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Childhood trauma - "drowning" while being taught to swim - can babies (6 months) hold breath?

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posted on May, 19 2018 @ 02:24 AM
Well I just found something out that explains a lot of things about my night terrors as a toddler until I was about 20. I would feel like I was drowning and couldn't breath in my dream (and I think I stopped breathing while sleeping). I remembered thrashing around while asleep, sometimes so hard I fell out of bed and that woke me up. My parents always blew it off and just said "huh" and/or "I wonder why you get these".

My parents, especially mom, always used to & still does, brag about how amazing her kids were (2 of us, I have slightly older sis) at learning to swim about the time we learned to walk, if not before. Now not really "swim" buy be in water, go under, etc, but learned to doggie paddle at least by 3 and dive in no later than 4. Sis has new kid and family was talking to sis's Mother-in-law (MIL) & mom said that the little one is the age she started getting us used to water. Said that she would put us under water at 6 months old. MIL was SHOCKED (she is a child psychologist & other child related expertise), aghast really (but kind of hid it, only me and sis picked up on it). Mom said "babies naturally hold their breath underwater. All you have to do is blow in their faces and they hold their breath". MIL said "that is a new one to me". I immediately asked how old we were and mom said again just that age as my sis's kid (~6 months). I immediately had flash backs to all the night terrors where I was gasping for breath and thrashing around in dream & in bed - happened 20-40 times a year when young.

So over the next week whenever I would blow in the babies face, from mild to fair amount (nothing hard or make her feel uncomfortable), the only thing she did was close her eyes, put on a big smile and turn here head from side to side like she was trying to determine where the air was coming from - and also put her hand up (not in front of face but to the side). I didn't want to hurt her or alarm her, but i had to see if she would hold her breath. The entire time she continued breathing as I had my thumbs on her chest (she was standing on my lap, fingers wrapped around on her back). She continued breathing the whole time. Out of 20-30 attempts never once did she seem to hold her breath. I have a feeling that kids don't do this (old wives tale) or some don't or they don't do it completely. I think my drowning night terrors stem from this and probably sucked down water many times while being "taught to swim". I can't explain those terrors any other way. Does anyone know anything about children holding breath and if so, how long can they hold it - maybe I just couldn't hold it long enough... The sad part is that there is no point in asking parents about this as they would never admit to an accident or anything their fault.

I've always had the feeling that I've blacked out things from my early childhood, some memories have come back slowly of extreme pain, hunger, feeling totally alone for long periods/abandoned and lots of fear. I don't have any memories of being in the water until I was almost 4 but I have a lot of memories of that afterwards. The odd thing is that I'm told I was never sick and was always taken care of and none of the stories would translate to any of the feelings that I have remembered. Now all of these memories have been very difficult to remember and I've worked really hard on it by very long periods of meditation (hours & hours on end at once) often using old pictures, childhood songs and such to help set the mood. I feel that i don't get the full story from my family and I have LOTS of scary stories from the time I can remember (very bad family arguments that felt directed at the children - like we picked up the anger/hatred vibe). This made me extremely sensitive to determining the "temperature" of a room starting from first grade on (it just got better with age) where I could sense people's moods, if there had been a fight, if people were angry, sad but I wasn't as good at picking up "good moods" and happiness (could be b/c it was faked or there was often little of it).

During 3rd gr - 12gr I used my dog as a barometer of the mood of the house. I could read him like a book b/c he was always there and I could tell his mood and know pretty much exactly who was mad, if both parents were, etc. We had a close bond b/c we both were sensitive to these things and would hang out together when the tension or moods were bad.

