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Scared of baby choking

(15 Posts)
Jac1978 Tue 30-Oct-12 17:57:27

My baby is 8 months and has been weaning since 6 months. She eats lots of different lumpy purees and isn't a fussy eater and has been doing really well. However, my inlaws keep telling me I should have done baby led weaning like my sister in law but as far as I can see it all ends up on the floor! Anyway I have started dabbling with finger foods - melt in the mouth snacks and soft cooked carrot sticks but each time she puts far too much in her mouth and starts gagging and then I panic. I am just finding it so nerve wracking to give her finger food, I am on edge the whole time but I know she has to do it. Maybe I will feel better when she has got some teeth but I am so so scared of het choking to death. How do I overcome this?

ZuleikaD Tue 30-Oct-12 18:20:00

Don't worry - gagging is good! It means they're learning to move food around their mouths and it's an essential part of the learning process. Gagging is noisy and alarming but nothing like choking. Choking is silent (which is why you don't leave a baby alone with its apple slices) and desperate. Why not watch some youtube videos about how to administer first aid to a baby (or go on a course) to reassure yourself you would know how to react.

Baby led weaning recognises the fact that for the first few months of weaning/solids they're not actually getting much calorific benefit from the food anyway (it's months before solids take over from milk as the primary source of nutrition) so it really doesn't matter that it goes on the floor.

FreelanceMama Tue 30-Oct-12 18:37:28

we went on a 1st aid course last weekend - 3 hours - which covered choking vs gagging. Would definitely recommend you do it. Nothing like hands-on practice with a special 'baby' and opportunity to ask questions.

Your baby will gag whatever they put in their mouth - food, fingers, toys, spoon, etc. They soon learn how far they can put things and they'll cough to move it to the front again.

The foods our trainer warned us about were grapes and cherry tomatoes. Crush them first.

But the major one is chopped up sausage. Scary but several babies have died from discs of sausage getting stuck in the windpipe - so cut them lengthways too.

Even adults choke and we covered that in our course too.

We let our son play with a spoon before we started BLW and he would gag on it, but obviously couldn't choke! I think that helped him learn that when we handed him spoonfuls of porridge, for example, how far he could put the spoon in.

It will be messy and food will get thrown away but it's fun too, it means you can soon eat with your baby in a cafe rather than have to feed them, it's good for fine motor skills and supposedly helps with language - all that tongue and mouth action!

We use leftovers of our food e.g. spaghetti in cheese sauce with leftover veg mashed into the sauce.

Watch out for bread though - it can get wadded up and stuck in the roof of their mouth, as can peel of mangos or courgette. We do a fair bit of fishing out with our finger!

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 30-Oct-12 20:13:30

Agree with the others, it doesn't matter if it ends up on the floor as "food is for fun until you are one". Going on a first aid course also sounds like a really good idea as unfortunately, only feeding purees does not stop babies from choking.

vesela Tue 30-Oct-12 22:18:54

I was very, very scared about this when DD was a baby. Of course I'd read lots about BLW and finger food and how it was all fine and this was how it worked etc. etc. I spend ages trying to reassure myself.

But I was scared. In the end I just decided that I wasn't going to do something that made me feel tense and nervous at every meal. I also read that the French don't put such an emphasis on finger food at that age, and I thought - well, they turn out OK. So I left it, DD became an expert at feeding herself with a spoon, and and only started on finger foods well after she was 1. And guess what, she didn't suffer speech delays or any of the other terrible things they say are going to happen if you don't start giving finger food at 8 months.

So my advice is to just do what you're comfortable with. It'll be fine.

ZuleikaD Wed 31-Oct-12 05:46:22

In terms of choking risk there is absolutely no difference between finger food and spoon food.

vesela Wed 31-Oct-12 08:36:26

Zuleika - I know. But if the OP finds it nerve-wracking - and I did, too - then there's no good reason why she should have to give her baby finger food.

It's not like being over-protective at a later age, when parents who find it nerve-wracking to let their children go anywhere could well end up limiting their children. Babies aren't harmed by not having finger food until after 1. DD had it when she was about 14 months or so, I think - I just felt more relaxed about it then. With babies, you do have to go with your instincts and what makes you feel comfortable.

vesela Wed 31-Oct-12 08:43:19

and I know that there are various studies regarding speech development etc. I read a lot about it, because I was trying to overcome my fear. I tried giving her finger foods when there were other people about - my doctor sister, for example! - to see if it helped. But it didn't - it made mealtimes horrible whatever.

