Concerns about choking

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Concerns about choking

Postby Mycool » 08 Feb 2016, 23:36

Hi, my partner and I started learning about blw recently and decided to try it with our 6.5 month boy. We've been giving him finger foods, some cooked. He has no teeth yet though sometimes he manages to bite bits off and begins to gag/choke. We can't help but feel nervous and especially towards the idea of giving him bite sized pieces as suggested. We're also not sure if we should offer foods that are stringy like beens or some Chinese vegetables and other hard to chew type things like cucumber skin. After eading a couple of articles and a 3rd of the blw book which assure he won't choke, we still dont feel fully comfortable and trust that he won't. Has anyone else experienced this nervousness with blw? Can anyone offer us reassurance from their own personal experiences?

Appreciate any help

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Re: Concerns about choking

Postby StJuniper » 09 Feb 2016, 00:25

When I first discovered BLW, part of me thought it was awesome, and part of me was sure I would kill my child. However, both the experience of watching my two do it like pros and some reassuring anatomical facts helped me settle down. Babies of this age have their gag reflex situated very far forwards on their tongue, such that any large, chokeable chunks that might be a hazard hit the gag reflex and are forcibly ejected :) Babies who BLW are at no increased risk from choking, and after a few weeks of watching your LO gag and cheerfully carry on with a meal, you start to get a sense that they can handle things.

You'll find there are foods that will make your LO gag more than others, but there's no particular reason to avoid beans, cucumber, etc. unless you LO seems to really struggle with them.
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Re: Concerns about choking

Postby lizandimo » 09 Feb 2016, 03:26

My DH was really nervous about choking, but after a few weeks he saw that DD could cope fine and now he will tell anyone who will listen how great blw is! It can definitely be nerve-wracking when you start.

Like StJ said, you don't need to avoid certain foods unless you find they are particularly gaggy for your son. DD would always gag on bread, but I found that if I toasted it she was fine, so for months I would only give her bread if it was toasted! It's ok to take it slowly and avoid certain foods that really make your son gag until you're feeling more confident.
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Re: Concerns about choking

Postby busmother » 09 Feb 2016, 11:55

It can be frightening to begin with, watching them gag, before you begin to learn what is gagging - when they make lots of noise, maybe go a bit red, while moving the piece of food forward out of the mouth, and then happily carry on, and choking, when a piece of food actually gets far enough back to get stuck, when they would go silent and then blue. It can be reassuring to do a baby first aid course, so you are confident you know what to do if they did choke, and just make sure you sit very close by and watch them carefully in the early days, so you know you can grab them out of the chair and tip them up at any sign that it's not just a gag. With three children, I have only once experienced a genuine choke, when I unthinkingly gave him a piece of seeded bread that had pumpkin seeds in, and a pat on the back dislodged it, but most of the time they are very adept at spitting out anything that feels uncomfortable.
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