BLW - reassurance re: gagging and vomiting please?

(22 Posts)

I've started putting soft-cooked carrot sticks, banana, melon etc in front of 5mo DS at our mealtimes for him to play with, with a view to presenting a bigger variety of stuff in a couple of weeks' time when he hits 6 months. He's mainly biting bits off and spitting them out at the moment, which is fine/normal I know, and the dogs are thrilled, but when he does get anything further back he gags like crazy and vomits massively. Again I know this is quite a common occurrence with BLW, and shows that all of his protective mechanisms are in good working order, but it is nonetheless quite unnerving and makes me want to reach for the blender.

Can I have some reassurance please, and any indication of how long it went on for with other people who experienced the same thing?

Thanks very much in advance!

FredFredGeorge Wed 07-Nov-12 08:51:49

It sounds like he's not ready for solid food if he gags and vomits as soon as any arrives. I'd wait a bit longer before trying again.

PeazlyPops Wed 07-Nov-12 08:58:36

Maybe wait until he's 6 months?
I think gagging is normal, but not vomiting.

Oh. The vomiting is mentioned a few times on the BLW website's forum as one of those things that happens with some babies when they start BLW. He's got independent sitting balance (completely - no external support required when sitting on a hard surface) and can pick up and put the food directly into his mouth as per readiness guidelines. Does his gag reflex just not require a desensitisation period? He's a bit of a bottle refuser as well so I'd have thought anything more solid in his mouth than a boob would need an adjustment period. You think not...?

PS He's literally a week and a half away from 6 months. Is it still worth waiting that very short period or give it longer?

mawbroon Wed 07-Nov-12 09:30:52

This is something that a tongue tied baby might do.

How has breastfeeding been?

Ah. He is slightly tongue-tied. Hm.

First eight weeks of BFing was a freaking nightmare. We were booked to have it looked at by a max fax consultant as the lactation consultant said it wasn't one she would be able to deal with in her clinic, but by the time I was contacted for an appointment DS and I were both riddled with thrush so they wanted this to clear before considering anything. By the time it did clear, everything seemed fine so I figured he'd learned to compensate for it and didn't follow it up. I'm tongue tied and the lactation consultant had a look at my tongue as well as his and pronounced them identical. The only problem it has ever given me is an inability to roll my 'r's (only a problem when learning foreign languages or when I did singing and drama years ago...) so I wasn't too concerned about the long term consequences with him.

I did email Milk Matters fairly recently about it to see if it was worth getting looked into again because, at almost six months, he still feeds pretty much hourly, and the longest he'll go is three hours at night <exhausted emoticon>. He's also a gushing drooler and poos about six times per day, which I know is a bit odd for a BF baby. She seemed to think all of that was developmental and didn't indicate going back down the tongue-tie route was necessary.

I do wonder, now though if the bottle refusing may be related as well, which is proving a problem at nursery...

Do I wait and see if he adapts to the solids over the next few weeks? I'm pretty sure if I went to the HV that's what she'd say, or try purée instead (although the BM-potato mash I presented him with, though enthusiastically received, and independently taken in with a spoon, produced the same result...)

mawbroon Wed 07-Nov-12 10:29:26

Sounds like it is probably a posterior tie if the lactation consultant wasn't able to deal with it. Does he have a lip tie?

Is rolling your 'r's really the only prob you have though? If so, you are very lucky! Other things that seem to be common amongst people with tt are allergies/intolerances, digestive problems, high palate and associated dental problems, sleep issues, snoring, mouth breathing, ENT troubles, jaw/neck pain, migraines amongst other.

There is also a suggestion that the incorrect swallowing action interferes with the vagus nerve which as you see from the link controls many functions.

ds1 is 7yo and has had a miserable time because of undiagnosed tongue and lip tie (lip ties are just as important but seems that this gets overlooked) and we are having to spend £££ on private dental work to expand his palate and guide his facial structure in the right direction. Otherwise he will end up with a very long face and multiple extractions when he is older.

There are dentists in Huddersfield and London who have trained with Dr Kotlow and if at all possible, I would recommend taking your ds to one of them for assessment.

