Our son Bryan was on the floor, playing in his "jungle," (an arch toy with little toys hanging down) when he suddenly started screaming. We figured he had just smacked himself a little too hard with a toy. What happened next nearly scared us half to death: his screams died off, and his face remained contorted in a scream but no sound came out for nearly five seconds. It sounded like he couldn't breath. He eventually took a deep breath and continued screaming, but those seconds where he made no sound were rather frightening. Is this something to be worried about, or does it happen to a lot of babies?

asked 17 Feb '10, 19:16

Matthew%20Jones's gravatar image

Matthew Jones
accept rate: 18%

+1 good question! I think that screaming / crying bouts can be tiring for them, so I had wondered whether those short breaks were a way of taking a pause.

(18 Feb '10, 07:50) Emi

Our son does that when he's beginning to cry, he stays motionless with the face of a scream, emitting no sound, until he starts crying.

I never gave it much thought, and believe it's normal.


answered 17 Feb '10, 19:25

JJJ's gravatar image

accept rate: 12%

Yes, my son and my niece dislike each other for reasons unbeknown to us and do this in unison. I have (not) heard a lot of children cry like that.

(17 Feb '10, 20:40) Rick

+1 Good answer in my opinion! My daughter did that too, I was quite startled at first, then my husband pointed out that those few seconds seemed much longer to us as we waited in anticipation for her to make some noise, and when the crying resumed it was more often than not more accentuated, and would die down after a few minutes.

(18 Feb '10, 07:45) Emi

Is is possible that he knocked the wind out of himself somehow?

When I was about 10, I was playing a game in gym and literally ran into a wall and fell backwards. I ended up hitting so hard that when I tried to cry no sound came out. I had knocked the wind out of myself and basically stopped breathing for a few seconds and therefore couldn't make a sound. I spontaneously began to breath normally shortly after. In my mind it feels like minutes but that's likely impossible so it was probably a matter of seconds.


answered 18 Feb '10, 00:03

Tammy's gravatar image

Tammy ♦♦
accept rate: 18%

I have heard of this, I think it's perfectly normal. There can be some cases where it is worse. These are called Breath-holding spells, which can lead to a short loss of conciousness.

Breath holding spells occur in approximately 5% of the population with equal distribution between males and females. They are most common in children between 6 and 18 months and usually not present after 5 years of age. They are unusual before 6 months of age. A positive family history can be elicited in 25% of cases. It maybe confused with a seizure disorder.

These are not very dangerous, but something to look out (and can scare the ** out of any parent) .

There are two types of these which are a bit more dangerous, cyanotic (face becomes blue and kid collapses) and pallid (face becomes white...)


answered 18 Feb '10, 09:16

brandstaetter's gravatar image

accept rate: 24%

Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text](http://url.com/ "Title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "Title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported



Asked: 17 Feb '10, 19:16

Seen: 18,935 times

Last updated: 18 Feb '10, 09:16