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8 month old baby never been able to swallow anything but milk!

(28 Posts)
RachelsFirst Thu 16-May-13 13:40:56

Hi there,
some advice please - I tried to wean my LO at 6 months the BLW with banana. she gummed a bit, and then gagged. I gave her a break as I thought she wasn't ready and tried again a few weeks later with puree. Again she gagged with even the runniest of solids. I tried mushed avocado which she accepted but had difficulty swallowing. The only way she will swallow anything is if I give her water (from a bottle). She even gags with water from a beaker !!!
anyone have any idea whats going on? or any tips to help?
not surprisingly she's now rejecting all food as shes afraid she will gag on everything....

ExBrightonBell Thu 16-May-13 14:11:28

Perhaps her gag reflex is still quite far forward? It usually moves back from 6 months afaik, but it could be slower to move back with your dd. In your position I would keep giving her food in the BLW way and just let her play with the food. Don't worry about her eating any - as long as she is still having milk (breast or formula) she will still be getting enough calories and nutrition.

Some babies can take a while to get going with solid food. If she has the opportunity to explore and play with food, then when she is ready she can start to eat.

When I started weaning with my ds he went through a phase of mostly gagging, then got the hang of moving food around in his mouth and then finally swallowing.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 16-May-13 16:36:57

Very good advice given already, just try to remember too that there is a big difference between gagging and choking, its explained quite well here smile

I agree on still offering food too, just a bit of what you are having and let her play with it.

RachelsFirst Thu 16-May-13 19:51:34

thanks both. i'm still offering finger foods to her 3 times a day as she's desperate to chew on stuff but as soon as a small amount hits the back of her mouth she begins to gag desperately. (which is when i swoop in with the water).
another mum has told me to add something to slightly thicken her milk so that she gets used to swallowing a slightly thicker texture? is that a big no-no? she seems to have no problems swallowing milk from a bottle...advice please! confused

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 16-May-13 19:55:40

What did she suggest to thicken it with? What happens if you don't swoop in with the water?

ghosteditor Thu 16-May-13 19:56:34

Does she have a tongue tie or a lip tie? There could be biomechanical issues at fault, possibly.

But try to limit the panic and swooping as it could trigger her to panic too. As above, a certain amount of gagging and spitting out is normal at first. Good luck!

orangeandemons Thu 16-May-13 19:59:51

What about yoghurt?

I weaned dd as blw was just starting. She gagged on all finger foods and was sick, but was fine with purées

She had reflux and was sick all the time until about 4, especially when she had a cold

RachelsFirst Thu 16-May-13 20:01:58

JJJ - porridge apparently. ??
if i dont give water then the gagging leads to retching and vomitting (we've had 3 or 4 episodes)

no tongue tie - she was checked for that as her latch was terrible and she really didnt get on well with bf (would only feed for a minute...)

tried mango and avocado for tea. she had great fun playing with it all but spat it out as soon as she gummed a piece...really hoping she gets the hang of it soon!

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 16-May-13 20:02:45

Agree it could be tt and or upper lip tie. Our DS had both and we got him to chew and swallow by giving him chocolate blushgrin

ExBrightonBell Thu 16-May-13 20:05:44

If you can bear it, I would do nothing at all when she gags, just leave her to it. It's a vital part of the learning process and is how they learn to move food around their mouths. Don't give her water, don't react - if you can, just carry on eating your food.

Occasionally my ds still gags on large chunks, but they come out and he tries again!

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 16-May-13 20:06:45

Please never put anything like porridge in her bottle, its a serious choking hazard and she might die! Hope that's not being too dramatic smile

There are other reasons why its not a good idea, although the death thing was always enough to put me off! smile

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 16-May-13 20:10:26

Agree with ex try to benignly ignore and just eat your food. If the vomiting thing bothers you try to stick her in a long sleeved vest and keep a couple of Muslins to hand. Do you know what to do if she does choke?

RachelsFirst Thu 16-May-13 20:20:27

JJJ - about the choc grin. ive always thought what a great weaning food it is - melt in the mouth etc etc...might be the next thing to try wink

And about the choking thing - yes am upto scratch. made sure i'd revised it all before starting (i'm of a naturally nervous disposition ). so my nerves dont help when she starts to gag you're right.

any ideas on foods that might slip and slide in without causing her too much bother? i thought avo was a good one (it was really ripe) but she just kept on spitting it out. also tried one of those net catchers but she didnt like it as soon as she figured out there was food in there lol

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 16-May-13 20:28:14

Ice lolly?

ExBrightonBell Thu 16-May-13 20:34:50

I think things will get spat out for a while - eventually more goes in than comes out! Also you might find some has actually been swallowed even though it looks like everything has come out. I found myself fascinated by the contents of ds's nappies (tmi?) for the first weeks! He was clearly swallowing some food even though I thought it all was being spat out.