There is a really good tongue tie support group on facebook. Look for tongue tie babies support group. This is where I found out how to get the help we needed for ds1

I definitely didn't/don't have any of those other problems. It literally is just rolling my rs that I can't do.

Is tongue tie snipping a bigger deal at six months than it is at three/four weeks? That's my main concern about getting it seen to now. I don't want to put him through something painful/distressing when it's never been a long-term issue for me.

PS He does have visible frenulums on his top and bottom lips but I don't know if these fall into the categories of normal.

Right - spoken with the health visitor who thinks gagging/vomiting is definitely more likely to be tongue tie than not being ready for weaning, especially given his other symptoms so they've referred DS straight away onto max-fax for a consultation. Given the six week wait, however, I may go private so I've also asked to join that FB group for recommendations.

Looks like you might have another satisfied customer, mawbroon! thanks

mawbroon Wed 07-Nov-12 13:10:59

You might find that given his age, the NHS might want to give him a GA. And, I also don't think that they would do anything about a lip tie (if he has one)

The dentists I mentioned both use laser and don't use GA. My understanding is that the tongue function can't be properly assessed after the procedure if the patient is under GA. Laser has several advantages over scissors.

I completely understand your hesitation about having it done if there are not going to be any other problems, but the trouble is that nobody knows for sure if there are going to be any other problems or not. I would list being unable to cope with solids as a problem tbh.

IME, it's easier to prevent problems rather than try to deal with them once they have happened. ds1 is a prime example!

Just got off the phone with the HV and he said exactly that about the GA. I absolutely don't want that. Huddersfield is doable for me. Will I be able to get the details of the dentist you mention from the FB group or can you give me a contact here?

mawbroon Wed 07-Nov-12 14:13:58

Sure here Dr John Roberts. Tongue tie clinic is usually on a thurdsay afternoon.

ds1 was done there in sept, it cost £300, including a session with the osteopath, which although optional is highly recommended. The importance of bodywork is something you will read about on the fb group.

Fantastic - thank you so much! I really can't believe the tongue tie wasn't the first thing I thought of. Kicking myself for a) not thinking about it and b) not getting it sorted when he was much smaller.

Iggly Wed 07-Nov-12 18:57:58

Can you tell me more about the lip tie?

Dd has one - very obvious top lip one. The lacatation consultant took one look at her tongue and snipped it but said they don't do anything about lip ties...? (her feeding is still not great at 11 months but now on solids fine).

Should it be sorted?

Oh and OP - try baby with a beaker instead. Dd is quite good with one of those (one from 4 months plus), she doesn't have bottles.

Iggly Wed 07-Nov-12 19:03:50

Oh and DD has dreadful reflux and takes down air when she feeds even now. I have to thoroughly wind her otherwise she wakes up after 45 mins. I'm convinced it's the lip tie but too late to fix. Although worried it'll affect her when older?

mawbroon Wed 07-Nov-12 19:09:56

Iggly, can you get to Huddersfield or London? The two dentists I mentioned will laser a lip tie if it needs doing.

Iggly Wed 07-Nov-12 20:22:26

I'm in London. Will check out the details, thank you.

Iggly - he can drink from a Doidy cup well, if he has a mind to do so, but frequently won't. It's exactly the same with a bottle - can, has been known to do so on several occasions, but won't. He was at nursery for four hours today and absolutely refused the bottle, so screamed at me in hunger the whole way home then fed like a little leech when he got at the boobs. I've told them to start trying a beaker with him instead. Starting to worry a bit now since it's not like they'll be able to get solids with lots of dairy into him in lieu of milk at the moment confused

Iggly Wed 07-Nov-12 20:58:12

Maybe it's just a case of him getting used to it?

Dd took very small amounts at first but now takes 4 ounces from a beaker (which is a lot - DS, who was fine with bottles took 3/4 max)

An update in case anyone's still bothered - 90-95% resolution of gagging and vomiting immediately following tongue tie revision!

He gagged a bit tonight, but I would do that too if I shoved that much omelette in my mouth in one go grin

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