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My 2.5 Year old son holds his breath while breathing??
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My 2.5 Year old son holds his breath while breathing??

My son is 2 1/2 and he holds his breath while he breathes, with I would say 90% of the breaths he takes, why?? He inhales, holds his breath, lets it out, takes a deep breath (because he held it for so long previously) then lets that one out, inhales and holds his breath again... it annoys me so much! He does it during normal moods, not while he is upset or in any kind of 'mood'.... sitting on the sofa watching TV he does it, in bed while Im laying with him to go to sleep at night he does it. not really while he is playing (too busy) more when he is sitting, watching TV.... has anyone ever heard of such a thing? He has been doing it for a long time, I would say since I can remember... is it a habit??
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13167_tn?1327197724
I've never heard of this,  and it sounds like Mr. Google hasn't either! Breath holding spells are common in toddlers during tantrums or sudden injuries,  but I've never heard of a child who will sit quietly and continuously hold their breath until they have to keep gasping.  

I did a fairly long search on google and couldn't find anything like what you are describing.

Best wishes finding an answer.  
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Avatar_f_tn
My son does this too!!! the same thing!!! sitting watching TV and just relaxing w/ me it's like he forgets to breathe so he has a big burst of air and breathes in and then holds it and then a big burst of air.. again and again...
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676912_tn?1332816151
I think it may just be a phase some kids go through. My son does stuff similar on occasion, he'll suck in air, or suck in his stomach and push it out...I think it's just their way of figuring out their body, just just like sucking on toes and playing with their feet when they're infants.
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Avatar_n_tn
My almost 2 year old does this as well! I always find myself telling him to breathe. He does it all the time. Usually not when he is playing because he is too busy. I wonder what it is and hope that he grows out of it. Good luck to you.
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Avatar_n_tn
My 6 year old has been doing this since he was 2 years old and it is SO annoying because the doctor has no explanation for it.  He only does it when he is relaxed with me and his mind is engaged (reading stories, watching tv, etc.).  She said he should grow out of it but he's 6 now.

Anyone out there have this similar experience?

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Avatar_n_tn
Trust me... My dad has been doing it his whole life and he's still doing it; he's 63... I'm waiting for a doctor to finally do some research on this, It seems to be more apparent in people with ADHD/Depression/OCD and so on. Sadly, It ***** to say that I do the same thing... but here's the thing; when I take my prescribed Adderall (adderrall), I stop doing that, and without thinking I can take full complete breaths without holding them, or feeling the need to.
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Avatar_f_tn
My son is 4 and he does this also More noticeable when watchin tv etc or a movie and he also does it when eating I have no idea why he does it! I thought it was a control thing, as in he has control of his breathing and its probably one of the only things he can control, as he cant control what happends around him etc. I would love to find out more but couldnt find anything but this on the net Xx
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Avatar_m_tn
my stepson is also doing this. he is 2 and has been doing it since about 18months, holding his breath while laying down watching tv. not when he is sleeping or playing though.he does it when he is upset but also does it for no reason. it is very irritating and ive told him to stop and tried showing him the proper way to breathe. helllp!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Funny... I just googled this because my 2 year old does this now. Just started a few months ago. Very irritating. I see it must not be harmful and it must be pretty common considering all the responses to this. I'm not so worried now. He's laying next to me right now watching a movie doing it. Hmmmmm
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Avatar_m_tn
My 7.5 year old boy does this!  I was just about to make a Dr appointment, but wanted to google it first.  Funny how one person on here said that people with ADHD seem to have this more.  We are thinking he has ADHD and taking him to psychologist on Tuesday.  Have any of you taken your kids to ENT?
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Avatar_f_tn
My son is 18 months and does it while he IS playing all the time like he is to busy to breath?  It's like he is always holding his breath and exhausting is breath louldly.
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Avatar_m_tn
I was searching for advise and ran across this. Our son just started doing this a week or so ago. Never associated with being angry. It's a breath, hold, hold, hold, exhaust fast and sometimes a pause before another quick breath.  He does this sitting or laying or while in his car seat. Never seen him do it while standing or playing. It is more prominent while tired and right before sleep, also does it while he is intensely focused on something like watching something on tv he likes. While he is sleeping there is no problem. While he is mad or throwing a tantrum he never does this.   Any help out there?
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Avatar_m_tn
I was searching for advise and ran across this. Our son just started doing this a week or so ago. Never associated with being angry. It's a breath, hold, hold, hold, exhaust fast and sometimes a pause before another quick breath.  He does this sitting or laying or while in his car seat. Never seen him do it while standing or playing. It is more prominent while tired and right before sleep, also does it while he is intensely focused on something like watching something on tv he likes. While he is sleeping there is no problem. While he is mad or throwing a tantrum he never does this.   Any help out there?
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Avatar_n_tn
My son is 2.5, and he does this too! Drives me crazy, and it worries me horribly. I'm always wondering if he gets adequate oxygen throughout the day. I can never find any information on this. I only find information on pauses in breathing while sleeping, but not when they're awake. Very frustrating.
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Avatar_f_tn
O my days we are not alone!!! I was also googling as my 3 yr old daughter does this when sitting relaxed watching tv. I am positive she is not aware of it, but she holds her breath, then makes a small exhale, like whisper cough when releasing- soooooooo annoying. However when I break her concentration etc she is back to being normal!
I would love an answer, as she is fine when asleep- just when awake and relaxed that a problem!
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Avatar_n_tn
I have noticed my 5 year old doing this, usually watching tv, and doing something relaxing. I have noticed him doing this in his sleep on occasion. He has food allergies, borderline, asthma. We see an allergist/asthma pediatric doctor. I know when I mention this to him, he will tell me he has never heard of it. This is the only page in the world of internet that I have found this discussion topic. Probably one of those things people just dont take notice to. Just like the spike in food allergies, there is no explanation. Hoping it isn't sleep apnea.
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Avatar_f_tn
well that makes me feel a bit better.  My 7 year old has been doing this for years and today it was annoying me so much I stuck it in the search engine becaus I can't remember what I was on the computer for it was driving me so nuts!!  he's been being tested for Asbergers or ADHD (based on the questionaires I had to fill out I'd be surprised if it's NOT one of those I had so many yes answers) and I wonder if it's related to that.  This seems to be the only thread anywhere that is related to what I'm dealing with!  he also does this annoying thing where he fills his mouth completely with whatever he is drinking and swallows it bit by bit instead of small sips he can swallow all at once.  it's annoying, like the breathing, but usually not a problem.  Until his brother makes him laugh while his mouth is full of an entire cup of water...  KIDS!
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Avatar_f_tn
glad to hear I'm not the only one! My 3 year old holds his breath after each one he takes it seems....I get so worried about him. Its more breath deep gulp, breath deep gulp I looked it up previous to calling the doc and seriously I think I may still given the lack of explanation. I suffer from adhd and take meds for it which help a TON (wasn't diagnosed till 26 but should have been way sooner based on symptoms). I fear that my son will also suffer from this but hesitate to have him diagnosed at 3, aren't all 3 yr olds crazy :) I actually wonder if this is more based on allergies (which also affect me and many others in the fam) perhaps since this thread is so active and yet new there is something new in the food chain that causes it??? I really don't know but hate to have such and affliction affect my child....here's to us all finding a solution!
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Avatar_m_tn
Wish there was more medical research into this it just seems weird and man oh man is it annoying...my 2.5 year old started this the other day and now trying to watch a movie with him is impossible I can't even sit next to him it just gets on my nerves...hope he stops soon good luck to all!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
My 2.5 yr old has been doing this since the day he was born. It made me so nervous.His ped doc told me he would outrgrow it but thus far nothing.
- No ADHD and no allergies.
-He does this when he is tired or very engaged, watching tv, or when sleeping (again when very tired and finally takes a nap its more obvious).
-Never during a tantrum
-He gags rather easy and has started to choke several times. As with another posting- he likes to stuff his mouth and then swallow bit by bit.
-He holds his breath for about 9 seconds since he was born and then lets it out and I hear that typical sigh
- I am wondering if this has something to do with the medula and his growth functions. Per WIKIpedia:

