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Avatar universal

4 month Old Breathing Spasms after Crying

My 4 and a half month old daughter also has what look like breathing spasms that only occur after she has been crying. To date these episodes happened at two months after crying for some time while I was bathing, and at 4 months old after her scheduled immunization shots and once again after she had woken up frightened and found she was alone. Each time it happens she has been very upset and has been crying for a long time. What happens is she ***** her breathe for a few seconds with a panic look on her face (almost like a spasm) and then would exhale. When it occurs she will continue to do this every few minutes even after she'd calmed down. This 'episode' continues for about 6-7 hours, even during her sleep. She wouldn't cry afterwards, but she'd wake up for the couple of seconds that she's gasping. Then the next morning she's 100% fine.

It seems to be directly related to the crying and/or being extremely upset and been crying loudly for 5 minutes or more. And it usually follows when she'd been crying hard from pain (immunization) or is frightened . She is now 4 and a half months old and had done this a few more times after being extremely upset.

We are going in for an EEG this morning and are considering an MRI just as a precautionary. Her doctor suggests it is probably nothing to worry about and that she will probably grow out of it.


Can anyone share their insights? Has anyone else had this experience?

Can crying in an infant cause spasms such as this that last for hours (8 or more)?
12 Responses
535822 tn?1443976780
Here is a link may help you   www.aboutkidshealth.ca/.../pages/infantile-spasms.aspx   I think tests are a good thing as at least it will put your mind at rest .I have seen a little of this where an older baby would hold her breath, she did grow out of it its very scary when it happens ..Others here may have input for you .good luck let us know what the outcome of the tests are ..
Avatar universal
Good luck at your appointment today! The neurologist knows best, and he will probably tell you it's breath-holding, but I've never heard of it lasting for several hours. Poor bug.

Hopefully you will have good news and answers today, but if you continue to be concerned about it, my best advice is to video tape some of the episodes. My daughter, at 6 months, was rolling her eyes down into her head. I didn't think nothing of it, until it kept happening. I knew in my heart it wasn't a seizure, so I videotaped it (because my experiences with my oldest child taught me that doctors can't argue with pictures/videos).....anyway, we had an EEG and MRI done and saw a neurologist. He was able to watch the video and diagnose my child with a benign movement disorder, which she eventually outgrew. Just a motherly tip for the future :) Good luck!
Avatar universal
Oh, also, the neurologist will probably also tell you that her nervous system is still immature, and that babies do all sorts of weird things with their bodies because they just can't help it :)
Avatar universal
Thank you for the feedback and the support! The EEG results came back normal, thankfully. As much as I want to understand what it is that it causing this I hope with eveything that it is not serious. We will be doing the MRI tomorrow. Her paed has also advised that we make a video of the episodes so I will definately give that a shot! He is reluctant to throw caution to the wind hence all the tests but seems to feel it is her body finding and making its way and she will outgrow it but we do not wa
535822 tn?1443976780
That's good news and once the MRI is done you will feel a bit better , I am sure she will grow out of it, try not to become alarmed when it happens so she sees  you are worried,  it can feed on itself ,even at this young age baby's are aware when Mom is upset .There are many stories online if you do some research of similar it seems it happens a lot .I have seen it and it does scare you .so I sympathize .let us know how she is doing . The video sounds like a good idea .
Avatar universal
This happened to my daughter this too. I wrote a post about this a year and a half ago. It started at 4 months after her immunization shots. It usually happens after she's frightened or really upset. We had an eeg and mri done. Both came out normal.  She did have an episode during the eeg as she was scared and then gain when she went for her mri because of the medical staff she didnt know all around her. She is now just over 2 and the last time she had an episode was just shortly after she turned 2 when she got scared over a door slam that startled her. It didnt last as long as it used to though. We learned to manage it a bit more now. we try to keep her upright during the episode and always try to calm her down right away. I think it gets better as they get older and less afraid of things. I know i was really worried in the beginning and did internet research like crazy. But all her test are normal and she's healthy and doesnt get frightened as easily anymore.  

I hope this gives you piece of mind. Im hoping ny daughter outgrows it completely, but it's been 5 months of episode free.
555858 tn?1331988381
Hi, this exact same thing happened to two of our sons when they were infants. Both have outgrown it. This subject has been discussed in other posts on here, and I think you'd really find the information helpful.

Apparently, it seems that none of us are able to get a diagnosis for this, but there are theories out there. Some call it "apnea of breathing" and others have wondered if it might be "laryngospasm." But the good news is it does not seem to be life-threatening and most are growing out of it.

You might look into allergies as a possible underlying problem. Crying might only be the "trigger" for the spams.

Here are some of the other posts

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Respiratory-Disorders/Breathing-Spasms-If-I-Cry/show/616172

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Respiratory-Disorders/10-month-old-breathing-issue/show/411474#post_6950451

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Respiratory-Disorders/Periodic-Breathing-Spasms-in-Young-Infant/show/577913

Write me again if I can help,
Anne
535822 tn?1443976780
great post paxitrader thanks for the information I am sure it will help these moms find some answers.I  feel that allergies have a connection and possibly immunization  what was the result of the MRI
555858 tn?1331988381
Margy,

I couldn't agree with you more! This is the second time now I've seen a mother post that an infant was having these breathing spasms/hiccups after immunization.

The more and more I study and read about this, and examine the symptoms of my 2 boys, the more it points to an ALLERGY connection. Unfortunately, this is something doctors keep overlooking in every case. They are doing MRI, EKG's, checking oxygen levels, running blood tests, etc. None of these will uncover a hidden allergy or sensitivity.

I urge all of you mothers and fathers to thoroughly research possible allergies in your child if they are having these involuntary spasms/hiccups in their breathing. In our case, it appears that milk protein allergy was to blame.

In both of our boys the spasms went away at the same time the milk protein allergy was outgrown. Not a coincidence!

Warm regards,
Anne
535822 tn?1443976780
Thank you Anne ..and to all parents when you get the babies immunized, vaccinated ask ... nay, demand that they are given singly not multiples, they may not want to but there is evidence now that multiples may cause seizures, .be aware and be pro active .this is your child not theirs ,.
Avatar universal
My son has been having breathing spasms after a hard cry sincechecwas 6-weeks old. He is now 15 weeks and still having these episodes.
Last night he woke up and couldn't get back to sleep so he started screaming which then led to a breathing spasm. At times, on the inhale, he stops breathing. It's completely involuntary and he has no control. His spasm started at 3am and is still happening now at 11:30am!!!!!
He was admitted to the hospital for 48hrs of observation only to be released after a negative EEG. No conclusion was found and no advice was given. I am taking my son to the hospital again to be checked. 9 hrs if breathing spasms is NOT NORMAL. There must be some doctor out there that can offer some insight.

I videoed my son's spasms but never recorded his paused breathing spell (too reactive at the time). Please let me know if you have any further insight.

Sincerely,
ScardMOM
535822 tn?1443976780
am wondering about asthma has he any other symptoms,cough , it maybe a good idea to distract him if he seems to be getting out of control with his crying.   Apnea, a sudden stop in breathing, is a sign of neonatal seizures, according to AboutKidsHealth. The Lucile Packard Children's Hospital notes that breathing problems may occur along with obviously interrupted breathing in children and babies alike.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/214362-common-seizure-symptoms-in-babies/#ixzz2Ht5zIQXF
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