47 answers

Gasping for Air, Strange Noise from 2.5 Month Old When Breathing

My daughter is now 2.5 month old on Fri. I have had her at the peds 4 times now. For wellness visits,other things. I always have asked the same question. When she breaths Not always, but often, she makes a really stange noise. I cannot explain it, it sounds like ei. if you were to open you mouth and take a deep breath in you throat like if you were "scared" Sound, Like if you were gasping for air. My Ped has completly just brushed it off, has stated oh "she will grow out of that", however my last visit I was feeding her and when I removed the bottle she made that noise. She does it when she seems to go into a trance like state, and I have heard her do it in he sleep. But at this visit the Dr said to me Oh my!.. What was that ? (Meaning the noise), as if it was alaming to her. I said that is the noise I always ask you about every visit, then it was kinda brushed off again. Now we have changed her formula 3 times,due to throwing up, poopy problems,ect. Now the Dr tells me that is is why she is throwing up as well because her windpipe is not developed fully and it collapses during sleep or whenever, but it sounds like she is Gasping for air. Now it has lessened in the last 2 months but I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this with their baby or if I am just being paranoid.I am due to go back to work shortly so I am worried about this, especially leaving her with a sitter.I am thinking about just getting a second opinion from a different ped tomorrow. Sorry this has been so Long I have been worrying about this for 10 weeks almost, and after the dr acting weird at the lat appt I am wondering if it is something that I should worry about, or if it is normal and she will grow out of it.If you have any suggestions please let me know your opinion

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I have 4 children and the only time i ever heard trouble was when one had RSV. In my opinion i do not think it is ever normal for them to struggle. Please do get a second opinion.

PLEASE take the baby to another DR. and get a second opinion- DON'T leave unil you get definite answers ex. test ran or someone watching her behavior while she sleeps.

I would get a second opinion or switch pediatricians. Something that they are brushing off may be something serious.

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I have a 6 week old daughter who does the exact same thing. I too have menitoned it to my pediatrician and he just brushed it off as well. It is very scary when it happens. My daughter does it mostly while feeding but has done it a few times when she wasnt feeding. When feeding, it almost seens like she is forgetting to breath. She will suddenly gasp and make the noise you described above, eyes will water up, sometimes she even screams, atches her back and it usually is able to catch her breath pretty quickly. But being a first time Mom this is very alarming to me.

Hi, I have no personal experience with this, but a mommy-blogger I love seems to be going through a similar problem.

Check out this post and see if it helps.

Good Luck!

I do not know how your insurance works. However you might want to try an ENT or Allergy and Asthma specialist that deal with infants. Maybe at least they can give you a better insight as to what is going on.
If you need recomendations feel free to contact me at ____@____.com

Take your daughter to an ENT doctor, That's an ear, nose and throat specialist..

My son had the exact same thing and trust me it is nothing to worry about. My pediatrician explanined it as the throat & neck muscles constrict because of the immuturity and as he would get older he would grow out of it. To be honest it passed as he got older and I just stopped worrying about it. I would notice it the most with him if he got excited or there was some sort of excitement going in but it did worry me and the doctor told me there was no need to worry as his lungs and breathing sounded fine when he was checked. If it was something more serious the pediatrician said you would hear it all the time not at just certain times. My fears I think were because I have another child who is 7 and my son is 10-1/2 months now so it seemed so long ago since I have been through the infant years and I was more paranoid but he is healthy and no troubles whatsoever. Best of luck!