The medulla oblongata controls autonomic functions, and relays nerve signals between the brain and spinal cord. It is also responsible for controlling several major points and autonomic functions of the body:

respiration – chemoreceptors
cardiac center – sympathetic, parasympathetic system
vasomotor center – baroreceptors
reflex centers of vomiting, coughing, sneezing, and swallowing

Hopefully a doctor will actually take a look at this since this is the only place that mentions it online (sadly). Our pediatrician swears it not a big thing, more annoying and worrisome than dangerous.
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Avatar_f_tn
Yup...my 5 year old boy, exactly the same thing. Sitting and playing quite or eating especially. He takes a quick breath through his mouth, then holds it and sometimes releasing his breath slowly through his mouth with a groaning sound, VERY irritating! I show him how to breath normal through his nose and he will do it and laugh then go right back to holding his breath, makes me crazy!!
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Avatar_f_tn
my 2.5 year old son does the same thing i've been googling it and can't find any answers!  holds his breath when watching tv or snuggling.. sometimes when he is squating to play.  i can't stand it it is the most annoying thing EVER!!  i seriously want to wear ear plugs when i am around him.  has anyone ever gotten any kind of answer from a dr.?  i'm afraid to take him in for it seems like everytime he is at the dr. office we are sent somewhere else. we are dealing with hearing tests and speach therapist and padiatrist... please don't let something else be wrong with him!!
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Avatar_m_tn
My daughter just turned four and three weeks ago she started holding her breath on and off all day. She used to only do it while watching tv or when she was extremelyfocused. Now it has progressed into an all day thing.
-She doesn't do it in her sleep
- She often grunts n groans when she exhales
-She is not overweight.
Has anyone ever asked their child WHY the do this? I've tried to show her how to breathe normally and I ask her why she breathes like that and she says it is because she got super dizzy spinning at the park. Which is true. Three weeks ago we ent to the park and she got on a spinning chair which began to spin out of control. I am wondering if it is anxiety or if she feels dizzy when she holds her breath thats why she associates the incident at the park with her irregular breathing.
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Avatar_n_tn
My 5 year old does this too! He is Autistic and has ADHD. We had him tested for sleep apnea, but he does hot have that. He just holds his breath while watching T.V. and while layin in bed prior to going to sleep. You guys are so right, it is soooo annoying! Wish I knew of something to help him. I worry that is going to lead to future problems.
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Avatar_n_tn
I feel so much better knowing I am not the only one that extremely annoyed by their child holding their breath. I'm even more annoyed that our doctor says if she's not blue, she's fine. I do wonder about the ADHD. My kid is totally off-the-wall, but she is only three, so like someone else said, I am reluctant to seek any diagnosis, since she may just be acting like a three year old. I wouldn't be surprised though if she were diagnosed someday.
I wish we could find more information.
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Avatar_m_tn
So glad to have found this. I have been googling this for about a year. My son is now nearly 11 years (I know I'm in the wrong forum) and has been breathing in this way for as long as I can remember. Noticed it first as he was going to sleep, breathe in, wait, wait, wait, wait .... breathe out. So annoying. Happens when he is relaxed and comfortable. Never when he is moving, active, angry or asleep. I have tried breathing exercises, talking gently to him, explaining that its not a good thing to do, but now I just have to say 'breathe' on every breathe he takes. It is extremely stressful for me, and I finish up just waiting for that next exhalation.
I don't see any reasons posted here as to why it happens, or solutions. But at least I know there are others who do the same thing.  
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I have been searching this topic for almost 2 years!!!  My son just turned two and he has been doing this since he was four months old!!  Everytime I take him to the doctor they right it off.  I was told by one doctor that its "behavioral breathing", which was insane as he was only 12 months at the time.  
He is a normal 2 year old boy with a lot of energy, but I would not classify him as adhd or ADD.  He is very healthy, but when he is sick with the slightest cold he has breathing issues.  I took him to the doctor in May and she asked me to show her how he breathes, when I did I felt like she thought it was a joke.  I took him to emerg last month because he couldnt breathe and after xrays, they told me he had asthma.  He was put on steroids for his breathing and his cold went away almost immediately, but still holding his breath.  He does it all the time as well...when he is playing, when he is eating, when he is watching t.v., laying in bed, walking, you name it he does it.  

I do not believe, like some other comments that they will grow out of this or that they are "figuring out their body".  This is really affecting my child! I wouldnt classify it as annoying, rather concerning because the doctors do not give him the time of day.  Its very frustrating to advocate for your child and get no where.  I am happy to know that I am not the only person and that its a figment of my imagination.
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Avatar_f_tn
Just a lil update, Mine has stopped doing this, he is 3 and 1/2 now (2 when I wrote a comment to this post)  and has not done it in a really long time. He does have environmental allergies (but we try not to use meds until it he gets stuffy, the Zrytec and Benedry makes him CraZy, but Allegra seems to be ok) so maybe it was something to do w/ his allergies.  

Funny not too long ago we had to put him back on the allergy meds (started to get stuffy) and the pedi asked, is he still holding his breath?  It's nice to know our Ped has that in the record so if it was something that turned into a issue it is noted.

