Baby led weaning - fear of choking(13 Posts)
My baby is 7.5 months old and I've been doing BLW since she was 6 months. She doesn't eat a lot but when she does eat, she gags a LOT. I've seen other babies gag and normally its a small gag which doesn't phase them and they carry on eating. With my baby she has big, long gags and her eyes go watery and red rimmed afterwards and sometimes she vomits. She also looks panicky and doesn't want to carry on eating afterwards. I find this very scary to watch and I'm anxious about every meal time (even though I make an effort not to show it) especially if other people are with us. I know people say not to worry and its normal, but I (stupidly) googled about babies choking on food and have read some extremely sad articles about babies and toddlers that have died recently. I love the theory behind BLW but at the moment I feel really stressed about it all and not sure what to do! Can anyone help?
Firstly, remember a baby's gag reflex is a lot further forward than that of an adult.
Have you done an infant first aid course? Not that you're likely to need it but it might help you feel less anxious and useful.
Try not to google! I think a lot of these things are where babies or toddlers have eaten inappropriate foods eg. whole grapes, cherry tomatoes, marshmallows.
My DD ate loads for the first 2 weeks of BLW, then randomly ate bits until about 8 months when she really got going.
Honestly? That sounds pretty wretched for your child and nothing bad will happen to them if you decide to stop doing BLW. The theory behind it is just that - theory.
It doesn't have to be all of nothing. You could, for example, give something in toast for breakfast, spoonfed puree followed by soft fruit at lunchtime then bits of your dinner followed by spoonfed yoghurt for evening meal.
It doesn't sound like much fun for either of you, why not try a mix of spoon feeding and softer, easier finger foods? Food should be fun at that age, stuffing their wee faces and the funny gurns at new textures/ flavours and the like.
Why not switch to puréed foods and do a more traditional weaning process? She's going to get negative views of food if she keeps choking and being sick
I would switch to purées if BLW isn't working for you and/or your baby. It's one method and there are other viable options. Just like breast v bottle feeding - do what works for your family. I had the opposite with DS. I wanted to do purées but he didn't like being fed so had to change and do BLW.
We did a mix of purées and finger food with DS (probably what my parents called "weaning") Usually both in a meal, so spoon fed puree first and then give him something to chew on. Quite quickly moved on to lumpier purées and chunkier finger foods.
I doggedly persisted with BLW with DS1, despite the kind of awful gagging and vomiting you describe. I kept being reassured it was normal and that BLW was ab-so-lootly MARVELLOUS and it would always ensure he was an adventurous eater. He gagged and choked and puked his way past 12 months, eating less and less and less...except at nursery where they gave him staged mashed foods interspersed with finger foods. At four years old, he is still a TERRIBLE eater at home, and I can't help but wonder if my persistence with BLW is the cause of that. Wish I'd never heard of baby-led puking. It really isn't appropriate for all babies.
DS2 got staged purees/fork-mashed versions of whatever we had and finger foods. We call him Augustus Gloop he eats so much and in such a wide variety.
BLW can FTFO as far as I'm concerned.
Thanks for your replies! I'll have a go with purées and see how she gets on, fingers crossed we'll get there
Are you sure you are giving her suitable food to try herself on? BLW is not just a theory, it is also in my view the most natural way for a child to move on to solid food. Nature is well made.
What are you giving her?
with my two I would simply give them a bit of what we were eating as long as it is suitable. BLW is not about giving finger food but letting a child explore food for themselves (again as long as suitable food). Is she choking on cucumber for instance? Pasta? Rice? Have you asked a GP for some guidance to see if there is a medical reason behind it?
DD2 was a bit of a puker - we did a lot of finger foods from early on (not "hardcore" BLW as I also fed them purees, porridge, yoghurt etc) and the things she coped well with were fruit/vegetable sticks cooked till soft - roasted butternut squash, steamed carrot, baked apple slices, stuff like that. Peas she liked too.
OTOH if you're sticking with purees and you want her to have the experience of playing with food/self-feeding you can always hand her the spoon with some puree on (probably want to get a plastic mac to wear to dinnertime in that case though as it goes everywhere!)
Have you seen the Nuby nibbler? I had a ds like this, so things like apple and cucumber I put in one of those. Worked a treat for us, so could be worth a try?
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