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Breath Holding Spell or No
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Ramona317 posted:
Sometimes my DD (14 months) wakes up in the middle of the night crying and the only way to get her back to sleep sometimes is to lay down with her for a few or rock her for awhile. Three different times while I was laying down with her I have looked over and seen her just laying there eyes wide open with complete emptiness in them, she's not breathing, and is unresponsive. She has snapped out of it fairly quickly by me rubbing her chest. This last time it seemed to take her longer to snap out of it than the previous two times. It only lasts a few seconds but feels like forever to me! I took her to a Children's Hospital and they said it was a "Breath Holding Spell." Her enzymes and oxygen levels checks out fine. The more and more I think about it I am having a hard time accepting this diagnosis. She does wake up crying but by the time I lay down with her she has calmed down and has stopped crying...from what I have read breath holding spells happen during or at the end of a crying spell...not 10 minutes after she has stopped crying.
She is not overly upset when she wakes up and gets more upset at times during the day but has not had a breath holding spell during the day. She has done this three times that I know of and it has always been at night after she wakes up in the middle of the night. It is a horrible thing to experience!
If anyone else has experienced something like this any advice or information would be greatly appreciated!
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Amelia_WebMD_Staff responded:
Hi Ramona,

I think that all of us, as parents would feel worried just as you do, though according to the WebMD Pop-Up , "Breath-holding spells are usually not serious and do not cause permanent damage or affect a child's future health."

If you are concerned, I suggest that you definitely see your LO's pediatrician about these episodes. Though not often, these other conditions can have symptoms similar to breath-holding spells . Here are some questions to ask your doctor and other Frequently Asked Questions that may also help you to learn about your daughter's own situation.

Wishing you both the best and we hope that you will keep us posted!

Take care,
Amelia
 
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orin34 responded:
These are more common than you would think. I have had several of these types of kids in my class and my directions were to not interfere and just let them "reset". One would actually turn a little blueish and pass out, after she passed out whatever brain activity that would urge her to hold her breath would kind of "reset" her breathing. The first few times it happened it was really scary, but as the year progressed she did it so frequently that it became fairly routine.
 
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TWalker02840 responded:
I know a little girl my son plays with (16 mos) that does it to get attention from her mother. she will do it til the mother freaks out and then giggles. She will do it til she gets what she wants, toy,snack, being held picked up ect. I see it as a form of attention seeking behaivor. Sounds a little different in your scenario but she wakes up crying and is trying to get your attention.


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