In the end I decided that the risk of not giving them to her was minimal, and so just went with it. It's not like the risk of not vaccinating your children or something.

As well as what everyone else has said I would just add that you will be suprised how quickly your dd will learn how to eat without gagging! Ds has been combining purees and finger food for 7 weeks and hasn't gagged for a few weeks now.

Having said that, if it's not for you thats fine. We're all just trying to get to the point where our babies can feed themselves and eat o good diet.

I really don't believe it matters how we get there as ling as we do. So what if your Sil did it? Dont feel like you have to if you don't want to.

EasilyBored Wed 31-Oct-12 10:47:47

I would second the idea of going on a first aid course, I found it really reassuring.

With regard to the finger food - DS was an awful awful gagger. Anything that was remotely textured, or bits of finger food - he just shoved in his mouth, gagged, then projectile vomited all over the table. The lovely HV said that when babies gag, they bring the food forward, and it will just 'plop out on to the high chair'. HA! <bitter laugh> Only in the last couple of months (he's 10 months) has he started to really chew food and swallow it without regular gagging. IT's a learning process, but he will get there.

It's important to remember that he is gagging, not choking, and it's perfectly normal and it's just because their gag reflex is naturally more sensitive, precisely so that they DON'T choke. It's scary though. DS started gagging on a raisin in tesco the other day, I was sure he was about to start choking!

Jac1978 Wed 31-Oct-12 11:18:02

Thank you all, has made me feel better after a stern lecture from the health visitor left me feeling useless. Vesela your comments have been a great comfort now I know I'm not alone and I'm not going to hold her back if I take a bit longer. I knew I should have been French! I bet they don't look down on formula feeding either!

MyGoldenNotebook Wed 31-Oct-12 20:30:29

Oh I feel terrified of this too. Keep reading the BLW book - even have the cook book but still don't think I'll be able to go through with it. Maybe when she's 10ish months (she's four months at the moment so I have a good while to think about it - won't start till 6 months with puréed food). I must be French too - and no, from all I've read I don't think they look down on formula in the same way as here and in Aus/US. They're much more open minded in that sense!

5dcsinneedofacleaner Thu 01-Nov-12 09:14:29

I know how you feel!. I hate the gagging part of weaning. My dd is 8 months and going through the same, sometimes i just have to give her the food and count to ten to calm myself!.
She is dc5 and you think i would be used to it by now but im not.

dd4 had a proper choking episode much older (11.5 months) and that was on a nice soft piece of scrambled egg. I was siting with te 4 (at the time) children eating scrambled egg, one of the others asked for a drink so i went on the next room to pour some water so i was only gone a matter of 30 seconds. I suddenly heard my 8 year old really screaming piercing scream I ran back in looking at her thinking she had seriously hurt herself somehow but she was frantically trying to get my 11 month old out of the high chair bless her. The baby was just thrashing around frantically turning blue - no noise at all just thrashing her head she thrashed it so hard in fact she hit it on the high chair and ended up with a nice bruise down one side of her face.

I tried the slapping on back thing no luck after maybe 4 times of trying this she was a dark purple colour i called an ambulance. They arrived to their credit within minutes and just as the fast car pulled up outside she suddenly coughed up loads of blood out of her throat and nose, threw up and started breathing again. By the time they actually came in the door she was sitting covered in sick looking sheepish. We had to go into hospital because her throat was sore and inflamed she wouldnt swallow for ages just dribbling down her face bless.

Prob nothing to do with your problem but just to reinforce that gagging is nothing like choking smile.

Fluffyfish Thu 01-Nov-12 09:17:01

Blw wasn't for me for many reasons but main point here is do what works for you and tell your ILs to mind own business.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Thu 01-Nov-12 09:24:27

Oh 5 dc that must have been terrifying. It's one of my real fears (and not just food -what if she picks something up while I'm on the loo etc.) I'm fanatical now about grapes and tomatoes . . .

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