Weaning KnowHow: Gagging Vs Choking
Difficult Pill To Swallow
One of the strangest parts to juggle when weaning is the fact that your child will most likely gag or even choke on food. Learning everything from scratch who could blame them!
This is difficult for both parents and kids but if you are prepared then thats more than half the battle so you can better manage any situation should it come up.
As they learn to regulate the amount of solid food they can chew and swallow one or more of these may happen:
- Your baby’s eyes may water.
- They might push their tongue forward (or out of their mouth).
- To bring the food forward in their mouth — they might make a retching movement, or they may vomit.
With Emma we had all of them accept the vomiting. Whether baby led or spoon fed portion control is key so as Emma was grabbing as much as she could in one go we just played along and said "no, no, just a little bit, it's not going anywhere, don't worry"
Choking is almost like prolonged gagging but with it affecting the airways and causing more distress you want to avoid this. According to the NHS site:
- cut small round foods, like grapes and cherry tomatoes, into small pieces. Minimum half for grapes, We found it handy to cut it to the size of her palm.
- peel the skin off fruit, vegetables and sausages (though remember that sausages can be high in salt). We avoided sausages but definitely with fruit its all about taking off anything you couldn't tear with 2 top teeth.
- remove hard pips or stones from fruit.
- remove bones from meat or fish.
- soften hard fruit and vegetables (such as carrot and apple) when first given to your baby from around 6 months. Boiling and mashing worked for us.
- whole nuts and peanuts should not be given to children under 5 years old. Though crushing them into almost dust and mixing in with other foods was a great way to help check for allergies.
- never give them raw jelly cubes, they can get stuck in the throat.
Make sure your little one is sitting up properly in their high chair, and never leave them while they're eating.
If you think your child is choking and cannot breathe properly:
- shout for help.
- get them out of the high chair.
- support their chest and chin with one hand and – with the heel of your hand – give 5 sharp blows between the shoulder blades.
This will hopefully dislodge the object. Learn how to deal with choking here – or even better, do a first aid course.