Help for colleague..."Breath Holding"

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Suz, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    I work with a wonderful young woman who has a son presenting a problem I'm unfamiliar with. I am hoping that within our board family there is someone(s) who has been through this or can offer some guidance to help her sweet baby James.


  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I have a friend whose middle child used to do this. Started about the time he was 11 months old. He went through all kinds of stuff, viral meningitis at 6 weeks, & extreme acid reflux till he was about 3. Jake still will hold his breath occasionally when he gets very, very angry, and he is almost 7 now. But he's fine.

    I would say that the young woman should keep an eye on him when it happens, but he probably will outgrow it. Jake's actually bigger than his 9-year-old brother... Healthy kid.
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Wow! How scary! I think I would want him watched closely for anxiety or panic attacks as he grows older. I'd also have him screened for asthma and be seen by an ENT just to be sure he's developing properly.
  4. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Yes, I've also heard that it is involuntary and I also heard that kiddos grow out of this. Hugs
  5. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    My difficult child held his breath 3 times. It's terrifying but he did out grow it. It started about 11 months. He got really startled when he fell and he just held his breath until he passed out. It was the first time.
    I hope your little guy grows out of it quickly. Try to not show panic. Keep calm, reassure him and help him conquer his panic.
  6. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    That has to be terrifying for both baby James and his mother. I don't have any experience with this as a parent but I will say this. When I was small (maybe 3ish?) I would do this voluntarily and there were a few times that I DID pass out. My poor mom, of course, was in a panic about it and talked to my doctor at the time. The doctor...wonderful old country doctor....reassured her that as long as I started breathing after I passed out, I would be fine. (In my case, he also told her to stick me in the shower when I held my breath and turn the cold water on me to shock me into breathing. Like I said though, this was something I did voluntarily so I really doubt that would work for her.)

    I'm wondering if some part of his bronchial areas or throat are having some sort of spasm when he's that tense or worked up and just "freezing". I would think it would be difficult to reassure someone that young but I agree with Fran. Try to soothe him, talk calmly and try to get him to relax.
  7. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Thank you all for responding and for your reassurances.

    Interesting, Stang! Her doctor told her to *spritz* him in the face with cold water when he's revving up to startle him back so she carries a spray bottle of water with her at all times. Same principle as your cold shower.

  8. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    LOL...Actually, the first time I did it after Mom talked to the doctor, she just happened to have a glass of water in her hand so she threw the water at me. I sat there in shock sputtering and it worked so she tried it again after that. Only thing.....I started ducking. :rofl: That's when she started putting me in the shower. I wasn't sure if that would be something that could work for her.....has it been helpful at all?
  9. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I consulted with my mom to make sure I had all of the details right. I was a bit wrong. Seems that the first couple of times I did this was by accident. I had hurt myself in some way (pinched my finger in a swing chain or something the first time) and cried so hard like babies do, that I honestly couldn't catch my breath. After a few times though, I was bratty enough to see how much it freaked my mom out so I started doing it intentional. Even then though, I would get to a certain point, scare myself TRYING to breath and not being able to....and pass out anyway. (I wasn't stubborn at all)

    The point though, and my mom wanted me to be sure I said that, is that normally you WILL start breathing. She said that she empathizes with this lady and knows how scary it is.
  10. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    My difficult child is the only one of my eight children who used to hold his breath. I don't remember if it was voluntary or involuntary. I do remember that he would go blue, and we would wait for him to catch his breath and start crying. I don't remember him ever passing out, it didn't reach that.

    One thing that helped us then, I remember, was blowing on his face -- directly on his nose and mouth. It seemed to break some sort of tension and cause him to breathe in. Very strange.

    Love, Esther
  11. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Suz, any updates on this little guy?
  12. Iamwipedouttoo

    Iamwipedouttoo New Member

    My daughter used to throw tantrums to the point she would pass out.
    If i am remembering correctly it started at 2ish for her. They came about when she couldn't do something she wanted to do. She would start crying and would cry so hard that she would pass out, eyes roll back in her head, the whole bit. Then she would come to crying softly and usually need a nap that is how worn out she was.

    She talked very early but I always thought her thoughts were more advanced than what her brain would let her communicate and therefore she was frustrated. I'm just her mom, though. :)

    Tantrms like that are very scary. I did freak out the first time it happened and called the pediatrician and made an appointment right away. She assured me that she'd eventually grow out of it and she did before the time she was four.

    She is going through a lot right now and I often wonder if these tantrums should have been a herald to her challenging behavior over the years.