On another note, the little one was playing in a HUGE box of packing peanuts while me and mom watched her while I filmed. Mom was about 18 inches away and child would try to eat a peanut once in a while. I was 4-5 ft away filming and mom would just say no and not try to take it away until I bolted towards her and caught it just in time. WTF! that was the point of her being close to baby. This happened 5x and each time no action until I dropped the camera and darted over to catch her as it entered her mouth. When I said WTF mom (not exact words - no swearing with baby around) I'd get a death glare and she would say "I was getting it" but she never acted until I rushed in. The last straw I backed up for a wide view of both and baby did same again and I said "get it, get it now!" and she let it go and the baby took a bite/chunk. I had to fish it out of babies mouth while shooting death glares at mom. This is only one of many similar incidents. It seems there is a major problem that IDK how to address as it isn't my kid and I don't want to get between mom & sis but I want to protect the baby. Mom did similar with piece of fruit and waited to take it away until after she bit a piece off and stopped breathing/choking (not couching, just wide eyed and noticeable she was in trouble) I was the furthest away and was the first there to help (parents where right next and just stared). They didn't react until I screamed help her, get it out of her mouth while getting up and running over. I had told them not to give her food she could bite through at that age (and I'm the young, dumb black sheep of family) but they all know better and tell me to be quiet and mind my business.

I'm worried about this kid and I know I could never confront my parents about this and there is A LOT more regarding my childhood that my parents minimized that certainly shouldn't have been.

I think some people want to play the hero, even if it means it could hurt a little child. Being able to brad you saved your grandchild from choking may seem noble to some dimwits but I ask why was she ever in the position to choke in the first place you jerk. Just b'c a person has given birth and has grown children, doesn't mean they know how to parent nor that they did a good job, but it seems that many people think this is the exact case.

posted on May, 19 2018 @ 02:41 AM
a reply to: DigginFoTroof

I'm sorry you went through that.

For sure, I'd be concerned about the baby. This seems like a disaster waiting to happen. Some people really shouldn't be around babies and children.

posted on May, 19 2018 @ 02:48 AM
i certainly don't know about babies holding their breath. but i was taught to "swim" via the old 70's approach of toss the child into the swimming pool method. as part of the swim classes at the public pool. it has quite literally traumatized me for the rest of my life. i DO remember being tossed in and the feeling of drowning and still suffer nightmares about it. some people have even suggested that this is the reason i absolutely HATE the taste of water, and why drinking too much water tends to make me feel ill (needless to say i don't and have never drank much water at all, just a swallow or two when i'm really desperate). i also hated being bathed and even as a small child if we went to the beach, they had to chase me down and catch me to force me to go into the water. and while i have mostly concurred my fear enough to go swimming. i still hate putting my head in the water and suffer panic attacks occasionally while swimming. and still have issues conning myself into taking a bath or shower (and you can imagine just how great my life in school was, and as an adult has been over the bathing issues). that BS swimming approach for babies has quite literally had a negative long term affect on my life. personally people who advocate to do things like this should be charged and imprisoned for child abuse. i would love to sue the heck out of the city that allowed such swimming lessons, that destroyed my life to occur.

posted on May, 19 2018 @ 03:15 AM
a reply to: generik

Wow, I'm not sure I was ever just "thrown" in, but I'm not certain I remember things clearly either. I also hated the taste of water and still don't like it a whole lot and that could be linked to tasting it as a child from an incident like this.

I've always wondered why I have so little memories of my early child hood while other tell me they remember some things. I always got evasive answers when asking my parents about their first memories as I only had memories from about 4-5 years old, even when I was very young like in kindergarten and 1st grade. This never sat well for me and made me really wonder about what happened in the early years.

Then parents pull out pictures and show me things, but we all know pics only capture like .0001% of what happened to a child when they were young and usually at the best of times.

I'm wondering if a psychologist can help retrieve memories from that age. I have some HORRIBLE memories from 4 years old at a babysitter that I swear I remembered being smothered in their basement and then crying uncontrollably for like 30+ mins while the sitter said horrible things to me like I'd never see my mom again and things like that. I remember the exact basement, the couch, the smell and "feeling" and that it was close to another elementary school, a few doors down. Odd thing is that my mom said I was never babysat there but later found out info about the owners (and their kids who were my age) and it was their exact basement.

How do you confront parents when they just minimize or lie about things in early childhood when certain things are branded into memory. IDK how I could have ever come up with things like that from my imagination and have them be accurate.

posted on May, 19 2018 @ 03:20 AM
Our lad went to baby swimming classes from 6 months, after the initial surprise of the first ducking, he got excited as soon as he realised where we were going. The classes have built muscle memory that allows him to surface, float and get to the side of the pool unassisted. This was the intent of the classes as a safety belt should there be a falling in accident.

