My Two-Year-Old Toddler Holds His Breath for Long Periods When He’s Upset: Is This Normal?

A mom writes in asking about her two-year-old toddler, who she says has “breath holding spells” that have started to worry her. She says her son will hold his breath until his lips turn blue. It often happens after he gets hurt or is upset. It has not yet gotten to the point where her son has passed out, but her doctor warned that it could eventually happen. Is this normal behavior? Should she be worried? Do you have any advice for this concerned mama?

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A member of the community asks:

“My toddler has started holding his breath a lot: Advice?

My son who just recently turned two goes through “breath holding spells” as the doctor calls it. Any other mom had to deal with this? It scares the life out of me when it happens. It mainly happens when he gets hurt. He and his sister, who is not much older than him, tend to get a little too excited running and bump into one another or a corner of something.

Whatever the case is, he will let out one long cry and then go silent crying, not wanting to take a breath even after I gently blow on him or soothe him. He will hold it to the point his lips almost turn blue. Thank God it hasn’t gotten to the point of him passing out… But the doctor says it could happen! Any parents have any tips to try and snap him out of it sooner rather than later? I really don’t want to experience it first hand, this is scary enough!”

– Mamas Uncut Community Member

Community Advice for This Worried Mom Whose Toddler Holds His Breath for Long Periods When He’s Upset

To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this mom in need, read the comments of the post embedded below.

Fan QuestionMy toddler has started holding his breath a lot: Advice?My son who just recently turned two goes through…

Posted by Mamas Uncut on Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Advice Summary: The Community Weighs in on Whether It Is Normal for a Two-Year-Old to Hold His Breath Like This and Shares Tips

My Two-Year-Old Toddler Holds His Breath for Long Periods When He's Upset: Is This Normal?

The community offered this mom in need a lot of great advice. Read some of their responses below.

“My oldest daughter did this. I would throw her up into the air and if that didn’t work I would blow in her face.”

“I always just blew a quick breath in my son’s face when he did that, and he eventually grew out of it.”

“My older brother who is autistic used to throw major fits and hold his breath until he would pass out. There isn’t much you can do besides make sure they aren’t dying.”

“My son did this all the time. Just know that when he passes out, his lungs will start to breathe on their own. Scary, but he’ll still breathe, no worries there. Funny how this is exactly what my son did and for the exact same reason.”

“I used to do it until I passed out. My mom used to throw a small cup of water on me and trust me, u definitely breathe again.”

“Totally normal. I still hold my breath when something hurts like stubbing my toe. Won’t hurt ’em, they might pass out, but they’ll start breathing once they pass out.”

“My oldest child did this when she was little – the doctor told me to just try and make sure she didn’t hit anything on the way down when she passed out, and that she would start breathing again once she passed out… She eventually outgrew it. Scares the life out of you the first few times but you learn the triggers and know when to watch.”

“My oldest used to do that and her doctor told me to dip my fingers in water and gently splash her face. That would kind of shock her and make her stop doing it… it worked.”

“My sister used to do this a lot, the doctor told my parents to give her a sharp slap on the upper back and it’d always make her breathe again.”

“Spray bottle and mist the face. My son doesn’t intentionally hold his breath but if he’s tickled too much or laughing too hard he seems to forget how to breathe and a little mist to his face and it kind of resets his brain.”

Do you have any advice for this mom? Leave a comment to help another mom out!

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