Parenting Toddlers (1-5) Community
3.36k Members
1219510 tn?1266713553

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??
107 Responses
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.  
Avatar universal
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...
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.
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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?

Avatar universal
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, I stop doing that, and without thinking I can take full complete breaths without holding them, or feeling the need to.
Avatar universal
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
Avatar universal
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!!
Avatar universal
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
Avatar universal
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?
my 2 1/2 yr old daughter does the exact same thing !! while watching t.v or right before going to sleep or reading a book, I also think she has ADHD as both my husband and I have it, i just don't ever remember doing this breathing stuff.
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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?
Have an Answer?
Top Parenting Answerers
13167 tn?1327197724
Austin, TX
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Fearing autism, many parents aren't vaccinating their kids. Can doctors reverse this dangerous trend?
Learn which over-the-counter medicines are safe for you and your baby
Yummy eats that will keep your child healthy and happy
6 essential foods for new moms (and their newborns!)
What to expect in your growing baby
Learn which foods aren't safe to eat when you're eating for two.