Hi T.,

I would ask your pediatrian to recommend a specialist to rule out sleep apnea. My husband has that and he will stop breathing in his sleep. He makes a noise that is like one big snore which wakes him and myself up. We went and got him sleep tested and now he has a machine he uses at night which helps him breath. I don't want to alarm you but a good friend's nephew has been diagnosed with this as well. I know how it can be trying to deal with a concern when you feel as the Dr. is blowing it off. I had the opposite issue last year with our pediatrician when he thought that my daughter wasn't gaining enough weight but as hard as it was I went with my feeling that I knew she was eating and that she was fine and now she is on the right track. Go with your instinct and if you think it is something to be concerned with then don't stop until you get a satisfactory answer. Also as a temporary way to handle this so that you can get the rest you need, there is a baby monitor that you can get that has a pad that goes under the crib sheet and that will monitor the baby's breathing. It will sound an alarm if it doesn't feel movement from the baby. It is sensitive enough to feel the movement of the baby breathing. I got mine at Walmart. If you need to talk to me please send me an email. Keep going with your instinct and remember no matter what you know what is best for your baby.


It sounds like her windpipe area may be flapping. Some babies upper airway are very loose till after a year. I personally would take her to a Pediatric ENT. CHOP has very good ENT and you don't need to drive all the way to Philadelphia you can request an appointment out of their King of Prussia site.
To make an appointment you can can call their main number at ###-###-#### or King of Prussia number at ###-###-####.

Also I would to her to a Pediatric Gastro doctor if she is refluxing. There is an excellent doctor out of Lehigh Valley Hospital - Dr. Gupta ###-###-####. She might need RX for reflux.

Do you notice any fast breathing? Or primarily the noise and reflux?

definately get a second opinion. Too many times we trust the doctors and not our own motherly instincts. If it sounds scary to you or not normal, get some other opinions. Trust your instinct and you know your kid best!!! Better be safe than sorry. you'd feel better two. It can't hurt to get another opinion. I'm switching Peds. for my 9 month old because she was so conjested and having a hard time breathing and she blew it off saying she was fine. well this other dr. checked her out and put her on ear meds., broncial meds. and conjestion meds. Along with breathing treatments and saline drops. so I would get recomondations for another ped. from friends and family and get that second opinion.

I can relate and sympathize- my daughter didn't make a noise per se, but she had a lot of gagging/breathing problems up until just recently (she is now 5 months). She too was on a number of different formulas for reflux issues. I think that if you are that concerned, go to another doc and get another opinion. Sometimes they will brush off Moms and say we are being paranoid- my feeling is maybe we are, but it is our primary responsibility to care for our child so we should get answers when there is a concern.
I will say that now that my daughter is doing better, I think that I may have overreacted to some of her reflux issues. It is scary when they are that age but once you observe that after these breathing incidents she seems fine every time, it may make you feel better. Good luck!

No matter what your concern is, if your doctor is not listening to your question, and not answering it find one that will. Make an appt. with a new doctor to discuss this issue.

Please, please pursue this as far as you can. If it were me I would be sleeping next to her-at least have my bed right next to hers, to make sure she keeps breathing. I don't know if I could sleep. Don't let any doctor just blow it off. I'd keep pestering them. I would hate to think of her having trouble breathing, and then too young to know what to do. And don't be afraid to call 911 if you're that scared.
I feel for you!

so its okay? cuz my baby has been doing it sence she was 1 week and now shes 5 wks and still doing it all the time! im pretty scared i told her dr about it but he says its her wheezing but seems to me as if she cant catch air:/

I can't comment on the gasping issue. But I will comment that it seems like your pediatrician is not answering all of your questions and not making you comfortable. If I was you,I'd shop around for a new ped.

It really is a normal thing for babies. They are learning to breathe outside of the womb. My daughter makes the same noise and she's just fine, and will start her 13th week tomorrow :) She does it less now than when she was younger. I haven't worried about it since she seems to be healthy in every other way...

If this is not your first, tho, and you're truly worried, I would *definitely* get a second opinion and go with your gut. If there is one thing my hubby and I have learned, it's that doctors are oftentimes as much a hindrance as they are a help, and that you shouldn't just blindly trust their advice.

Hi T.! We had the same exact thing.

