13 Month Old Has Episodes of Rapid Breathing During Sleep

Updated on April 19, 2010
J.H. asks from Manahawkin, NJ
8 answers

I'm not sure how to describe this, but sometimes (maybe twice a week) I wake up at around 4am to sounds of my 13 month old son sounding like he is hyperventilating although his he is sound asleep. He even starts to suck his thumb. It almsot is like when kids get really upset and they begin sobbing you know? But he is sound asleep, I pick him up and rock him for about 5 minutes and he is fine. Has anyone ever experienced this. I thought it might be night terrors, but he is to young and it happens at 4am. He is otherwise normal healthy happy little boy. He has no problems breathing during the day, the doctor checked his lungs and said he was perfect. Should I maybe record the sound and bring it to the doctor? Weird huh? Thanks.

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answers from New York on

Hi J., Yes I would bring this to the doctor's attention. I will pray there is an explanation and I will also pray for you to find a job. Grandma Mary


answers from New York on

I was just wondering if you ever found out the cause of your sons breathing issue. My daughter does the same thing. I have recorded her and brought it to several doctors. They all say she's fine. But, I still get nervous when she does it. I would just like to have an explanation of why she does it. Please let me know if your son still does it and if you've ever found out why it happens. Thanks.


answers from New York on

He's dreaming and will be fine. Heavy breathing is a result of REM sleep. Sleep apnea is when the person STOPS breathing and then starts again with a gasp. It is causes by a little flap in the back of the throat that is too soft.



answers from Jamestown on

Elevate his mattress.




answers from New York on

Just a thought.

he could have sleep apnea. My friends daughter who is 9 months old just got diagnosed with it. She described it the same way you did. She went to pediatrican and they said to go to the hospital's sleep clinic. they hooked her up to breathing monitors and had them both sleep there. So they could record her breathing throughout the night. turns out she has it = everyone was shocked cause it's not common in little kids.



answers from New York on

Hi J.,
Has your doctor considered sleep apnea? My husband has a sever case of it (surgery didn't work) and our doctor mentioned it was hereditary. Our 1 yr old daughter has heavy breathing episodes at night too (only at night) but so far nothing like the hyperventilating noise you describe.
Just a thought..not to freak you out but I'd ask your doctor to at least consider it. Taping the sounds would help. The only way they can truly diagnose sleep apnea is through sleep study and your son is too young for that.


answers from New York on

Hi J.:

He may be re-experiencing a trauma from this or a previous life. Right before he goes to sleep and while he's sleeping assure him that he is safe and has the support he needs to deal with anything! Also, research Flower Essences, they help with emotional upsets and are gentle and safe for babies. Also consider consulting with a qualified healthcare practitioner.

All the best,
Holistic Healthcare Practitioner



answers from New York on

sorry to hear of your issue...glad to hear that you have had it checked with the dr...it does sound pretty normal and a part of the sleep cycle and it might be happening more then you realize...my son had something close to what you are saying..just keep an eye on him, if it gets worse mention it to the dr again, that what they are there for!!..:)

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