Good luck to all
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm so glad I've found this post. I was becoming quite concerned regarding my 1.5 yr old daughter doing this, she's been doing this now for about 5 months. I cannot remember exactly when I noticed her start to do this, however when I did realise she was doing this, she either had a cold, or was getting over one, cause I remember thinking 'oh it must be cause she's still a bit stuffy', but it never stopped. Like others who posted, my daughter inhales, holds, holds, exhales (and yes, again the exhale is louder, like others have mentioned), then starts all over again. She does it the same times as others on here; watching TV, concentrating and sometimes when playing. I agree with you all, yes its annoying, dunno if its more cause of the sound, or worried shes struggling. She breaths normally whilst sleeping, and even though she's so young, I cannot see any ADHD symptoms, as she's more lazy, laid back and affectionate. Its my 2.5yr old son thats crazy!! lol. Anyway, I do feel better coming across this post, now. I will update if my daughter changes this 'habit?' in anyway.
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Avatar_f_tn
My two year old son does this too and has for at least six months... it's mainly when watching tv or concentrating.  The post about it being linked to the medulla is very interesting as our son suffered from severe reflux and is prone to vomit when anxious... does any else's child have a similar background?
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Avatar_f_tn
I've been afraid to google this for months now! So happy to see so many others on her. My daughter is 2 and a bit and she's been doing this for at least 6 months. I usually try to "snap her out of it" as it's really worrying me! Again, it's usually while playing, concentrating. Right now she's watching tv intently and doing it non-stop. I keep tickling her to "recharge" her breathing. lol. Then she's back at it. Sigh. And it's hard to look at ADHD/ADD or any other symptoms because at age 2, well, it's not that accurate, is it? Just happy to see she's not alone. But still frustrated! Doctors shrug it off. But it'll be interesting to see if anything "medical" comes out of the results of people on this thread. Perhaps we should form a group of some sort!
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My son is almost 11 and has done this for years.  No ADHD, exactly, but he has Nonverbal Learning Disorder (quick-n-dirty definition: Asperger's Lite).  It happens when his mind is occupied, usually when reading in bed.  I've asked him about it and he can't really explain it because when it's happening he's not aware of it.  "I guess I just get relaxed and don't have to breath as much." So glad to hear other parents find it incredibly annoying!  I feel guilty for being irritated but clearly it's natural to feel annoyed by weird breathing.
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Avatar_m_tn
Reading all these posts, I totally empathize.  My 5 year old son also does this mysterious breath holding and has been doing it for the past couple of years.  After questioning his pediatrician, we were told it wasn't a problem (IOW they don't treat it with meds or otherwise), some kids just do it, and that its pretty much considered normal.  He is a very healthy/active child, does well in school, and has not been tracked or diagnosed into possibly having ADHD.  It wasn't until we started some occupational therapy for improving his fine motor skills that we have learned of a possible connection to this breath holding, very prominent during periods of the child concentrating on a task, and inner core strength or lack thereof.  We as adults can train and exercise these muscles (which include the diaphragm and breathing) through Pilates and Yoga.  Good luck getting a 5 year old to do that, right?  Well, there are other exercises, some as simple as verbal coaching and awareness.  So far, these exercises have helped reduce the breath holding in some aspects, especially during high concentration.  The breath holding at night is still there somewhat, but again it is connected to his over concentration  towards either preventing sleep, like most kids do, or vice-versa.  Either my son is unable to "turn off" and finally relax when its time to sleep, or he is so focused on making himself fall asleep that he over concentrates on this aspect and holds his breath.  With verbal coaching while laying beside him, we have also been able to reduce this.  In the end, its been small steps but it is possible to reduce this breath holding.  Hopefully we'll eliminate it someday.  With some occupational therapy, simple exercises, and verbal coaching, we have had small victories.  Maybe this will work for you as well.
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Avatar_m_tn
My 18 month old does this too!  Mostly when reading books or concentrating hard on something (blocks, etc.)  Drives me nuts.  Did anyone else's kid grow out of this???
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Avatar_f_tn
My daughter is 3 and she does this as well. I don't remember when exactly she first started  but mainly when she was watching tv, i kept having to remind her to breath. Then I remember she came into my bed one night about 4 months ago after a bad dream and was laying next to me trying to get to sleep and she kept doing it. She takes a breath hold, hold, hold then big breath exhaling.
I went to her dermatologist yesterday about her Eczema and she said she was concerned that her chest was sunken and was coughing a lot, I just thought she had a cold. The doctor said this could be a sign of Asthma as eczema, asthma and hay fever are within the same family.      
I then thought it maybe linked to her breath holding so I began googling it and came across this page. I then read about other peoples experiences with this and it got me thinking about sleep apnea. I started watching clips on you tube to help me distinguish how to spot it and so I went to check on my daughter while she was sleeping and noticed she holds her breath while in deep sleep as well. She lays on he back snoring with mouth open then will hold breath for 10 seconds and then cough exhaling.  I'm going to take her to the doctors on Monday as it's really worrying me now.
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Avatar_f_tn
My 18 month son does this too, recently started. He had a stuffynose for a while, and had to mouth breathe and hold breath to drink etc, which is how it seemed to start, but now it's so much of the time. Still has a cough but doesn't seem to be related. I hope it doesn't last -- it's so distracting (and annoying!)
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Avatar_m_tn
  When i was a child I can vividly remember a few nervous ticks I had.  One was throat clearing and the other was this clicking sound i would make with my throat.  I remember doing it over and over again all the while telling myself "once more" click "once more" click "once more" click "okay,last time" click.............on and on.  I can also remember the day my father couldnt take it anymore.  Maybe he was having a bad day or something but he snapped.  He pulled the car over and said "what the f#@% is wrong with you?  You sound stupid when you do that that and its driving me nuts.  Stop it now or were turning around and your not going to your ball game.  I told him i was sorry and that i would stop.  I was only 7 or 8 but it it made a lot of sense, he was right.  A little harsh maybe but right.  From that day forward I can remeber struggling with it less and less while trying hard to stop.  Guess what. it worked.  These days people would think that a father like that is a tyrant or abusive and would rather accept a label like OCD or ADHD and medicate with heavy drugs.  Thank god my father was a "tyrant" because I was never medicated and am a very talented and productive individual whose unstifled creativity is one of my greatest attributes.  I am now 29 and have a 4.5 year old best buddy who has started this holding his breath thing that you have all described. I tried the talking nice and trying to explain to him option with very minimal success.  I finally told him that he was not to do this anymore.  It is not good for you and it stops now.  I told him that it makes me angry and that it is bad.    Im very sturn with him about this and guess what, he is trying very hard to stop.  He catches himself less and less frequently and when he does he says "sorry daddy, I was breathing bad again but i stopped, right?"  Weve almost got this beat before it has even started.  Im convinced that it is a nervous tick and with the right approach, its on its way out.  We're so soft with our children now and so quick to take the advice of our GP, who are now in many cases, nothing but salesmen for big Pharma.  Anybody here research the side effects of some of these drugs theyre prescribing children now?  And not to mention the only long term studies that have been done on them involve real life experimentation on our generation with some pretty shabby results.  Yes there are exceptions to the rule, and i sincerely appologize if I have offended anyone of you.  We are all concerned parents and want to do the right thing but I think the answers lie more within us than the medical world.  Remember, you are a god to your child and when you express your dissatisfaction in a manner they will understand they will aim to please.  Chidren live in a world of black and white, dont confuse them with grey areas.  Merry Christmas to you all and your children.
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Avatar_f_tn
My 5 year old granddaughter does it constantly when she is watching tv or reading. But her breathing is normal when she's sleeping.
When she's awake and sitting still she takes about 4-6 normal breaths, then holds and when she let's air out she also clears her throat, like a soft cough.
Every so often she gets rash on  her skin, which looks more like contact
allergies. Otherwise she seems to be healthy. She also swims a lot and
holds her breath under water, so I'm not sure if there is a link to swimming. Also she likes to put her head under water while having a bath and hold her breath. I've asked her many times what does it feel like when she starts to hold her breath and she says "nothing".
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I started noticing this same thing occurring in my 2.5 year old son recently.  We were sitting watching TV and he kept making this loud exhale noise. I started watching him and realized he was holding his breath in between breaths. I too was concerned but found it annoying at the same time. He was diagnosed with bronchial spasms a few months ago. (They wouldn't call it asthma yet because of his age and the doctor said most kids outgrow the spasms.)  He coughs all night long or when he is napping.  The coughing doesn't wake him up but he can't be sleeping soundly.  We recently found out he was allergic to dogs.  So I was going to go see his doctor and find out if this "odd breathing" was due to the bronchial spasms or his allergies.  But from all these posts I don't see the doctors being any help. I am glad to know that my son is not the only one and that it doesn't seem to be life threatening. If anyone finds out more info..please post.
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Avatar_m_tn
My mother is 67 and she does this when ever she's watching t.v or reading.
It drives me up a wall.
I said something about it to her, and she said she has been doing it her whole life. She does have sleep apnea. She thinks its related to that.
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Avatar_m_tn
My 2.5 yo daughter has been doing that for a while, but lately it's been driving me insane. She does it while she is calm, watching tv, or reading. She is active, but I really do not think she has ADHD. Everytime I catch her doing it now, I make a point of telling her to "breathe normally", but I don't think she gets the concept yet. I think she feels she is breathing normally.