The muscles that hold the baby's esophogus open were not fully developed at birth. You should notice that as time goes on, it should seem to lessen. The muscles should strengthen by themselves.

My ped sent us for x-rays and to an Ear, nose, throat doctor at about 2 1/2 months so that we could make sure that it was nothing serious. (Or maybe to make me stop calling her office and leaving messages "The baby madet that noise again!")

Feel free to email me if you want more details - my little gasp-er stopped her noises at about 3 1/2 months, she is now 6 and healthy as can be, but it was SO SCARY!

Also, I would get a referral to an ENT before you drop your ped. Sometimes they forget (and we do too) that they have seen something like this 5,000 times but you and I are new moms who have never seen a "floppy esophogus" (that is what it is called). Personally, I encountered this "brush off" with my ob/gyn, and mentioned to her that I had no idea what she meant, can she slow down and go through a diagnosis again, and she said, "You're right, I'm sorry, I get going thru something and forget I am talking to a patient and not another nurse!".

Good luck, feel free to contact me if you need to chat.
-C. G

Get a new doctor for her, and definitely get the second opinion. Oh my goodness, that's scary!

My daug. is almost 2 and seems to b going thru same thing. What were ur findings? Can u share them w/ me if u get this. Thank u in adance

my daughter is alomst 2 months and she does exactly what ur saying it scares me to the point i dont sleep she does it during the day also

Hi T.,

I would definitely take her for a 2nd opinion - and try to get it to happen while you are in the Dr's office. You don't was someone just blowing it off without checking into it. I use Dr. Scott and Dr. Morganti on Rt 228 in Cranberry. If you decide to go there, ask to see Dr. Morganti. Dr Scott is more the "everything is OK" type Dr and Dr. Morganti is more likely to investigate.

Good luck!

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T. its really hard to say without seeing or hearing it in person. However, I have raised three kids and have a 3 week old grandson. The do make a variety of really weird noises when they are infants and when they go into that semi dream state they do startle alot and make odd sounds. I would get that second opinion if for nothing else but to make you more comfortable. If my pediatrician told me my childs windpipe wasn't fully developed but then offered no advice or direction about that situation, I would worry too. You sound like a great mom and I would go for the second opinion.

I would get a second opinion. It will ease your mind and it can't hurt. You may want to ask to see a specialist.

Hi T.,
I just lost a very long response that I was typing. argh! Here is the gist of it: My sons both made this stridor noise. It was an immature larynx/trachea, not sure which. It's also called laryngomalacia or tracheomalacia. Both outgrew it. My 4 month old was much more severe and has already outgrown it completely. My 3 yo took longer but wasn't nearly as severe. The tests they do for this are fairly invasive so that might be why your doc doesnt' want to take action yet--just hoping she'll outgrow it. In both my sons' cases reflux made things worse. You also mentioned poop and throw up problems. Could she have reflux? Have you brought that up to your doc? Many reflux babies have issues with dairy so maybe a nondairy formula would be better for her. In my case both my sons have/had reflux and strong dairy intollerances along with the "floppy windpipe". I hope this is helpful. Believe me I know how frustrating it is to be blown off. Definitely get a second opinion if you want one! On infantreflux.org there is a message board devoted to respitory probs: http://www.infantreflux.org/forum/forum_topics.asp?FID=7

Get a new pediatritian. If they just brush off the breathing problem that is stupid. I hope everything works out.

my son had the same issue. He's 5 the ent called it laringomylasia. (floppy larynx) It hadn't fully developed or firmed and when he fed he sounded as if he was aspirating. It took many doctors and much persistence on my part to find out what it was. The dr said it would firm with age, and it did. However he never gasped for air like my daughter is doing. the dr feels it may be the same thing. I just recorded the sound last night and plan on taking her tomorrow to see him. It is keeping me up 24/7 and is scaring the daylights out of me.

If it was me I would get a second opinion. It could be a number of things. I would also instist on speaking to a specialist. Trust your instinct. Good luck.

