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Baby-led weaning - gagging and choking question - Page 2

post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottyG View Post

I'm curious about this too.  We've been trying out some baby-led weaning, but I worry about the choking thing myself.  I know the difference between gagging and choking, but what I don't know is whether the risk of choking is greater with BLW versus puree-feeding.  I was hopeful about the "eensy teensy little bitty bites they take when they can control their own bites" that sapphire_chan mentions, but my little girl wants to take gigantic bites (like, golf-ball sized pieces) and mush them around in her mouth, then let most of it dribble out while swallowing the rest.  I like the idea, but it also makes me nervous.  

 

Any ideas about how to proceed when the little one wants gigantic bites that she can't really handle?

The risk for choking is greater with purees due to the fact that by the time they get to solid foods, their gag reflex has moved further back in their throats.  With BLW, they learn to manage what can and can't fit into their mouths and what they can comfortably gum,chew and swallow.  Her taking the bigger bites is her figuring it out....hence why she spits some out.  DS did this the other day with sweet potato.  It's hard to watch them put something into their mouth you think they might choke on but he figured it out.  The smaller the object, the more likely they are to choke.  That is why giving them big chunks of things to gnaw on works "better."
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by SKMarker View Post

What age?


The main school of thought is that they should be exclusively breast/formula fed for the first 6 months so that their gut has time to seal.  If they have met certain milestones, able to sit up mostly unassisted, have the absence of tongue thrust, and a pincer grasp (able to pick stuff up between thumb and first finger) then they are usually ready for solids.  Food before one is really just for exploration and fun.  It's about teaching them about food variety and textures.  They should get most of their nutrition form breast milk or formula.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wendizbaby View Post

My neighbor does this with purees that she makes and she loves it too.

I'm not trying to be rude, but what is wrong with pureed food?  It sounds like a great way to get different tastes and nutrition in your babe.  I'm just wondering why anyone would not want to try that route if they are afraid of choking.  I am VERY afraid of choking...I've had to pull food out of my 5 year old ds more times then I am comfortable with (ONCE is actually enough), so will be very careful with this baby.  Also, I didn't see this mentioned, but what about one of those baby mesh feeder things?  I have a few....you put the food in there so they can just suck on it.  
 

 


There is nothing "wrong" with it per se but again it goes back to the gag reflex.  If babies are fed exclusively purees, usually by the time they move onto solids their gag reflex has moved to the back of their throat and they have the absence of tongue thrust so they are more likely to choke when solids are started.  It's also about them not knowing what size food pieces they can handle because they didn't have that early exploration.  It's worse in babies who have been spoon/force fed.

 

 



 


 

post #22 of 28

HawaiianBlesing, do you have a source that says the risk of choking is greater with purees? I'd love to show that to my mother. She's not a fan of BLW and I'd like to convince her that I'm not endangering DD.

post #23 of 28

I would like to see the resources showing higher choking risk with purees too!  

 

What are other parents experiences with choking?  

 

My wife and I have been doing BLW since out son was 6 months and showing the signs of being ready.  We have followed all the general recommendations for type, size and preparation of solid food for him.  He has never had a puree and has taken to solids very well.  Our son is now almost 8 months old and I have had to do the Heimlich maneuver twice and my wife 3 times in the last 2 months (since starting).  Is this part of him "figuring" it out?  We are still BLWing and I believe in it's benefits but I am no zealot on the topic and the choking portion freaks me out.

post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liichen View Post

I would like to see the resources showing higher choking risk with purees too!  

 

 Our son is now almost 8 months old and I have had to do the Heimlich maneuver twice and my wife 3 times in the last 2 months (since starting).  Is this part of him "figuring" it out?  We are still BLWing and I believe in it's benefits but I am no zealot on the topic and the choking portion freaks me out.


Yes, I'd like to see those resources that show choking is more likely with purees, because I don't buy it.

 

Liichen, heimlich 5x? That would make me quit!

 

I tried giving my son larger chunks of bananas, and his problem is not choking, but rather gagging until he vomits everything he's just eaten.  It's very sad.  (and yes, I know there's a difference between gagging and choking)

 

I don't think there's anything wrong with starting with purees, as long as you are watching your baby's cues and not shoveling it into their mouth.  My son reaches and grabs the spoon and puts it in his own mouth.  Doesn't get much more "baby-led" than that!  And at least I know he's not going to choke on what's on that spoon!

post #25 of 28

I think she means that there is a bigger risk of a puree-fed baby choking on finger food than a BLW baby choking on a finger food (not that purees make babies choke.) Meaning, a BLW baby would know how to handle a potato wedge/carrot/broccoli floret bc their gag reflex is so forward in their mouth to protect them from choking in the first place. When a baby is fed purees, they often lose their gag reflex earlier so rather than gag on a big piece of food that gets in there (accidentally or not) they are more likely to choke than a BLW baby. Does that make sense? I think I understand what HawaiianBlessing was trying to say. 

post #26 of 28

So babies who are fed purees lose their gag reflex? Or it becomes less sensitive? I guess I'm not really sure how that bit of development works.  My puree-fed baby gags on bigger pieces of food, so I guess he hasn't lost it yet.

post #27 of 28
wendizbaby - I don't think that's a rude question, it's a good question smile.gif And I'm sure there are moms on here who can give a better explanation than I can, but I'll post my understanding. Babies have a highly developed gag reflex and tongue thrust reflex, so they gag sooner than an older child was, which drastically lessens the chance of them choking (they gag while food is further forward in their mouth). An older child gags when the food is further back in their mouth, making it more likely they will then choke. It's important to keep in mind that gagging and choking are NOT the same thing - gagging happens while food is in the mouth, choking happens when it is further back and blocks the airway. BLW is popular because babies learn to move food around in their mouth properly while their gag reflex is still really sensitive, so it makes them less likely to choke when they're older. Also, spoon feeding purees has been linked to a lot of unhealthy eating habits. Babies that feed themselves stop before they feel "full", which helps develop healthy attitudes towards food.

I don't think spoon feeding is necessarily bad, but it is often associated with trying to get a baby to eat something they don't want, and trying to make them eat the "proper amount" instead of what they're comfortable eating. It's really important, if spoon feeding purees, to be really aware of how much food the baby is comfortable eating. And to be aware of the additives in many commercially produced purees.

I'm doing BLW now with my first child and he is 8 months now, so hopefully a mom with more experience will chime in as well smile.gif
Edited by LivingSky - 3/17/12 at 6:49am
post #28 of 28

Thank you, LivingSky.  I think I misunderstood what the original poster was saying.  I thought she meant NEVER give purees and NEVER let them eat with small spoons.  HA!  I was wondering why not purees and what size of spoon should they be eating with (I took it a little to literally)!  :)  Yes...force feeding a child purees sounds like a horrible idea.  I guess having any sort of an agenda in regards to your child learning to eat is a horrible idea.  I think having a balance is the key to all of this.  I don't remember much about feeding my first son, only that I made it as enjoyable as possible for him.  Sometimes that meant that we went with a puree and other times I let him squish stuff up in his hands and attempt to stick it in his mouth. But no matter what I did, I tried not to stress about any of it.  

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