She also does this very annoying thing where she swallows loudly, like she is swallowing air, 2-3 times in 10 seconds. I can't describe it better than that, but I wonder it the two things are linked.

Her paternal grand-mother suffers from sleep apnea, and I am suspecting that her daddy might also suffer from it (he hasn't been tested yet). I asked him if the breathing thing seems familiar to him, and he says he thinks he also does it sometimes. I've never noticed though. Our daughter sweats a lot while she sleeps, which is sometimes linked to sleep apnea..  

I really hope she outgrows this, because it worries me, but also drives me insane... I'm glad to see I'm not alone.

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Avatar_m_tn
OMG..........my three year old boy does this as well. We just noticed it and it seems to be when he is relaxing right before going to bed. He is speech delayed and could have a minor case of Autism (although my feeling is he does not). He breathes normally when playing and sleeping. I feel so much better knowing that this could just be a phase that they will outgrow.
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My son is almost 3 and has always done this. It use to scare me when he was a baby. Everybody would tell me something was wrong with him and that it wasn't normal but it doesn't seem to bother him at all, just me. I wonder why he does it though. :/
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Avatar_m_tn
If you read through these comments, you will notice that many of the children are male.  There are a few females who experience this.  My 7 year old boy experiences these same breathing problems and has been as long as I can remember.  I have discussed this with the pediatrition and have been told that he might be doing this as a way to calm himself down (similar to sucking a thumb).  I diagree, because like most of you, he does not hold his breath while angry. Instead it is when he is relaxing.  So, here is my aha moment and tell me what you think...  My son suffers from allergies.  He also tends to get nose bleeds often.  He does not have symptoms of ADD or ADHD.  I have another son who struggles with ADHD and understand the symptoms.  I am wondering if this is an allergy thing???  He does it year around, but maybe he is overly sensitive.  Don't know how or if these two are connected, but would like to know if any of the children discussed experience allergy problems year around. Love to hear comments and thoughts....
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I am 40 and i have been doing this my whole life, and my 2 brothers do it as well, i am doing it as i read and write this post! I'd like to think I am pretty normal, i have never been diagnosed with any mental issues and the only physical problem i have is high cholesterol. I am not overweight either. My wife calls it heavy breathing, because she can really hear when i catch my breath, but i don't notice it at all because i have been doing it my whole life, i sleep good also, I don't know, maybe its just a tick or something, but it doesn't seem to affect me at all, as far as quality of life.
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Avatar_m_tn
My son is 7 and has been doing this for a few years.  In fact I read these posts about a year ago and just did a search again to see if anything new popped up.  I agree that it is weird this is mostly males.  It is just when we are watching TV or reading a book, he holds his breath, lets it out then does it again.  He also gets nosebleeds occasionally.  No ADHD but I definitely know he has some OCD issues.  Hopefully someone will come up with an explanation at some point.
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I was wondering if you, or anyone else, as had any success finding the reason behind this.  My son has also been doing this since he was approx. 3 months old (he's now 3).  

Contrary to what Wikipedia and other sites state, he does this when he is calm...watching tv, playing and sleeping.  He does not have ADD/ADHD but he does have allergies.  The episodes will last up to 30 seconds at which time I have to gently shake him and tell him to breathe.  He will then exhale and then breathe quickly as if to catch up.  One thing I found interesting in all the posts was the one who wondered if it had to deal with other functions of the body.  My son was born a month early and the suck-swallow-breathe pattern hadn't developed.  It took a couple of months but he developed it...wondering if there is a relation?

Please let me know if you have had any success.
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My 3yo son also holds his breath in between breaths while absorbed with something such as tv or playing.  He's an energetic kid, but not so much that we're concerned about adhd.  No known allergies.  He does keep food in his mouth way too long as some other parents have mentioned, but no idea if this has any relation.  Glad to see he's not the only one, I felt so silly asking our pedia about this!  Sounds like I don't need to worry...
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I'm so glad I found this thread. My 3 year old does the same thing -- holds his breath, then a loud exhale and inhale, and holds it again. Generally when he's relaxed, like when he's watching TV.  He's been doing it for a little bit, I think, but I've never really noticed or paid attention until the last few days, when I noticed and thought "this isn't normal."  We talked to the pediatrician about it today, and we're going to a pulmonologist tomorrow.
I was interested in the comment that it could be related to core strength. My son has low muscle tone, and I definitely think that's probably related.  I also think it might be a bit of a brain issue; he has some developmental delays and we're working to figure out what's up with that.
He also has severe sleep apnea.
Some people mentioned that their child also eats funny (stuffs food in their mouth and then swallows a bit at a time.)  My son has oral-motor sensory issues--I wouldn't think of this as being related, but I guess it could be.
I think if it were "normal" then more doctors would know about it, and we'd be able to find more than one thread on the internet. I think many kids will grow out of it, either through brain development or better muscle control.  But it's worrying, and I wonder if he's getting enough oxygen during this. And if it could be contributing to any of his other problems.
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hi there
my two year old son was given sulfamethoxazole+trimethoprim su...40mg for a ear infection and he has to be on this for 1 month is this ok for him to be on this for that long and he has had some breathing problems 10 day after using this. is this normal?
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I have a 21 month year old girl who occasionally throughout the day will sit on her stool and hold her breath. She's not really doing anything other than sitting there with her hands on the table doing what seems like clenching her abdominal muscles and holding her breath. When I ask her what she's doing she snaps out of it and smiles or will come and join me to play. She is otherwise a very bright girl for her age, speaks excellently and likes to play and sing. It just seems like she likes to sit alone and do this breath holding thing..thoughts?
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My 8 yr old girl does this too, for a few months or maybe more. It occurs when she's eating and watching a screen (TV/computer). She has no symptoms of ADHD etc.

