Apnoea is common in the newborn period and especially in preterm newborns. Bradycardia and desaturation of oxyhaemoglobin typically occur with apnoea. These abnormalities reflect an immature cardiorespiratory system and resolution of this immaturity can be expected within a predictable time frame. Infants who have apnoea in the newborn period are thought not to be at higher risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Whether apnoea episodes are associated with a higher incidence of long-term handicap for these infants is not yet clear.