Food wise, I found that steamed veg went well. Things like sweet potato (also roasted), broccoli, courgette. Also poached apple slices, cooked until fluffy and very soft. Very ripe and peeled pear was a favourite too.

EvidenceBasedMum Thu 16-May-13 20:41:00

We had exactly the same problem. I had planned to do a mixture of purees and finger food (have a skinny, ex-feed-refusing refluxer. Now treated and much better, but could do with beefing up a bit) but she completely refused a spoon so have been hard-core baby-led weaning since she was 6 months (just turned 8 months today).

We had about 5-6 weeks of prolific gagging with EVERYTHING that went in, followed by copious vomits...and I was beginning to despair.

But now things seem to have turned the corner, and although she sometimes gags, the vomiting has virtually stopped, and it is just a little gag to move the offending morsel to somewhere more suitable.

The best things we found were softish, melt-in-the-mouth carbs. I have been making no-sugar banana and pear muffins and broccoli and cheese muffins from the baby-led weaning website and these have been really successful. Rice / risotto also good. And once she got the hang of it with something, she got better with other things. Banana and avocado actually seemed quite bad gagging offenders for us.

Good Luck!

PS grin at the chocolate. Despite being a committed health-freak myself I recently made the discovery that DD is not a spoon refuser when said spoon contains ice-cream...blush

ghosteditor Thu 16-May-13 21:58:35

Sorry to revisit but if you had problems with her latch then tongue tie (anterior maybe?) or lip tie is even more likely. A lot are missed.

I'm only pushing it because 16 mo DD has the most severe grade lip tie which has only just been picked up - and she is very odd about food.

Good luck smile

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 16-May-13 22:02:16

It does get better ghost my lip tied, tongue tied boy also had problems weaning. Now he's 9 he'll eat almost anything. Well apart from, am sitting with him any mining while he sleeps between vomiting sad

shouldibecrossaboutthis Thu 16-May-13 22:09:03

in my experience slimy textures make gaggers worse. Have you tried bagels/toast?

ghosteditor Thu 16-May-13 22:09:57

Sorry to hear that jilted and thanks for the encouragement. Trying to avoid meal times becoming a battle but she's so uninterested in eating. And we did the whole no pressure BLW thing from day one, so I don't think it's a power struggle.

RachelsFirst Thu 16-May-13 22:56:34

Ex and EBM thanks for the food suggestions. Going to try sweet potato and risotto tmw maybe?
Ghost - my HV and GP have cleared her for tongue tie but we haven't looked for lip tie (never heard of it until now tbh). Do you think GP's would know how to look for it? My GP's practice has a different locum everyday so losing faith...
SIBCAT - she's loved toast from day one (again just gumming v little swallowing) but has rejected it this week.

Ho hum tomorrow's another day so looking forward to more foodie mess!!! (If anyone had told me BLW was this much fun I would have done it with LO1 too!)

ghosteditor Fri 17-May-13 07:45:36

Ooh also, my DD wasn't really swallowing much food until 9-10 months or eating much of quantity until 12 months, just for comparison.

You can check for lip tie yourself - check online photos. As you start to look I'm afraid it seems that the NHS have often lost the expertise to diagnose all of this. An awful lot is missed. You need a tongue tie expert MW, or expert dentist. I found Dr Malcolm Levenkind privately and we'll be seeing him.

Nicknamefail Fri 17-May-13 14:39:09

Hi, it must be stressful with lots of vomiting after gagging but this is how dc will learn to swallow food properly. Keep offering lots and try not to go in with water and in a couple of weeks she will improve. My dd spent the first 3 weeks of weaning abidly putting food in then wailing. We came through in and she now eats nicely. (Messily!!!). Good luck.

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 17-May-13 17:23:29

Agree that if its been checked by GP and mw its still likely to be tt and even upper lip tie. milk matters do a virtual diagnosis and the suggestion of that dentist is a good one too. Can't remember if you are ff or bfing, but if you are bfing there are lactation consultants who specialise in tt too.

Agree that its sad that these skills have been lost by the NHS, in fact there is a whole thread of MNers told that their Lo didn't have it only to find out later they did, including me sad

RachelsFirst Fri 17-May-13 23:21:18

OMG. I am shocked and a little upset sad. Went and googled some pics of upper lip tie and both DD1 and DD2 have it! DD1 was terrible at bfing and screamed and arched and was colicky. She was diagnosed as reflux and on a whole host of meds. Maybe it was this all along??!?!
I didn't even realise when her gappy front teeth came through - I just thought it was CUTE grin

And now DD2 has it too!!! Which would explain why she was so bad at bf too! for both I had to give up at 4 months as the crying and unlatching/relatching/sucking/crying cycle every few minutes was just too traumatic.

So 2 questions:
1. Is it worth getting a toddler's ULT snipped? What sort of speech impediment would you expect if ULT was affecting her?
2. Do you think ULT is affecting my LO and her weaning with solids? Where should I go to get it snipped? (am in London)

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