I haven't had any experience with this, but i have read that it happens more often with babies who were born via c-section due to excess mucus. I definately recommend getting a second opinion if for no other reason than to ease your mind. I use All Star Pediatrics in Lionville and they are WONDERFUL! Everyone I know who has children in this area uses them and has had the same experience. If it is worrying you, a second opinion is definately needed.

I agree with most of the others. Get a second opinion. if your instincts are tellign you to get it checked. then you should. I have great pediatrition as well as an allegist for asthma and food allergies. I can give you their info if need be. but you can also ask your insurance or even your own PC who to see.
good luck

Don't be scared. My 3 month old daughter does the same thing. We took her to the ENT doc and they said she has what is called a floppy voice box. It is not painful or causes her any discomfort and she will eventually grow out of it. The only problem with this is that most babies have acid reflux that goes hand in hand with this. Our daughter takes 1.5ML of Pepcid everynight before bed and we have her on Alimentum formula to help to reduce the acid her body produces. Email me if you want to talk more in-depth about this. ____@____.com not to worry, she is OK. ps...we go to Children's in Wexford and see Dr Ottenson. HE's GREAT!


I am so sorry you are having to go through this. My thoughts are that you know your child better than anyone, and you should trust your gut regarding getting a second opinion. I would even try a Children's Hospital of Philadelphia doctor. (Kids First) I think you are not being paranoid-something is telling you things are not right-trust that.Good Luck!

Trust your instincts! You are with your baby all the time and know her better than anyone else.

My son (who is 8 months old) was extremely sick over last winter from viruses and had similar gasping. He has severe asthma and bad acid reflux. He also has tranchomalaysia, which is where the cartilage is soft and not hard (not very uncommon for babies, but when bad enough can cause breathing challenges). They tend to grow out of it, but if you feel like something is wrong, find a doctor who will at least look her over and reassure you if nothing else.

He was having weird issues breathing since he was issue but it wasn't until he got really sick, for us it turned out four times, that we figured out what was going on.

I would say at least get another doctor to look at her. Hopefully it is nothing, but I kept having that nagging feeling and finally the doctors looked more into my son's breathing as we kept having problems. Sorry - have to run, but good luck. Feel free to message me.


My daughter does that sound... I think
It sounds like when a person is swimming under water
And then reaches the surface to grasp air
It sounds familiar to that grasp of air
She does this when she's laying on her bassinet to go to bed
I haven't checked a pedi but I just monitor it
If she's breathing non crying or it's not constant or her skin changes color
I assume it's ok
It's my second child but I don't remember if it's normal

PLEASE take the baby to another DR. and get a second opinion- DON'T leave unil you get definite answers ex. test ran or someone watching her behavior while she sleeps.

This sounds a lot like what my son had. It started a a few weeks after birth, he was not born doing it, and it progressively got worse over time. He seemed to be very noisy when he slept, I slept him on his belly. It also got worse when he was sitting upright and slumped forward. He was diagnosed with laryngomalacia also known as a floppy underdeveloped windpipe. I went to a ENT doctor to follow up on my pediatrician's diagnosis and they did a scope and sure enough that was the case. He did outgrow this problem, I am not positive but I am thinking some time around 6 months, but it almost always gone by a year. It was very scary to hear that noise associated with his breathing. If you are still not convinced that this is what your baby has, I would got to a ENT doctor and have it verified.

