Is it normal for babies to stop breathing for a few seconds?
Your baby may have breathing that pauses for up to 10 seconds at a time. This is called periodic breathing. There may be several such pauses close together, followed by a series of rapid, shallow breaths. This irregular breathing pattern is common in premature babies in the first few weeks of life.
Why would a baby suddenly stop breathing?
Breath-holding is when a baby or child stops breathing for up to 1 minute and may faint. It can happen when a child is frightened, upset, angry, or has a sudden shock or pain. It’s usually harmless but can be scary for parents, particularly when it happens for the first time.
Do babies forget breathing?
The brain has a special area, called the respiratory center, which tells the lungs to take a breath on a regular basis. If this area is not mature, the baby may forget to breathe. About 45 percent of babies weighing less than 5 ½ pounds will have at least some apnea.
How long can a baby stop breathing before brain damage?
After 3 minutes of oxygen deprivation, the brain is likely to experience serious damage. After 10 minutes of lack of oxygen, brain damage is imminent, and death of many brain cells and poorer recovery prognoses will result. After 15 minutes, brain damage is permanent and there is little possibility for recovery.
What does abnormal breathing look like in babies?
Labored breathing. You may notice your baby’s belly moving more than normal while breathing, and their nostrils may flare. Panting or heavy breathing during normal activities that usually don’t get your baby winded. Wheezing, which may sound like whistling.
Why do babies have breath-holding spells?
Breath-holding spells are brief periods when young children stop breathing for up to 1 minute. These spells often cause a child to pass out (lose consciousness). Breath-holding spells usually occur when a young child is angry, frustrated, in pain, or afraid. But the spell is a reflex.
What to do if you find your baby not breathing?
If the infant is not breathing:
- Cover the infant’s mouth and nose tightly with your mouth.
- Alternatively, cover just the nose. Hold the mouth shut.
- Keep the chin lifted and head tilted.
- Give 2 breaths. Each breath should take about a second and make the chest rise.
Can you tell if a newborn has brain damage?
An infant may also display certain behavioral symptoms of brain damage like excessive crying, unusual irritability or fussiness, difficulty sleeping or eating, and other signs of general discomfort that have no other explanation.