Her older brother used to have quite a few ticks around this age, I think it might be as simple as that. I guess the "snap out of it approach" is worth a try. But I'd hate her to feel like people think she's stupid because of it, if she can't manage to stop! I'll avoid that particular word.

I'm interested to hear about the core muscles and also the possible link to reflux/vomiting. My girl had severe motion sickness which she more or less outgrew around age 4. She also has been coughing for a long time now, it seems to be another tick. Although she did have a cold about 2 months ago, coughed for a long four weeks like everyone else around here this year, we seemed to cure it with an intensive cough medicine regime, then a couple of weeks later it came back, harmless sounding, but has been another 3 weeks now.

I'll book her in to check on the cough and ask about the breathing. The reason I looked this up on the internet was because she was doing it in front of the tv this evening, and when I asked her about it, and asked was she ok, etc, she looked at me a long while, thinking and looking sad. Then she cried a little bit and said she couldn't breathe properly. Hm, I could clearly see she didn't really have a problem getting air, she just seemed to be holding her breath for a few seconds before the typical tiny exhaling "poff" so many of you describe. It seemed to me she might have been playing for attention (she's got rather "jealous of her older brother being sick today, he was allowed as much lemonade as he liked and she "only" had 3 glasses! Even though HE missed out on a huge cake party she got to go to). Being tired, it was quite easy for her to turn on the tap, whether innocently or slightly crocodiley... but just in case I'd better get her checked out.

I'm glad so many of you have written in about this, thankyou!
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Our son is now 18 months old and we noticed this same pattern of holding this breath while highly engaged for between 10-15 seconds since he was about six months.  However, it has gotten more pronounced these days. He does have environmental allergies and sinus problems.  He seems to only do this while in highly engaged and in deep concentration (ipad, tv, reading, out on a bike ride, threading blocks).  Our strategy thus far has consisted only to tell him to breathe and try to breathe with him slowly, in his nose, out his mouth.  We have also discussed this and showed a video of it to his pediatrician who in turn consulted a Johns Hopkins pediatric pulmonologist. Specifically regarding our video, they said, they were not aware of any reason to be alarmed or any conditions that this was associated with. We have never seen him change color, indicating he is not getting enough oxygen, and he does NOT do this while asleep, he breaths "normally" through his nose all other times. I can also usually distract him out of these sessions. Just in case, we have brushed up on our toddler CPR skills.  The clinicians we consulted also pointed out that from reading this blog, it did not sound like this condition caused any consequences. Please let us know if that is not the case. For now, we have it on our radar.
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My son is seven and has held his breath while breathing for years.  I notice it most when he is lying down. Has anyone found anymore info on this?
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my almost 6 year old has been doing this for maybe 2 years. He does it when he is trying to go to sleep or just wakes up, and sometimes while watching tv. It is very annoying and I keep telling him to breathe and stop holding his breath, but he doesn't seem to understand what i'm talking about. I'd really like to know why he does this and how to stop it. Glad to see that he's not the only one that does it!
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my 2 1/2 year old daughter just started doing this too.  I'm not as worried now as I was before I read some of these comments, however I am also seeing that a lot of people are saying that their child has been doing this for years and still does.  Does this mean she will do this forever???? That concerns me.  
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You are lucky if you have such a responsive pediatrician! I don't have any new information, but this is what I can add:  My son is almost 4 and has been doing the same breathing pattern while watching tv for as long as I can remember. He is a calm, mellow kid, with an amazing attention span.  He does, however, have the same gag reflex that some one spoke of.  He can be eating very small amounts of food and "choke". He did this with water and milk as a baby as well. He also has low muscle tone and had physical therapy for several years. He begins occupational therapy next week for fine motor, balance, and proprioception issues related to torticollis as a baby. I will talk with the OT about this. Lots of people talked about allergies...what about ear infections?

I can also add that this seems to be different than a tic, which some one described.  Those are related to OCD and Tourettes and have a compulsive and conscious aspect to them.  My sister and nephews both suffer from these. Kids do grow out of them, but they can resurface in adulthood as OCD.
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My 5 year old does this too... was concerned and spoke to her about it... but she doesn't seem to be in pain or bothered by anything. Just holds her breath and then catches up on it again etc. ...
today she answered with: 'God just made me that way... I'm ok' - what an unexpected answer from a 5 year old.
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Wow!  So many others going through this!  My son has also done this his whole life.  He's almost 7.  I notice it when he's going to sleep (I can tell he's asleep because his breathing changes to normal), or watching tv.  He doesn't notice that he's even doing it.  Very strange.
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My daughter who will is almost 3 also does this and the first time I noticed it I think she had just turned 2 or a little after.  I spoke with her pediatrician about it - she has a heart murmur, but he does not think it is associated with that.  He is going to do an echocardiogram to make sure she has no issues with her heart and if not, he is going to refer us to an ENT.  She is a mouth breather and he said there is a reason she doesn't breath through her nose most of the time, so she may have some ENT issues that could be causing the breathing pattern, which is exactly what everyone else has described: breath, hold hold hold, loud exhale; breath, hold hold hold, loud exhale.  

She does it all day, but mostly while relaxing as everyone has described - while watching TV or intently focused on a book or project she is working on.  My ped asked me to observe her breathing pattern while asleep and I do not believe she does this while asleep, only awake.  At least I haven't heard her stop breathing whenever I have checked on her in the last year or so.  He was concerned about sleep apnea as others have mentioned, but I don't think her breathing stops at night.  She also does not show signs of ADHD or anything like that.  I don't think she has any allergies, but I could be wrong about that.  She does seem to get a runny nose more often that other kids with no other symptoms of cold, so maybe she does and I just don't know about it.