On observing the other kids in the class, 99.9 % of the babies held their breath instinctively when their faces got wet, the only non started was where the kid was playing and tried to drink the pool water and that ended up with a puking milk monster.

So to sum up, it guess it's all down to the training environment

posted on May, 19 2018 @ 04:09 AM
a reply to: kountzero

I can only imagine the milk coming up and I'm sure it was a little funny but concerning at the same time. Thanks for the anecdotal evidence on your parenting!

posted on May, 19 2018 @ 04:38 AM
I'm not sure what your mother did but I can tell you infants can be taught to swim. And in fact teaching them can save their life since the number one killer of infants under 1 and number two at 18 months is drowning. If they allowed you to drown they didnt know what they were doing. You always make sure the baby knows what's going to happen by showing them. My son we waited u til he was 2 because we didnt have access to a pool but we ended up moving near a beach. So he learned to swim in the ocean.

posted on May, 19 2018 @ 10:50 AM
On the subject of swimming, its hard to say. Children seem fairly resilient.

posted on May, 19 2018 @ 11:25 AM
I don't think that the classes to teach babies to swim are a good idea myself. I think they should wait till the kids are maybe two before starting them swimming. The people who push baby swimming might be delusional about this. I think it is better to just let a kid slowly get used to going in the water, maybe the bathtub is the best way to start.

There is another important issue to consider, the organic chlorine compounds found in swimming pools are not good for most people and are more harmful to young children because their skin is more permeable and thin. These people pushing to teach babies to like the water should take this seriously, it can cause problems in kids that can actually cause health issues. The smell around a pool is not that great on health either.

I think people should actually look better at the beliefs they hold, some are not good.

posted on May, 19 2018 @ 01:52 PM
Lord just watch the videos .
these people are insane .
all so they can get there 15 mints of fame .
Ok well I tought my boys to swim starting around 4 and 5 being able to stand on there own two feet .

Humans are not born knowing how to swim ( heck according to science humans have NO pre programming at all )
Wonder how many time these mothers ahd to stop baby from chocking on water .
stupid .
Teach kids to swim is good when they are 4 or more years is a good time to start take your time they do all the learning without directing then .

and enjoy it

posted on May, 19 2018 @ 05:32 PM
a reply to: midnightstar

Humans are not born knowing how to swim ( heck according to science humans have NO pre programming at all )
Incorrect, about that pre-programming part (I don't recall ever learning how to get an erection).

Knowing how to swim, no. On the other hand:

My daughter first had water (not swimming) lessons at 2 years old. By 4 she was a capable swimmer. It makes sense when one lives on an island.

I don't recall ever learning how to swim. But I'm pretty good at it. Just sort of grew up in, on, and around the water.

edit on 5/19/2018 by Phage because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 19 2018 @ 09:18 PM
a reply to: DigginFoTroof

I was one of the kids that was dumped into the water as a baby. I mean a pool, not a bathtub. There are pictures.

I am sorry this happened to you.

posted on May, 20 2018 @ 10:22 AM
erections are a biological response man talk about slow .
Or do you think we have to learn to breath ? as well ?
Heart- breathing - erections - sweating peeing pooping are all bio responses No brain needed . Good thing to as some animals have very very small brains .
A learned response Baby cry's mom picks baby up feeds baby changes baby - repeat .
Baby learns when baby cry's mom comes running .
baby can also learn baby does not need to cry .
Baby can learn to hold its breath but That is unnecessary and doing it is foolish as just waiting a few years avoids all the trauma .
watch that video closer a few of the babys are having a panic response and this was the best of the best no way tehy would put the spitting choking baby in the videos .

posted on May, 20 2018 @ 10:28 AM
BTW even many whale Babys ARE NOT born knowing how to swim .
The mom must quickly get under baby and push baby up to the serfice so baby does not drown .

posted on May, 20 2018 @ 10:29 AM
BTW even many whale Babys ARE NOT born knowing how to swim .
The mom must quickly get under baby and push baby up to the serfice so baby does not drown .

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