matter of two minutes. My son was histarical and the nurse told me that because he is cying, he will go down faster becuase he had to breath harder. It will benefit your son greatly and you will glad to have a well behaved son back again.
Good luck and please do not stress!

My son was 3 when they were going to put tubes in his ear and take out his adenoids, but because they said his blood clotting time was slow, they waited on the adenoids. They ended up taking them and his tonsils when he was five. That was the age that he finally started sleeping through the night on a regular basis. He recovered well from both surgeries and I say they were worth it. Three years ago I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and after reading the research on it and how it affects your body/mental processes, I say take care of it as soon as you can. He'll feel better and so will you.

My daughter who is now 4 years has always has had large tonsil, new doctors see her and comment on the size, one even got a co-worker to see them , they said they are as big as an adults is what I have been told many times. We go to ENT who errors on the side of causion(forgive spelling), and he would not take out her tonsil until this year, she too has some problem and snores like a buzz saw. His reasoning being children under 5 have hard time with understanding consequences, they have a sore throat and they do not want to eat or drink and end up back in hospital. I did not agree 100%, but I have rode it out it was long 3 years, but I am looking forward to this summer when they will be removed. I will say it does depend on the doctor , because a little girl in my school 17 month had hers removed, because Dr. was concerned soo much, find a good ENT and talk to them, by the way that little girl is doing great and she now is more verbal too, wow a pair of tubes, tonsils and adnoids removed made a huge difference in her life.

My daughter had it done at two and a half and it was the best thing we did for her. She does not snore anymore and is not restless.

Hi L.,

My son had his tonsils and adenoids removed at 2 1/2. He snored as well and had episodes of apnea. He also had ear infections every other month. The recovery is difficult as everyone says, but worth it! My advice would be to set aside a full two weeks for the recovery. They do get a lot better at around 10 days, but in our case he just wasn't completely better for the full two weeks. Have lots of movies and popsicles on hand too!

We had the procedure done at a surgery center but had to stay the night at Dell Children's just because he was so young. We were very pleased with the care we got there, and it is a beautiful hospital.

The other advice is, get the alcohol free pain medicine (the will presribe tylenol with codeine). Only a few pharmacies can do it, but it is worth it not to have it burn their poor sore throats!

All in all it is worth it. Our son has been sleeping so well since.

Good luck!


We had a similar problem with our son. You could hear him snoring two room away! In addition, the care-givers at day care would send him home from day care frequently because they said he had a cold. He did not have a cold but phelm that would not be able to get past his tonsils at night would drain in the morning making them think he had a cold. After I had to go pick him up for the 20th time, I complained to one of my friends who just happened to be an office nurse for a ENT physician. She got us in to see the ENT and he said my son had tonsils bigger than he had ever seen. At 3 years old, my son's tonsils were removed. We had a choice of having the operation done at Texas Children's Hospital or a smaller local hospital. Although I have no problem with local hospitals, I chose TCH because of my son's young age and the fact that they do operations on young children all the time. I was very pleased. The doctors and nurses there were great. He had no complications and recovered well. The first night we had to go in and check to see if he was breathing because we could not hear him from outside his door much less 2 rooms away. He was not sick or sent home for years after that. It was the best thing I did.
BTW - when I consulted my son's peditrician (who we love) about the operation, he did not think it was necessary but we went ahead because the specialist had recommended and we were so glad we did.

I know you must be terrified...even when my little girl had to get tubes for chronic ear infections, my husband and I agonized over the decision. We cost her about a year extra of pain while we hemmed and hawed over it and in retrospect it was absolutely the best decision.

I suggest you go ahead with the surgery. I had to get my tonsils out as a young adult and it was the most painful thing ever. This surgery is way easier on kids, so get it done now!

I wouldn't be too concerned. My friend's 2 year old had his adenoids removed a couple of months ago. It hasn't made a difference at all with his symptoms, which are not the same as your childs, but he didn't suffer any from the procedure. Sleep apnea can be quite dangerous, so I think if the doctor recommends it, I wouldn't hesitate.

Ny nephew had this procedure completed about 2 months ago and my sister was scared as well. It is the best thing she has done for her son. He does not snore at ALL and sleeps great. HE would snore so loud I could not sleep at her house in a different room! He also stopped breathing several times every night and that is life threatening. His speech was greatly diminished because he could not hear correctly. He is now eating a lot more and his speech has developed dramatically. He turned 2 Jan 24th and had the procedure in Feb. It is scary but it will help everyone so much in the long run...especially your child. She said he was up and running around 2 days later and completely healed in about 1 week. Hope this helps

My daughter snored which caused sleeping issues until about 7 years old. We didn't have a sleep test done so we don't know if she had sleep apnea. (I was told by doctors that a sleep test is truly the only way to diagnose sleep apnea.) We went to a pediatric ENT and were told that many young children that have large adenoids and tonsils will actually grow into them as they get older and therefore grow out of the problems they pose. Not wanting to put my young child through surgery, I decided to stick it out and see if that was true in our case. Luckily, it was. By 7 years old she stopped snoring completely and slept through the night without any problems.

Also, let me mention that since we didn't go the surgery route, my pediatrician suggested that my daughter take a Claritin every day. (They come in small, quick disolving tablets.) Many times allergies are actually the culprit to swollen tonsils, sore throats, and dark circles under the eyes. The antihistimine reduced the inflammation in her tonsils and greatly reduced the episodes of sore throats.

Good Luck! J.

My friend's did not learn of their daughters problem until 3 1/2. She is like night and day. Even her speech was affected by NOT removing them earlier.
It is scary. but sometimes it has to be done.
Go for it.
God Bless those babies.

My daughter had very large tonsils. She had her tonsils and adenoids removed when she was 4. Like your son, she snored like a man. Now she sleeps very quietly and soundly. She seems like she gets better sleep too. The procedure seemed very short and she was well taken care of by the doctor and nurses. She was pretty cranky coming out of the anesthesia, but that was the worst part. She recovered pretty quickly and she doesn't even mention it now. (She's almost 6) Good luck with your son.

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