The ped said she has larger tonsils than most and that could be related to her adenoids (adenoids) (see wikipedia definition here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adenoid) and that might have something to do with her mouth breathing and therefore, her breath holding.  Once we go to the ENT, I will post again.  I hope to post nothing about our echo tonight as I do not want it to have anything to do with her heart.  I am so glad I found a thread about this because I was really starting to worry and everyone looked at me like I was crazy when I asked them if their kids ever held their breaths like this!
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My 21 month old son has started this as well, has anyone found out why or has anyones child stopped??? I am worried!
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I would like to hear how your son is doing now. My son does the same exact thing. He has also done this even when he was a baby and we thought he was constipated (he's almost 3 now and its not because of constipation.) He is a stout build and has a little pot belly wondering if caused by this activity?
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My son is 3 and just started doing the same thing. Took him to the pediatrician who said it sounds like a tick but to watch him and if he does it while he sleeps she thinks it might help to go to a pulmonologist or allergist but he doesn't do it all the time just while watching tv or relaxing. When he was younger he had an episode with croup cough and they did a xray of his throat and said that he had a smaller passage than some kids. Also, the pediatrician did say that his tonsils were a bit large but didnt look irritated. He is able to stop and breath when I point it out to him and I have just been correcting him when I hear it which seems to help for a few breaths or until he changes what he is doing. I really hope he grows out of it because its annoying and scary that it might affect him longterm with not getting enough oxygen. Glad to read this blog so that I know I am not alone. Hope to hear from others whose kids are older now to see if they grew out of it.
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I just wanted to add to your list.  My 4 year old has been doing this for awhile.  Like others it can be really annoying and I often find myself telling him to just breathe.  He has slight asthma symptoms also, triggered by respiratory infections, but this happens when he is healthy as well.  Finally, he also has shown some ADHD signs which we have not had evaluated, and has other strange habits/tics/coping mechanisms which come and go.  He is a really smart boy who taught himself to read at 3 and this just worries me!
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I dont know but sounds like the problem which my 1.5year old son has. While just going to bed or waking up in the morning he struggles with his breathing. He breathes through the mouth and with no complete breath. Wondering what this might be.. gone to Hospital but no solution.
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Our son is 26 months and has been doing this for probably a year.  He breathes in, holds it a moment, and breathes out; it occurs when relaxed and/or concentrating, and while in bed but before sleep, but not when running or during periods of high activity, and not (usually) while sleeping--except when tossing/turning in his sleep.

He was hospitalized for severe breathing difficulties at 20 months, given a tentative diagnosis of asthma, put on a daily low-dose steroid, and we were sent on our way.  They did look at the "grunting" (as they called it, but it's the same activity as described here), but ascribed the cause to a virally-induced asthma.  Unfortunately, he does it when he's sick, and the asthma medicines (e.g., albuterol) don't seem to do anything, except possibly make the breath-pausing more pronounced.

It's scary, and we're worried for him, frequently.  Good to know that we're not alone.  I wish we had an answer, though.


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help: my 5 year girl has be doing this since she was 2.5 years old,. and as some of you all have said above, yes it is very annoying but we all must remember they can’t help it,. But I found out, if they are told to listen to their breathing, and to breath it will stop, but for only around 2 mins,....
has anyone got a longer lasting solution as im worried as she’s getting older and other kids are noticing and making comments
a concerning dad
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My son I noticed has been doing this for a couple of months now, right now he is sick and doing it more often, it is very worrisome for me especially when I have to figure out when to use his nebulizer treatment.  

He just sits there and holds his breath and shortly lets it out and then holds it and then lets it out.  Drives me noodless.  But when he is hard at play you dont notice it and when he is sleeping you doing notice it, just when he is in concentration or when he is watching TV.

So long story short, it is very hard to decide whether to use the neulizer treatment or not!!!  I asked his physician but she says it is normal, just doesnt feel like that to me, she also said it is okay to use if he coughs or is wheezy or congested or if his upper lip turns blue... Well I for one dont want to wait for the blue lip that is down righ scarey. But I am very worried watching him right now doing this breathing thing.
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My son does this too. He is 16 months n he's been doing it since he was 8 months. Its weird he has had a febrel seizure so when he does this it scares me. He does it mainly while watching TV n he does it when drs are trying to here his breathing or heart. I don't understand it. I guess I will ask the Dr about it next week when we go. I'm glad I'm not the only mother wondering!
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I do it... I'm 25 year old. I never noticed it until recently my Mom told me.
Any Idea ? What to do...
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My 2.5 year old son also does this, it started off just relaxing in bed before he fell asleep but not while sleeping. 6 months later he does it while relaxing, reading watching tv ect. He had reflux as a baby and bronciolitis twice. He also has eczema, no signs of any ADHD although my husband has it. His Dr put it down to a form of sleep apnea but I don't feel this is the case.
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My son is 30 months and I have noticed he doing this( breath hold breath) after he had febrile Seizure...it makes me worry...
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My son is 30 months and I have noticed he doing this( breath hold breath) after he had febrile Seizure...it makes me worry...
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Request a sleep test from your Dr.  My son was doing this (he has since outgrown it fortunately) and our Dr sent us home with a small machine, easy to use, that monitored him through the night.  The results are analyzed by a sleep clinic.  This will rule out or confirm sleep apnea, and the test is non invasive.

Also consider allergies.  Even mild household ones can stuff up that little nose and make it seem like they aren't breathing for a second or two.

If you don't feel your Dr is accurate, never hesitate to seek a second opinion.
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Did anyone discover why?! my 2yo is doing this now, only I've just noticed it as he was in hospital last week for 2 days with pneumonia and ever since i watch him breathe all the time..i can't say if its something he did before because he only has tv on when im trying to do housework but now its like its all the time except when he's sleeping and concerned he hasn't recovered fully from his chest infection.. booking doctor appointment either way just wondered if anyone discovered anything since...
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Did anyone discover why?! my 2yo is doing this now, only I've just noticed it as he was in hospital last week for 2 days with pneumonia and ever since i watch him breathe all the time..i can't say if its something he did before because he only has tv on when im trying to do housework but now its like its all the time except when he's sleeping and concerned he hasn't recovered fully from his chest infection.. booking doctor appointment either way just wondered if anyone discovered anything since...
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My son who is the same age does the same thing!! Also during the same rest activities. I took him to the Dr, both his Pediatrician and ENT who had never seen it before and had no idea why he is doing it. I really couldn't believe that neither one of them had ever seen, heard, or read about a child doing this!

Needless to say, I have no answers still. Both Doctors told me not to worry unless he is holding his breath turning blue and passing out. I totally feel your pain, I am in the same boat!

