October 2011 Moms

Dealing with a breath holder?

For awhile now DD has been doing the turning purple, breathless, gasping cry when she really gets upset but recently she's had a few occasions where she works herself up into such a state that she goes limp and passes out in my arms.   It's really freaky and supposedly DH did this intentionally when he was a toddler.  I am at a loss for how to deal with this because sometimes the things that set off the crying cannot be avoided, ie removing her from a dangerous area or an inappropriate toy and she doesn't seem to be doing this intentionally.  I usually try to calm her and hold her, but I don't want this to become something that she uses as a weapon against us.   Anybody dealt with a similar situation or have any advice? 
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Re: Dealing with a breath holder?

  • Gator doesn't do this but when I worked at a daycare, there were a few kids that did it. We were told to leave them be, make sure that they wouldn't get hurt if they were passing out, and watch them until they came to. There was on little boy in the 18-24mo room that did it like every other day. I don't remember how long (months wise) he did it, but I do remember that he eventually grew out of it and stopped holding his breath.
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  • If Tilly was intentionally holding her breath, I would probably put her down somewhere safe, walk away, and ignore.
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  • As long as she's not going to hit her head, there's no harm in her passing out.
  • We have a breath holder and it is scary when they pass out. The doctor told us not to panic and to stay calm because she will be fine. Some tricks that have helped us are if we see she has stopped breathing we blow in her face and most of the time it will catch her off guard and she will breath. We also splash water in her face, i keep a little spray bottle arouns. So far those have worked for us. When they do this though just make sure you can get them in a safe Spot so incase they pass out they won't hurt themselves. We can tell within a few seconds if Ella is going to take it that far. Good luck!
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  • image Jazzym12:
    We have a breath holder and it is scary when they pass out. The doctor told us not to panic and to stay calm because she will be fine. Some tricks that have helped us are if we see she has stopped breathing we blow in her face and most of the time it will catch her off guard and she will breath. We also splash water in her face, i keep a little spray bottle arouns. So far those have worked for us. When they do this though just make sure you can get them in a safe Spot so incase they pass out they won't hurt themselves. We can tell within a few seconds if Ella is going to take it that far. Good luck!

    This is what I've been doing anytime L starts to hold her breath. She has never passed out from it, but I'm not sure if that's because I've been catching her off guard with the breath of air? Who knows.. I figure it's just another thing that they will outgrow.

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  • Sounds like she is doing it intentionally.  Maybe ignoring it is the answer.  I mean keep her safe when she does it but don't recognize that it is happening.
  • image Holly7LV:
    Sounds like she is doing it intentionally.  Maybe ignoring it is the answer.  I mean keep her safe when she does it but don't recognize that it is happening.

    She's not doing it intentionally, at least not at this stage.  It's just the body's response to the fact that she's not getting enough oxygen from the paroxysm of crying.   

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