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how do i get my 2 yr old to stop trying to suffocate himself?

I don't know if he does it on purpose, but my 2 yr old will jump on the bed and purposely fall face first and hold his face there for a while then he will move his face and gasp for air. then he would take on of his pillows and put it on top of his face and hold it there till i tell him to stop then i will explain to him why he should not do that. he would just smile and do it again. Help!!

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Asked by MrsTBailey at 1:50 PM on Apr. 14, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 2 (5 Credits)
Answers (4)
  • I would stop giving so much attention to it. It sounds like he enjoys your reaction. If he doesn't get your reaction he will find something else that will. Make sure he gets your attention for positive things. Just keep an eye on him when he does this but don't give him a response. He'll stop.


    Answer by Anonymous at 1:58 PM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • Breathing is involuntary, so he probably won't do anything too harmful. When my son was little he'd pitch fits and hold his breath until he turned blue. It would freak me out. I told the doc about it and she told me to ignore him, even if he passed out, his body would resume breathing. That's what i did. He never passed out, but it took me ignoring the behavior, and not reacting to it, that made him stop. Once the audience was gone, it was no fun anymore.


    Answer by momjoy1027 at 2:00 PM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • Watch out if he passes out with the pillow over his face. You wouldn't want that to smoother him but I would just let him do it and ignore him. He's enjoying the attention and the reaction.

    Answer by Jessica_Izzy at 2:24 PM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • I also agree that he is doing it for attention. I bet he doesn't do it when no one is around! Some children will hold their breath to try to "punish" their parent or to get negative attention. Children love attention and sometimes learn to crave negative attention as well! Make sure you are giving plenty of positive attention throughout the day. Ignoring this behavior will probably end it. He will not hurt himself by doing this. He'll breathe eventually because he has to...LOL Just something to think about...Good luck!

    Answer by TessaBianca at 2:28 PM on Apr. 14, 2009

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