I was thinking for my son maybe it was gastro-intestinal. He has had mild problems with pooping since he was born. Since when he holds his breath is sounds like he is "pushing" I was just thinking last night as I was watching him do this breathing that maybe I would ask for a referral to a gastroenterologist to check out his insides. Does your son poop consistently every day?
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Cuppa, Im glad you mentioned the constant coughing.  My 4yo daughter has it and aslo has breath holding when relaxing.  In regards to coughing, she has had some constant coughing these past few months.  I couldnt figure out the problem.  On 2 occasions, the coughing escalated so much that she couldnt stop and I had to rush her to the ER because she was close to not being able to get air in.  Eventually the fit passed but it was very scary.  In hindsight, she had done this before, but I had writtien it off as a cold, even though she wasnt sick otherwise most the time.  It sounded like a "fake" cough.  Sometimes she had a cold and brought mucus up, but mostly it sounded like a cough someone would do who didnt need to cough, very dry.... After seeing various doctors, we think its some thing called "cough variant asthma".  Thats basically when she has asthma but without the noticeable wheezing.  Its just asthma that comes in the form of a constant cough.  She was coughing once every 5 seconds and the nurses told me to bring her into ER right away.  Sometimes it was constant fits.  It can be very dangerous, just like any asthma.  I never would have guessed this was asthma though.   I am learning that once it starts, it is hard to control and scary.  So I am trying to figure out the "triggers" and try to prevent them, so the coughing doesnt start again.
I'm sorry to say it, but I think people should know.  There have been some news reports lately that children here in Atlanta this winter 2012/2013 season have had dry coughing fits and been taken to ER and did not survive.  The news indicated that the parents did not think anything was wrong until the coughing became so bad and they were having trouble breathing.  I have tried to research this everywhere and cant find any other
info.  A few weeks ago, my daughters coughing fit happened in the doctors office, and she later told me she had never seen anything like it.   It was scary and the doctor couldnt help (it was a regular office, not hospital).  The doctor thought something was caught in her airway, but of course there wasnt.  She tested negative for pertussis.  
She also does this breath holding thing right before sleeping and when relaxing.  She lets out this very restrained slow (sometimes with an annoying noise) exhale.  Her body is naturally telling her to do it, and I think the breath holding is not the problem, but whatever else is going on in her body ( and is causing the breath holding) is the problem.  Her breath holding seems to be a way to try to relax herself so she can sleep and although its annoying and a little scary, it seems to help her.  I'm trying to find the cause of the problem.  THERE IS A REASON SO MANY OF US ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE BREATH HOLDING, AND IM AFRAID FIXING THE BREATH HOLDING WILL NOT SOLVE WHATEVER THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM IS.  

She had a good on time birth, is good on all developmental stuff, I think borderline adhd/very active, possibly OCD (not sure).  She has GERD .  I cant believe so many people are writing about this breath holding and the doctors dont have answers yet.  I dont know if she has allergies - it does seem like it.  Out of desperation, I have taken her to an integrated health MD as well as numerous other doctors (to find out why she is coughing).  I did not want to pay for the cellular tests to see her intolerances yet, but the doctor says she has symptoms showing she could have a dairy intolerance.  We are cutting down dairy to see.  As I understnad, those with this intolerance get lots of mucus in thier body when eating dairy.

My theory is that the mucus (if she has it) is causing a post nasal drip (there's lots of swallowing right before sleep).  I dont know if the mucus is there due to allergy from pollens, milk intolerance, other food intolerance or what.  She does not have a cold.  She has a very slight sniffle though.  It causes her not to be comfortable before sleeping.  Then  she does the breath holding to try to settle herself down.  It works and she eventually goes to sleep.  

Thank you all for writing.  Please let us know if anyone finds out why this breath holding is happening.. thanks!
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I almost lost it on a doctor who told me not to worry about it unless her face or lips were blue!  I have acutally had about 4 health professionals ask this.  When I said no, they said its not serious.  Our health system is going down the tubes.  This is a health system issue, not a political one for me.  It has been this way for too long.  
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My 4yo daughter does this...she holds her breath and then does a slow exhale, sometimes with a wierd sound.  she does it right before sleeping or when watching tv, when totally relaxed.  In searching I found the info below which may be helpful.  The chemical changes that happen within the body may provide clues on why the kids are doing this:


How does taking a deep breath, holding it and exhaling it slowly help the body and also relieve stress? Why?

It can invoke a relaxation response
By breathing more slowly and more deeply, you're affecting your blood's chemistry. Every time you take a breath, you're pulling in oxygen into your lungs which then goes into your bloodstream. When you exhale, you're taking carbon dioxide out of your bloodstream and body. By changing the rate of your breathing, you're changing your the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood. Note this:

Deep intensive breathing (hyperventilation) leads to lack of carbon dioxide and thus to so called respiratory alkalosis (high pH), whereas moderate breathing suppression (hypo-ventilation) induces slightly excessive level of CO 2 (hyper-capnia) leading to respiratory acidosis (low pH).
http://www.dietandbody.com/article1188.html

It appears that increasing your carbon dioxide levels and lowering your pH induces what's called a "relaxation response" in the body. Deep breathing is the first part of mediation, which has this effect:

...heartbeat and respiration slow, the body's rate of oxygen consumption drops steeply, and blood lactate levels, which some researchers believe are linked to panic attacks, decline markedly. Blood pressure stabilizes in healthy people and drops in people with hypertension.
http://www.jaxtrainer.com/breath.html

Basically, as I understand it, you're fooling your body into thinking that you're in a low stress situation by doing this kind of deep breathing. When you're naturally in a stressful situation, you breathe more quickly. But when you are naturally relaxed, you breathe more slowly. By doing this kind of deep breathing, you are artificially changing your blood chemistry and triggering something in your brain which tells it "everything is okay now." The reacts with a relaxation response and sends out all sorts of signals to the rest of the body which then releases endorphins which then relaxes the body. So deep breathing is a way of tricking your brain into relaxing the rest of your body.

I hope that makes sense.
Sources: http://www.jaxtrainer.com/breath.html


http://askville.amazon.com/taking-deep-breath-holding-exhaling-slowly-help-body-relieve-stress/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=2415327
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Is your child still doing this breathing? and was it inhale... pause for about two seconds then deep exhale? My son does this... sometimes he even exhales through his mouth... I have wondering about asthma but there are no test for his age, they only go by signs and symptoms. He has had many respiratory problems but no wheezing. I took him to an ENT and he gave us a nasal steroid.... hope this helps!
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Is your chld still doing this? My son inhales... pause for about 2 seconds then exhales I have been to so many drs.... and have a sleep study set up in about a month...
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I know I'm late with this post.   I'm just curious if any of you have noticed periodic 'blue lips'  after you notice your child breathing like this?  My middle son has done this grunting breath holding thing since an infant.  Always seemed to do it when putting himself to sleep, so I viewed it as a coping/soothing mechanism.  However, in the last 1.5 yrs I've noticed periodic blue lips---and he's physically cold to the touch.  It really really makes me nervous. I've brought him in over 3 times for it--each time obviously by the time I get there lips are fine and no grunting breath holding.  Also he was extremely anemic from 1 yr - 3 yrs (but a big baby) dr.s don't seem to think the anemia would cause the blue lips, but are really stumped on what's going on.  Doing some additional lap work, and referral for the cardiologist  is in the works.  I'm just relieved to know others have also dealt with the breath holding/grunting outside of tantrums.  I just wish he could explain more to me, I keep asking if it hurts to breath--but he says no.  when I ask what he's doing then he just says I don't know and starts laughing so weird......
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My son is 14 almost 15 now and has done this all of his life.

