Why does my baby hold his breath when sleeping?

Normally, the brain controls breathing automatically. During sleep, when the brain is less active, breathing becomes slower and shallower. It is also normal for infants (and some adults) to have short pauses in breathing. In infant apnea, these pauses are too long.

Is it normal for babies to hold their breath?

Breath-holding is when a baby or child stops breathing for up to 1 minute and may faint. It can happen when a child is frightened, upset, angry, or has a sudden shock or pain. It’s usually harmless but can be scary for parents, particularly when it happens for the first time.

Is it normal for a child to pause breathing while sleeping?

Pauses in breathing can be quite normal in infants and children, especially when they are in dream (Rapid Eye Movement, or REM) sleep. Children and infants have more of that dreaming stage of sleep than adults, so the chances of catching them having pauses or irregular breathing are high.

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Why does it sound like my baby can’t breathe while sleeping?

Respiratory sounds

Babies’ airways are narrow, so dry air or even the slightest bit of mucus can cause whistling, rattling, or wheezing sounds while they sleep. Acid reflux or even all that milk-chugging can clog their throat and cause uneven breathing sounds as well.

Do babies forget breathing?

The brain has a special area, called the respiratory center, which tells the lungs to take a breath on a regular basis. If this area is not mature, the baby may forget to breathe. About 45 percent of babies weighing less than 5 ½ pounds will have at least some apnea.

Are breath holding spells normal?

Also called breath-holding attacks, these spells are somewhat common and can happen in healthy children. They can look like seizures, but they’re not. The spells don’t hurt the children, and many outgrow them by age 6 or 7. They are most common in 2-year-olds.

Is it normal for babies to stop breathing for a few seconds?

Your baby may have breathing that pauses for up to 10 seconds at a time. This is called periodic breathing. There may be several such pauses close together, followed by a series of rapid, shallow breaths. This irregular breathing pattern is common in premature babies in the first few weeks of life.

How can I tell if my baby has sleep apnea?

What are symptoms of infant sleep apnea?

  1. Have prolonged pauses in breathing that last 20 seconds or longer.
  2. Have patterns of repeated pauses in breathing that last less than 20 seconds.
  3. Have related problems such as low oxygen or a slow heartbeat.
  4. Have needed resuscitation or other urgent care.
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What to do if your baby stops breathing while sleeping?

What should I do if I think my baby has stopped breathing during sleep? Touch or nudge your baby to see if he responds. If he doesn’t, call 911 immediately. (Your baby may be in danger if his forehead or body turns blue.

How do I know if my baby is struggling to breathe?

Signs of Respiratory Distress in Children

  1. Breathing rate. An increase in the number of breaths per minute may indicate that a person is having trouble breathing or not getting enough oxygen.
  2. Increased heart rate. …
  3. Color changes. …
  4. Grunting. …
  5. Nose flaring. …
  6. Retractions. …
  7. Sweating. …
  8. Wheezing.

How do I know if my baby is having trouble breathing?

Trouble Breathing: Symptoms

Tight breathing so that your child can barely speak or cry. Ribs are pulling in with each breath (called retractions). Breathing has become noisy (such as wheezing). Breathing is much faster than normal.

When should I worry about my baby’s breathing?

A sudden, low-pitched noise on an exhale usually signals an issue with one or both lungs. It can also be a sign of severe infection. You should visit a doctor immediately if your baby is ill and is grunting while breathing.

Do babies breathe slower when sleeping?

Sleeping babies may breathe more slowly, at a rate closer to 30 breaths per minute. The baby may also breathe at an irregular rate while sleeping, breathing several times quickly and then stopping for a few seconds. This pattern, referred to as periodic breathing, is normal and can also happen when a baby is awake.

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What age do babies roll over?

Babies start rolling over as early as 4 months old. They will rock from side to side, a motion that is the foundation for rolling over. They may also roll over from tummy to back. At 6 months old, babies will typically roll over in both directions.