March 14, 2007

Don't Hold Your Breath, Kid

So we've noticed lately, maybe for a few months now, the kid holds her breath a lot. Then she gasps/breathes kind of loudly.

It's the same breathing pattern you hear while pounding a sippy cup, maybe with slightly shorter intervals.

She never does it while she's running around, or active in any way; it only happens when she's passive: watching TV or listening to a story.

When we ask her about it, she seems to have no idea, and she never says she has trouble breathing, or that her nose is stuffed up or anything.

Anyone heard of/seen this kind of thing? Frankly, I can't imagine how or if there's anything to do; and is focusing on it just turn into a mindgame, like asking your golf buddy if he breathes in or out on his stroke?


I think she's just doing it because she's discovered that she can...and it's sort of fun and interesting. I wouldn't call too much attention to it 'cause otherwise she might start doing it all the time. The classic "breath holder" is a kid who doesn't when he's really upset--sometimes even making himself faint! So, personally, I think its something you just ignore, lest you give any ideas (though I don't think the breath holders do it on purpose)...

Maybe she holds her breath because of the drama and the tension of wondering whether or not Dora and Boots will make it to Ice Cream Mountain.

[if she ever watches Dora, I will hold my breath until I pass out. Diego's slipped in a couple of times when we've had to watch Blues Clues. I'm not sure she makes the connection, though -ed.]

My daughter (2) does a weird breathing thing like that too, and usually while watching tv (though not every time she watches tv, just sometimes). Or at least, that's when I notice it. I hadn't specifically noticed that she's holding her breath, but I do hear the gasping/loud breath noise. It tends to be pretty rhythmic, too. I'll watch more closely now. I haven't said anything about it to her for fear of ingraining it as a habit. Her more annoying (to mommy) habit is grinding her teeth while reading books or playing (not sleeping). The doctor says not to worry, but the sounds just grates on me. Thankfully it's sporadic. Any advice on how I can ignore the sound?!?

I agree that she's probably doing it because she can. My three-year old has just discovered throat-clearing and she sounds like she's got post-nasal drip (which she doesn't have).

To me it doesn't sound like a mindgame type of thing. I think it's pretty clear when kids that age are doing things to bug you. That sounds more like she is either 1) being over-stimulated by the TV or 2) being caught up in the story. Little kids don't breathe as rhythmically as adults anyway.

As an adult I have a tendency to hold my breath while concentrating on things. So it might just be that. Somewhat akin to the kids who open and shut their mouths while cutting with scissors.

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