Breath-holding spells are common. They are not harmful, and kids will grow out of them eventually. They often start between 3 and 12 months of age. They can continue for several years.
The typical spell goes as follows – baby starts crying, continues exhaling as he cries, cannot stop the exhaling cry in order to take a breath, starts to turn blue on the lips and face, passes out, finally takes a deep breath and wakes up. He may be groggy for a minute or two afterwards.
This is a normal spell, and does not cause any harm.
You do not need to do anything to stop the spells, because there is nothing you CAN do. Simply hold your baby until the spell passes.
Complicated breath-holding spells occur when a spell lasts so long that it triggers a seizure. These can rarely occur, or may occur with every spell. You should talk with your doctor if your child is having seizures with the spells.