My daughter born premature had breathing problems from the time she was born and spent 101 days in the hospial and then came home on oxygen. I remember laying wake at night to see if her chest went up and down. I know Ped's dont always listen especially when they have an agenda to get through the visit. I wouldnt mess around with breathing. I would contact a Pulmunary specialist at Childrens to have her looked at. I would call right away and get your Peds concent first,but appointments are sometimes far out. We would see Dr Murphy
and the number is ###-###-#### ask for Pulmonology Dept and speak with the nurse there are explain your concers and see what she says if you should make an appointment.
I think your concerns are valid and never wait on an issue if you dont have to and speak with someone to alieviate your concerns and if nothings wrong then you took the steps to find out!
Good Luck and God Bless you and your baby

my 2.5 month old daughter breathes the same way, or sometimes she will even sound like she has boogers in her chest...i asked her doctor and he said that "its normal it will go away" but she has been making that noise since she was born.
could it be asma?

HI T. R - Sounds like what you are experiencing and what the Dr was describing is tracheomalacia. My son had that and it is really scary sounding. I am so sorry you are having to go through all the fears but the good thing it is true, she will grow out of it. Here is what we did. After the visit to the pediatrician, we made an appointment with a pulmonologist ( a former coworker of mine). I brought in a video of him breastfeeding (a bit embarassing) because that was when he sounded the worst. He recommended a bronchoscopy be done just to make sure there were no abnormalities in his trachea causing the blockage. This was an outpatient procedure but tough none the lesss because it was my baby! ALl turned out well. He sounded absolutely terrible until when he got colds but never changed color. It was embarassing during those time because people would ask me to take him to the Dr etc. He outgrew it and has no signs of asthma or breathing issues. Now fast forward to baby number 3- same sounds - but mainly during sleep- I worried- told Dr. She said - he will outgrow it - He out grew it before he was 9 months old. He is 14 months and no problems. We didn't do the scope on him since we knew what it was. I hope this helps and you can get some rest. It is so very scary sounding! I am sorry you have to go through it all!
good luck - Feel free to contact me if need be

HI, my name is L. and my son was born with his windpipe not developed he is going to be 6 months on the 23rd of Nov of'09. My husband and I first notice this sound the next day the nurse I had my son and when I was being dis charged to go home with my new born son, I had ask the ped that gave him his first vaccination if the sound he made was normal, and he replied "yes that the baby was getting used to breathing air, the baby only knew how to breath was with the fluid in the womb for 40 weeks so it will take time for him to get used to breathing air. So I felt a little relief with what he said and went home, right? As time passed, the sound became more annoying and my son was about 2 months and a half old my regular ped was not available so I ended up going to the emergency just because I was worried (my family and neighbor and friends made it worse by worrying me), it was a good thing I went. When I got there they took my son right away mainly because he was too young and they worried about swine flu (my son was born in May 0f '09 so you can only imagine) anyway they ask me if anyone in the family suffers from allergies or has a history of asthma, and I said yes my daughter and I do but its seasonal (meaning we would only get it when the pollen in the air was high) but that didn't have nothing to do with my son. It just so happen that he developed bronclitis and needed to be on abuterol and He had to stay in the hospital then they were concern with the noise he made and they wouldn't say anything to me just that they need to do an x-ray and to see his inside. I ended up staying at the hospital for 3 days and the last day they told me the result of the x-ray was that his wind pipe was not developed and that it is called "langromalacia" so that I needed to follow up with my son's ped to be either to be reffered to a specialist or just wait it out. They told me the sound that the baby makes should wear off from about 7 months and on before he turns two but that I should follow up with my doc. Which I did of course he is 6 months now and you would mostly here the noise when he is either excited, or has a little cold even in some certain position but it's funny when I lie him on his tummy to go to sleep he doesn't make the sound go figure. My ped just wants to wait it out first to see if it does go away in time but tht if it doesn't she will refer me to a specialist.. Hope this helps with your question and your not alone..Let me know if anything has changed with your child :)

P.s. I almost forgot.. I breast fed and formula fed my son for about a month and a half (formula was lipil from enfamil) He was very gassy and kept spitting up from his nose and mouth alot then we tried gentle ease formula from enfamil untll finally Alimentum was going well but then he kept spitting up from his nose so she told me to feed him in a sitting up position and to add a small amount of baby cereal to provent him from spitting up and not to let him move from a sitting position for about an hour and a half before putting him todo an excersing activity or putting him to sleep..So far so good..

