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Thread: BLS and choking/gagging

  1. #1
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    Jun 2012
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    Default BLS and choking/gagging

    So, I tried giving my daughter some apple wedges today, and after some hits and misses, she got them into her mouth and gumming them around. Somehow she managed to bite off a piece that was about a half inch long and quarter inch wide. She kept gumming it around in her mouth and making gagging nosies.

    This worried me as I wasn't sure if this could turn into choking. I was able to get the piece out of her mouth, but it really scared me.

    Is this a normal part of BLS? Should I be worried about continuing on this path?

  2. #2
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: BLS and choking/gagging

    Gagging is a normal part of starting solids, whether you do BLS or spoon-feed. With a baby who is just beginning with solids, I personally would avoid apple wedges, because while baby can bite off a rather large chunk with her sharp incisors, she can't break it down because she doesn't have molars yet. If you're going to give apples, try grating them, steaming them, or offering paper-thin slices or even a whole, peeled apple.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
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    Default Re: BLS and choking/gagging

    The whole peeled apple is a good idea. i was also thinking of avocados, but they didn't have any good ones at the store. Maybe they'll get a new shipment in a few days.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: BLS and choking/gagging

    mine also gagged a lot at first. I would just say "that's right, cough it up" and she would. If the baby is coughing/gagging I think the food will come out on its own.

    avocado is great. she also liked a whole steamed carrot (i washed but didn't peel, so the texture was easier to pick up), steamed broccoli, and beef (to suck on - she had no teeth).

    She also loved steamed squash, but had a harder time picking it up and would get frustrated. Was easier to coat the squash with olive oil and bake in the oven, giving it kind of a skin she could get a better grip on.

    Pear is also delicious but difficult to grip when they are so small.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: BLS and choking/gagging

    There is a huge difference between gagging and choking. Gagging is your child's natural defense AGAINST choking. My son gagged and puked as part of his process. Both of these things keep your baby from actually choking. If you child is choking, the turn blue. I had taken a infant CPR class before my baby was born. Which I think all mothers should do for piece of mind. And I never grated or steamed things. But I did cut things into French fry shaped pieces. (Chips in England)So that he could get his hands around them and if anything broke off it wasn't big enough to block his airway. I never did that with apple wedges personally though.

    Way too lazy for formula

  6. #6
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    Default Re: BLS and choking/gagging

    Gagging can look really scary, with the baby turning red and making horrible noises. My husband used to just about have a heart attack every time our daughter did it. But as djs.mom pointed out, the gagging is a reflex that baby has to PROTECT her from choking. Think of it as the baby's learning to push the food around in her mouth, chew it up and swallow it. Remember babies' gag reflex is really close to the front of their mouth, so they are gagging on things way before you or I would, way before the food gets even close to their throat.

    I agree a CPR course is super important. (BTW, Why isn't this part of our highschool education? Think of all the stupid things we had to learn in highschool that we never used, like how to dribble a basketball or how to find the direction of a magnetic field) yet they fail to teach us this basic basic information that can save our kids' and others' lives.)

    Actually I just realized I did not steam either because we don't have a steamer or a microwave, so actually it was boiled carrot and broccoli, although I think steaming keeps more of the nutrients in. Also a chunk of oven-roasted or barbecued eggplant or red-pepper was very popular with our daughter, as well as boiled kale. We only really did large chunks of meat, fruit and veggies at first; later we got into cooked egg yolks, pasta, yogurt, beans, lentils as her eating skills improved and we realized she doesn't seem to be allergic to anything.

    Our mealtimes got a lot smoother when we discovered our daughter would suck on a slice of beef without gagging. I think that helped her learn about food. We still gave her other soft fruits and veggies, and after a couple weeks she stopped gagging. We also did apple wedges, but not in the first weeks. I'd recommend soft foods she can smush up with her gums, or meat she can suck on. She still may gag on these, but I believe it will be less stressful for you if the foods are either too large for her to possibly choke on (chunk of meat) or soft enough they wouldn't block her airway.

    True choking hazards I have heard of (through reading on the internet) are whole blueberries, whole grapes. I.e., round things that could lodge in the throat and not let any air go by. You can squash them with a fork to make them safe.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: BLS and choking/gagging

    Oh No! I definitely didn't START with Apple slices! We tried to start at 6 months and he wasn't really having any of it until 7 months and I didn't start handing him apple slices until we were in the 8th month. So over a month in for sure.

    Way too lazy for formula

  8. #8
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    Default Re: BLS and choking/gagging

    My daughter is still able to get big chunks when I give her a whole, peeled apple, so I wouldn't try that either. She is also 8 months old. The thing is that their gums are actually tough enough to chew and bite. My daughter only has two bottom teeth and she breaks off huge chunks of teething biscuits and apple. I would suggest baking the apple and even baking pears and adding a little bit of pasture raised butter to the fruit while its still hot. I put these on my daughters tray and she is much more able to manage them. While we do finger foods, I don't usually give her whole fruits and when I tried to give her half of an avocado she liked it but was ultimately frustrated because it kept slipping out of her hand. Early on with finger foods, I had a scare with a peach slice (she basically sucked it into her mouth and down her throat but I caught it before things got too scary.) and I have been giving her really small pieces of food ever since.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: BLS and choking/gagging

    Lizdairchild,
    are you practicing BLS?

    Way too lazy for formula

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