5 Month Old Gasps for Air! Help

Updated on February 23, 2011
J.B. asks from San Leandro, CA
7 answers

Just about 4-5 days ago, my 5-month old started making these gasping noises like he couldn't breathe. Usually it happens shortly after he has a bottle of formula. I think it might be baby acid reflux because sometimes I hear the milk come up his throat and he has to swallow it back down. It's usually the worst at night right before he goes to bed. I make sure that I feed him well before I lay him down because that gives his tummy a little more time to digest his food. He also cries from the stomach pain and arches his back. I'm not sure what he has....Has anyone gone through a similar thing? Any help or suggestions is greatly appreciated!!

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answers from San Francisco on

i have a suggestion that many think is a bit crazy. have you heard about Elimination Communication [EC]? it's when you communicate with your baby to help them use the bathroom to relieve themselves rather than using a diaper. babies are born with innate desire to not soil themselves and totally have control over their bathroom muscles. in our society we 'diaper train' our babies by teaching them to use, in a sense, their pants to relieve themselves. it's kinda gross when you think about it, who wants to soil themselves? there are several books and websites about this (it's also called the diaper free baby). many mother who write testimonials report that after beginning EC, their colicky baby no longer had stomach problems. perhaps your baby is getting so backed up because he doesn't want to soil himself. i know it sounds absurd at first, but it truly works. we started EC'ing our son at 5 weeks and he know takes most poops on the toilet and often does not wet his diaper all day at 1 year old. it's amazing and well worth the 'extra work.' the 'extra work' now will really pay off when i'm not diapering and potty training a 3 year old! good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Hi J.. Out of my six kids, five had reflux. If you are bottle feeding, get Dr. Browns bottles. A pain to clean, but so worth the relief it can give the baby. Talk with your pediatrician. It could be using Dr. Browns and adding some rice cereal or oatmeal into the formula could solve the problem. If you are breastfeeding, then talk with the doc about medicine.




answers from San Francisco on

Hi J.,

Keep track of your diet. He is getting what you are eating and drinking.

I would also check the cleaning products you use in the house and make sure they are not toxic. Babies are very sensitive.

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answers from Stockton on

It sounds like you're right and it really could be acid reflux. My second one had it horribly as an infant and then a second bout of it when he was around 2. If you go to your ped and explain the symptoms, he/she will ask some questions to determine if it is indeed reflux (though it really does sound like it to me and I'm agreeing with your mommy diagnosis). There is medication that you can give to him to help ease his discomfort and give him time to heal. As our ped explained, it's very important that he gets that healing time and that the acid doesn't harm his little esophogus because of an extended amount of reflux making its way northward. Also, I really am quite ignorant of formula (I've only nursed my boys), but it may be worth asking the ped if switching formula may help his reflux...I'm just thinking that when I was pregnant there were certain foods/drinks I needed to avoid because of reflux and perhaps this is similar? Good luck!



answers from San Francisco on

Arching the back is a classic reflux symptom. Reflux is often part of an overall motility issue, which can affect BMs. Call the pediatrician. Reflux is common (your baby's sounds like "silent" reflux because he's not spitting up), and you'll likely get all sorts of advice, but start with your pediatrician and then maybe a pediatric GI. Don't mess around with this one. Just get into the doc. He/she will likely suggest changing to a different formula (Alimentum is a good one) and some meds. It sucks to give your kid meds, but it was totally worth it. Also, don't let people tell you that breastmilk is a cure-all. We actually had to switch my son from breastmilk to Alimentum.


answers from Elkhart on

no answers for you . my 8wk old started doing the same thing didnt seem to start until after i begen giving him alimentum formula . he seems to have excess saliva in his mouth and has been very nasely sounding. ive been wondering the same thing is it reflux? also if maybe the taste of the formula
is making him gag. I'm worried and looking for answer's also.



answers from Fresno on

We gave our daughter Mylicon drops with almost every bottle for awhile to help with the gas pains. It seemed to work really well. We eventually switched her to Soy formula, because she didn't tolerate regular formula well and 100% of the problems went away.

Next question: Mylicon for Use in "Gassy"babies