I have 4 children and the only time i ever heard trouble was when one had RSV. In my opinion i do not think it is ever normal for them to struggle. Please do get a second opinion.

Definately get a second opinion. When she makes this strange noise, how is her color ? Does she ever turn blueish and actually stop breathing ? Does she go pale ?

I'm not a doctor, but I'm guessing that the more info you can give this doc for the 2nd opinion, the better the info you will get back.

Another step ? If your insurance company has a patient advocate program, or a baby hot line or anything like that, where they have nurses on call at the company, you could call them and get some medical advice.

As long as you are worried, I would press for answers. You want to have faith in your doctor, and you want answers to your questions.


I would definitely get a second opinion. We have a friend who has a 16 month old who said their son had something similar and it ended up being a double aortic arch vascular ring where I believe a muscle grows around the esophagus and wind pipe so he had trouble breathing especially when eating. He is due for surgery on Aug 27th to get it repaired. When babies are born they have about 8 muscles from their heart going around the esophagus and wind pipe that eventually mold into 1 or 2. I am not saying this is what your daughter has BUT you should INSIST on getting this checked into further. Always go by your mother's intuition because you are usually right and know better about your own child then the doctor.

Best Wishes, M.

i am having this problem with my son and every doc i go to has blown it off as well he is 1 month old and every thing you have said i am going through now exept he will stop breathing on acashion and i have to move him or wake him up to get him to breath again and this is since he was born i see you posed this in 2008 and it is not 2013 i was wondering how things turned out for you im so scared im going to louse him and i live in a place where there is limited docs and you have to fly to get anywhere and i cant get any one to help me i am desprit please if you get this email me back M. e muse at yahoo with out the spaces

Hello T.,
My son just recently turned two years old and if I've learned anything..its to go with how I'M feeling. Not what others tell me or what they think. You're her mother and you truly know what is best for her because of that-you're connected to her. I'm sure this is something minor, however I would DEFINITELY get a second opinion. Just for her safety and to put your mind at ease. It could be a mild case of asthma that would help her out if you got her on some mild meds (if you're open to that). You sound like you're a very involved and caring mother. Sadly, children die b/c parents go along with whatever the doctor is or isn't concerned about.
Good luck..I"m sure she's just fine, but get her checked out a little more closely.


Dear T.,

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I would get a second opinion or switch pediatricians. Something that they are brushing off may be something serious.

clearly, this is not your first baby? so I say, follow your gut instinct. Doctors are famous for brushing things off like that. I think you should go to a different pediatrician, and make the appt. soley for this reason. See what a different Dr has to say? and the indication that maybe it is her windpipe collapsing? omg! well, doesn't that mean that her airway is cut off!? I wouldn't be able to sleep worrying about that! Follow your instincts as a mother and get it looked into right away, won't you feel better if it is nothing? but if something bad happened, and you have been asking about this all along!? Oh gosh, that would be horrible! Good luck with your new little one, you are her only advocate, remember that.

My daughter is doing the exact same thing and she is just now two months. I see that you posted this a while back but what was it that they did for her? I'm very scared that it has to do with her lungs... She seems normally fine, but she does it more often then what you said like its a daily thing. She has done it like 12 time when in the past hour. Please let me know what to do. If you have any information on it.

my daughter will be 3 months on february 13th and tonight around 9pm i was changing her diaper and all of a sudden she started making this noise i can n ot explain it was like she was gasping for air and she stopped breathing. Her cheeks puffed out and her face got really red. I emediatly called 911 but thank god she started breathing but she kept making that noise for a few mins afterwards. it scared me to death and ive been searching for answers or anything i can find on what happened to my baby girl but nothing yet. your story seemed very similar to mine but i am calling her doc tom. if you find anything online please write me back

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