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Borderline Panic

I'm extremely paranoid and in tears this evening. Earlier my 15 day old son was sleeping on his back in his bassinet right next to me and all the sudden started choking on either his saliva or spit up as he's a grunty baby. He woke, was hungry, so I fed him and let him sleep on me for about an hour.
Is it just me being paranoid? I went to the bathroom and when I came back (I laid him on his side to sleep) I could have sworn he wasn't breathing. I put my hand on him and didn't feel anything so I jostled him a bit and he jumped and let out this sigh. I seriously doubt I'm going to sleep any time soon after this.



Asked by hazelnutx at 7:52 PM on Jan. 25, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 4 (36 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • Sweetheart, that is COMPLETELY normal !! ... I cannot count the number of times I paused with my heart in my throat to couble-check whether my little darling was breathing ... just as much for the third one as for the first.

    And, you know, Nature WANTS it that way. While breastfeeding, we have higher levels of various hormones, of course. Well, an effect of one of the essential breast-feeding hormones is to make the mother hyper-alert. You may imagine that you are being paranoid, and worry about "nothing" ... but that's what you are SUPPOSED to do. This increased level of vigilance is also enhancing your neural net (in other words, you are perfecting your Mother's Instinct) which will serve you for the rest of your life.

    It's not for nothing that we have traditions of listening to the words of the Wise Women, the world over.

    As to the specific breathing / not breathing / choking: A newborn only gradually is (cont'd)

    Answer by waldorfmom at 8:04 PM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • my 12 day old is doing the same thing. she stops breathing when she chokes on her bottle and then freaks out and lets out a cry, i've also had to put my hand on her chest to feel her heartbeat because a couple of times her chest wasn't moving up and down. i'm curious to see what answers you get.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:55 PM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • I do know that when babies breathe, they tend to move their stomach and not their chest. So Anon, put your hand on her tummy first before you freak. :)

    Answer by hazelnutx at 7:59 PM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • You are supposed to lay babies on their backs to reduce SIDS risk when you are not with them. I know it seems like the baby would be less likely to choke on it's side or tummy but the research is clear that back to sleep is safest.

    If your baby chokes on breastmilk it is a body fluid and if some gets in the lungs the baby won't have as bad of problems as if the baby is formula fed. Babies that get formula in their lungs can get pneumonia.

    Watch you baby and see how the baby breaths. If you think the baby could have gotten formula in it's lungs or is having irregular breathing then call the doctor or go to the ER.

    I hope everything is OK. If you think something is wrong, keep telling medical people to make sure they are listening to you. Sometimes doctors don't believe moms until a baby has been having problems for months.

    Answer by Gailll at 8:02 PM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • Trust me when I say this concern does NOT go away as they get older. My twins are 18 months and I still check them repeatedly when they are sleeping. And it's possible I will always do that lol (MOM GET OUT OF MY ROOM! Can't you just hear it?).

    For the first little while my kids slept together in their bassinet and I slept next to it on the couch so I could keep checking them. One night I just couldn't get comfy on the couch so I went to bed. And when I woke up they were fine. After that, I felt a bit better :)

    Answer by Allergic2Stupid at 8:04 PM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • A newborn is only gradually able to establish a reliable & automatic rhythmic system. Erratic breathing will be the norm for a number of years, improving as the child gets older.

    But it is ALWAYS a good idea to be extra careful ! Just because erratic breathing is common, does not mean you don't want to pause and check just in case CPR's needed ... and I was always careful to lie my babies on their sides - I think there are various schools of thought about that nowadays

    Best wishes, ladies ! Truly it is a fantastic journey. Motherhood is not only rewarding, but it also empowers you in ways you cannot imagine before going through it !!

    Answer by waldorfmom at 8:08 PM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • Waldorfmom......awww, nobody could have said it better!

    Answer by TopBrit at 8:10 PM on Jan. 25, 2010