My baby has episodes of gasping for air when laid down. We have tried to find the reasons for this as it has happened a few times and we can not find out what it is.
On rare occasions when she is laid down for a diaper change, she will gasp as though she can’t breathe well. When picked up she recovers, episode lasting around 20 seconds.
She had the first episode at 10 pm when she was about three months old and we took her to the emergency room. They tested her oxygen level and said it was near perfect. The second time it happened was at 6 pm at about 5 and a half months old, but she was only making the noise and was able to breath through the whole episode.
And this last time she had an episode at 10 pm that lasted over a minute and really had more trouble breathing, turned red in the face, and was in pain.
We are worried and can’t find a doctor who will provide much help, especially since she seems fine after they occur, and the doctors can only go by our description. My baby is 6 and a half month old and otherwise very healthy and active.
Does anyone recognise this and know what it is or what to do about it?
Baby Help Line:
Baby Gasping For Air – Acid Reflux?
How frustrating to not being able to find out what is wrong. One possibility comes to my mind: Have you considered if her gasping may be due to some mild form of acid reflux (or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), as it is really called)?
As you may know, acid reflux in various degrees is common among infants and some of the symptoms are a lot of spitting up, poor sleep, poor weight gain, episodes with trouble breathing, arching back when feeding, frequent hiccups and more.
Babies that have acid reflux have a condition which allows food and stomach acid flow back up (reflux) into the esophagus. When the food is flowing up into the mouth, the baby can have trouble breathing, may choke, it may be painful etc.
Since the gasping and trouble breathing comes when you lay your daughter down, and then it goes away when you pick her up, it does sound to me as if it could have to do with stomach content disturbing her.
Do you see any connection between feeding her and the problems occurring? If this makes any sense, contact a paediatrician to discuss acid reflux as a possible cause.
Filming the behaviour to demonstrate it to your paediatrician may be helpful, but even if you do not film it, there are tests and studies available to confirm the acid reflux disease even when your daughter is not showing any symptoms.
Trying to feed her more frequently and in smaller amounts, as well as elevating the head end of her crib to create some incline might be helpful in preventing the reflux from happening, but if it is, in fact, reflux, and these simple strategies do not help, there is a medication a doctor can prescribe to help her.
It might be good for you to know that most babies outgrow the condition at around 12 months old.
I hope this helps. Please let me know about your daughter’s progress.
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