Reading the comments above I think there are a few different issues, so I will explain my sons the best I can.

The best way I can think to describe this is almost as if he forgets to exhale until it comes out as a load exhale (almost as if he had hickups and was holding his breath). He is not exhaling so much that he recognises it himself, but enough that as stated above can be an annoyance to others. As others have stated, this seems to happen when watching TV etc, in other words when completely relaxed. As my son is older, I do not notice it as much as he spends more time doing his own thing rather than sitting with me 24/7. At the moment the kids are off school for the Easter Break. Consequently he is allowed to stay up later at night and is sat with myself and my wife watching TV until later than he would normally.

I must stress that aside from the annoyance that this causes to those sat close to my son, it has never caused a problem.

If you are worried about your child I would suggest taking them to you doctor. But as my child is quite old compared with some posting here and it has never been anything other than delayed exhalation I would not make myself Ill with worrying.

To add a little extra information. My son does suffer with hay fever and has needed an inhaler at stages of his life. Also although he is very intelligent he does have problems putting his thoughts down on paper. Even though he has been tested, he has never been diagnosed is dyslexic.

I suppose the reason I have posted here is to try and reassure some parents that so far there have been no Ill effects.
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I wrote in 6 months ago, my son is still doing this but more often. I took him back to the Drs and gave him the iPhone to play so the Dr could observe him doing it. He said its an irregular breathing pattern where he just forgets to breath whenever he is concentrating on something else then his brain kicks in making him exhale. He said he may grow out of it or may do it for life. Also it is no concern to his health. I just wish there was more information on this.
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When i watched my grandson i noticed him doing the same thing. we are a close family and always togeather so i would watch him and try to figure it out.Not sue when he stared this but maybe around 4 yrs old! now he is 11 yrs and still does it .I have noticed when he falls asleep he goes back to breathing normal untill he wakes up in the morning. He was playing baseball and football last season and i wondered how he could do this if he was holding his breath off & on so i tested him and had him run around the house,when he came back in he was out of breath alittle from running but was breathing normal again, but whent right back to holding his breath. He has gone to the dr in the past but they couldent find anything wrong when they checked him. He is not a hyper kid so i dont think its ADHD!  but his mom is going to take him to another dr for their opinion
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Well I am 19 years old and I do the same thing but I also cough really hard  as well.
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My one and a half year old daughter has identical characteristics of breathing , I actually set up an appointment for her to be seen By her pediatrician this Friday. Upon my "google research" there are a lot of potential growth and developmental issue
s that can be caused by this habit. This worries me because even as I type my daughter is watching her Disney movie breathing through her mouth holding her breathe in between. It almost sounds like a small short gasp for air in between her breathing. She appears to not inhale and only sounds like she's exhaling through her mouth. Have you gotten any more insight on this issue with your son? Please let me know thanks.
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Both my sons have done this 3.5 yr old still doing it, 7 year old seems to have grown out of it now).
My eldest has some hyperactivity and there is a lot of history in both sides of our family for both hyper / depressive characters (me included!!)
I think it's just a little kind of 'tic' - a coping mechanism for an abundance of energy without an outlet...?
It should just go of its own accord, although it can be very annoying for some time (my hubby absolutely hates it!!!!)
;)
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i do this in my sleep and i HATE it cause it hurts so bad :( but i cant control my breathing
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Omg that sounds exactly like my 5 year old. Did you eventually find out the cause?
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Avatar_m_tn
Omg that sounds exactly like my 5 year old. Did you eventually find out the cause?
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Avatar_m_tn
My son is 7 and has done this for years. Tonight I was finally at my wits end irritated by it and decided to google. After reading all the above posts a few things come to mind in similarity. My son is a bit over active. Good at school though but sometimes trouble focusing. He has shown some anxiety at times over the past 7 years. His birth was traumatic and he suffered from GERD from 2 months old and was medicated for that for a few years. He also had a misshapen epiglottis (shown to us on a camera down his nose at Children's Hospital) that caused very noisy breathing and snoring up until about age 5. He also had mild sleep apnea as well- I think just a reflexive resting from the snoring... They said he would grow out of it as he got older and he did at about the age they predicted. Perhaps breathing anomalies are just his "thing." He doesn't have asthma but may have some seasonal allergies. He only does it when reading or watching TV shows that he is really concentrating on. He doesn't notice that he is doing it. Anyway, based on what I read I am not all that concerned. He is active but seizes each day with a passion I just don't see in most other children. No way do I want to crush that and his teachers seem to like him so I am not going to worry about ADHD. It has to make concentrating for a long time difficult though so I am going to try a period of nagging him to be mindful of his breathing and see if it gets better or worse- will try to post about that. I don't want to create anxiety so may drop off if nagging bothers him. He says his breathing is fine and he doesn't have trouble. He can't explain the breath holding and resulting grunting. I also noticed one comment about post nasal drip and swallowing. This is a huge issue for him with colds and could be something to do with ongoing seasonal allergies? Will take him to have those tested but don't really want to medicate that anyway. I also have issues with it and find myself holding my breath and swallowing when it gets bad. He has had tons of invasive checking of his sinus passages at Children's hospital between ages 2 and 4 and nothing was wrong there... He plays soccer and floor hockey 4 times a week and thrives on the exercise so doesn't appear to be something that really affects air or oxygen intake. Anyway, good luck to all! Glad to have company. After reading the above I will just try not to let it bug me as much and try to help him be mindful of his breathing while reading and doing quiet work.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi!  I posted here two years ago and googled it again, and I'm back!  My son is now 9 and still doing this.  Right next to me now and it drives me nuts that I can't explain it to him.... he doesn't understand that his breathing is different.  It's when he reads and watches TV, relaxed.  Holds his breath, big exhale, and repeats.   He still has signs of some OCD but not as much.  He is in the gifted program at school... was tested and has a very high IQ.  Not sure if it's some sort of mental thing.  Reads a lot.  To the person who's doctor had a sleep study done... thank you.  That is very interesting.  I wonder if he is doing it in his sleep and has sleep apnea, or will be more likely to have sleep apnea when he is older.  My brother has sleep apnea and sleeps with a machine at night.  I will try and check on him during the night and see if he does it while he sleeps.
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