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Gagging!! Please help!

(4 Posts)
Jakeyblueblue Tue 30-Apr-13 08:04:07

Hi! Was hoping for some advice about my 22 month old ds. He's 98th centil on height and weight, happy, well behaved and is developing normally in everyway, however he's got gagging issues and I'm starting to get really stressed about it.
He has always been resistant with certain textures and was slow to wean as a result. Still only likes wet food (covered in sauce or gravy) but will now eat lumps etc. saw the HV about this who was unconcerned as he was clearly thriving and actually eats a very good diet. He will also happily eat , crisps and biscuits and toast without gagging so we know its not that he can't.
Anyway this seems to be slowly improving but now he's started gagging when he sees others eating. Have no idea why it happens or how to deal with it. theres nothing thats triggered it, seems to have started from nowhere a few weeka ago. not keen to force the issue incase he actually vomits, but equally don't want this to continue and he not be able to eat with others as a result.
Anyone know what could be causing this? Any experience? Anyone know how I should handle it, dh and rest of family think Its nothing to worry about but he's my first, I'm also a nurse and its making me really anxious. Starting to avoid eating in front of him or take him places where he may have to eat with others.
Thanks in advAnce smile

ClockWatchingLady Tue 30-Apr-13 12:02:28

I used to work in a clinic alongside an expert on this type of problem (I stress I'm not an expert myself).

The two types of professional who used to see children with this problem were (primarily) a SALT and a clinical psychologist (generally only if it got really bad, or there were issues about consequent slow growth, etc., which it definitely doesn't sound like is the case for your DS).

Anyway, from the CP perspective (in my unexpert recollection. BTW, this is going to sound much easier than it probably is in reality...), the general theme would (usually) be to reduce anxiety as far as possible around mealtimes. Offer a selection of foods of different textures, but never force the issue. Offer more difficult foods at times he's more hungry so more motivated. Make food, as far as possible, not an emotional event.

From the SALT perspective (in my very unexpert experience), I understand that sensory hypersensitivity in the mouth/throat and a sensitive gag reflex can become less sensitive over time with exposure and practice (which will happen naturally, on the whole).

Incidentally, I was a big "gagger" as a child. I still remember gagging (with the occasional vomit) on the skins of fruit, lumpy veg, etc.
Also when anxious. Anyway, I grew fine, was and am very happy and love my food, and basically grew out of all the gagging too (though I'm still one to have a bit of a gag if I see something REALLY disgusting, and occasionally have to try a couple of times to swallow really big tablets).

Try not to worry too much - I think this is extremely common.
I expect your GP could probably refer you if you really feel you need help (or just reassurance).

Jakeyblueblue Tue 30-Apr-13 14:20:12

Thanks for the lovely reply. Made me feel much better. I'm also a bit of a gagger and so I guess it figures he would be too.
The texture issue is much better than it was so I am hoping its just a phase.
Any other experiences mums?

Clara35 Tue 30-Apr-13 15:02:23

My dd is 9 now & has gagged on potatoes since weaning. She doesn't really like them as a result especially mash but has no other problems with food. I would gag easily when taking tablets or brushing my teeth. Hopefully things will settle for you smile

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