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Thread: BLS and gagging

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Default BLS and gagging

    I think our 7mo has a sensitive gag reflex and I get really worried about her when she is trying new foods. She really enjoyed gnawing on apple but although she has no teeth yet she still got chunks off. She gags on any food that gets on her tongue, even a puree, and sometimes her face even gets red. This is really scary! most of the chunks she got were tiny, but one was bigger than a pea so now I am afraid to give her apple but it was one of the few things she enjoyed, probably felt good on her gums! Have any of you BLS moms been through this and do you have any suggestions? I read that letting baby feed herself is a good way to deal with the sensitive gag reflex but it doesn't seem to help. But also, as fun as it is to let her play with foods, it is so messy and she usually never swallows anything so I tend to only offer something once a day if at all. Is this part of the problem? Do I need to be offering something a couple times everyday to help her get used to it and will that help with the gagging? Or is the gagging something that gets better on its own when baby is ready and doesn't matter how often they are offered food?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: BLS and gagging

    Once a day is just fine for a seven month old. You could offer more often if you like, but don't feel like you need to. It is not likely to be contributing to the gagging issue.

    Gagging is fairly normal and it's a healthy, automatic response to trying to swallow something you're not ready to swallow. If it's not a medical issue it should absolutely start to go away as she develops more and gets used to solid foods. If you're concerned about choking you might be more comfortable giving her slippery/slimy/smushy foods like melon or avocado or pear rather than apple.

    And it may be that she's not quite ready for solids, so if you're more comfortable backing off of them for a few weeks and then trying again, I think that would be reasonable as well.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: BLS and gagging

    Don't worry about her making a mess or not eating anything when self-feeding. That's par for the course with such a young baby. At this point, solids are just for fun. So if she eats something, that's great, and if she tastes something and then spits it out, that's great, too, and if she refuses to even taste the solids and prefers to smush them up with her hands, that's still great because she had a fun learning experience.

    You might want to get one of those mesh feeders. That way she can easily get the solids into her mouth and gnaw and suck on them, but the feeder will keep her from swallowing any large chunks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Default Re: BLS and gagging

    The gagging goes away. At 7 mo my DD really liked to gum a bone with a little meat, or to suck on a piece of beef, and she didn't gag on those. Personally I don't think raw apple is a good first food, for the reason you mentioned (chunks come off). We liked steamed broccoli, roasted veggies with a little olive oil (squash, sweet potato, carrot, eggplant). Also baked or steamed apple, plum, or apricot are nice, but can be a bit difficult to grip. Ripe pear is also good but again, hard to grip. Avocado and banana worked pretty well, in large chunks.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: BLS and gagging

    My husband calls blw 'the heart attack method' because the gagging is so scary! It does get better. We also started blw at about 7 months and took it slow and watch carefully. I know the gagging is my baby's normal reflex protecting her but it still freaks me out!

    I would suggest steaming apple or anything else that hard first. Ripe pear worked well for us, we give slices to baby with the skin still on to increase grip. For banana, we wash it first and cut off the top leaving about 1/3 of the banana left still in the skin. (I put the rest on my cerial.) Then I cut away about an inch of skin from that bottom third to make a banana 'ice cream cone' shape. The firm skin helps her to hold it and she nibbles at the top.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: BLS and gagging

    Thanks mamas! Our approach has been to just back off or take it really slow until the gagging gets better at least.

    We did give her one of those mesh feeders but she seemed both disinterested and somewhat skeptical of it.. as if we were trying to sneak something nasty into her mouth lol

    Sometimes she'll take food off my finger but it just slides back out the side as if she doesn't know what to do with it yet.

    We're going to try yogurt/fruit popsicles since she seemed to like yogurt and that might be a fun way for her to feed herself in the summer.

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