BLS, easily gags
I read a couple of the other gagging posts here, but mine was slightly different so I wanted to check too...
LO turned 6 months on Saturday & we started him on a piece of apple, which he loved & sucked on. A couple days later he was able to gum off a piece, which he gagged on & returned some of his BM breakfast. He's gagged on that and a banana now -- well any time he can get a portion off, he'll gag on it. I tried mashing the banana & letting him get it into his mouth via spoon - still gagged. He's ok with the yogurt I preload for him (loves it!!).
He's always had a sensitive gag reflex, when I was trying to wean him off the shield & doing the "sandwich & shove", he'd gag every time.
Is this something that will be better if we wait...or is it something he's probably going to have to work through no matter how old he is?
Re: BLS, easily gags
In my experience, it's something that he will have to work through no matter how old he is. And to be honest, it's better to do it now. As a baby gets older, the gag reflex moves further back in their mouths. Right now, your baby's gag reflex is probably being triggered towards the front to middle of his tongue. As an adult, it's not triggered until the very back of our throats. This helps a baby learn that before they move the food back in their mouths to swallow, it must be broken down more.
My son was a serious gagger - he would vomit almost every time. BUT, he was never phased by it...as long as I didn't freak out. He would get it out, and move on and be ready to keep eating. It really helped when I was able to look in his mouth and see that he was actually nowhere near choking - that the food was still on the front of his tongue.
It's not for the faint-hearted, for sure, to watch your baby gag. But try not to react - as long as they are actively gagging, vomiting, coughing, etc...then their little body is learning exactly what it needs to do to process food. He will learn, and probably - to your surprise, rather quickly. It took my son a solid 2-3 weeks to stop gagging at everything in his mouth, and a few weeks after that to really get the hang of it. Now, at 11 months, DS is a very strong eater. He still gags when he needs to, which I am thankful for. I'd rather have him get out a piece of food that is too big, rather than choke on it.
Good luck mama!!
Re: BLS, easily gags
Thanks for the reply. :)
I asked my caregiver whether she remembered her kids gagging when they moved to regular solids - yes. So we talked about it a while. Then she gave him an apple and when I asked him today how it went, she said "oh yeah. I would say he wasn't gagging, he was choking!" of course, he still took care of it himself, but it definitely was worse than what she remembered with her kids. Any thoughts?
Re: BLS, easily gags
If he was able to still take care of it himself, then he wasn't choking...I promise. In the case of actual choking, he would need the baby heimlich.
I wasn't quite sure I understood that either, but on Father's Day we went out to a steakhouse for dinner with my parents, my son was about 7.5 months old. As we were all eating, of course, my eyes were GLUED to my son who was playing with Cheerios. Suddenly, I look to my left and I see my husband - red-faced, with liquid coming out of his mouth hunched over plate. He did the sign for choking. We FLEW out of the bench (I shoved the highchair out of the way - I call it mommy instinct...LOL. We NEED daddy alive...) and my dad gave my husband the heimlich.
I think that was when I truly understood the difference between choking and gagging - when I saw it first hand. My husband couldn't even make a grunt or noise - there was no airflow at all. The liquid that was coming out was from some sprite - he took a sip to try to move the food...but it just got completely blocked and had to come right back up.
For now, maybe at the caregiver's try some softer foods - yogurt, sweet potato, avocado - that she'll feel more comfortable with. And try the harder foods, like apples, at home.
Your caregiver probably experienced the same thing - but of course her memory is going to be jogged. My mom is ALWAYS saying things like "I don't remember my babies...." fill in the blank. And then in hindsight, she'll say "Oh yeah, I guess you guys did do that"
Good luck :)