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Will my gagger always have food issues?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Caden is almost 6 mos., so I'm not in a hurry to start him on solids, really, but he has a SUPER sensitive gag reflex. I tried just putting a teeny tiny dab of banana on my finger and putting my finger in his mouth and he gagged at just the flavor in his mouth. He did this when I put a little drippy rice cereal on my finger once, too.
My oldest has Sensory Integration issues and huge food issues and I'm worried this could be a sign that Caden will have issues as well. I mean, I know eventually, when he's ready, he'll eat, but I'll be really sad if it's like his brother. Mackenzie will only eat a dozen foods and they have to be just the right texture and go into his mouth with the right side on his tongue, etc. etc.....
Has anyone else had a really gaggy baby that was late to start food that came around and likes to eat now, without a bunch of food issues?
post #2 of 14
post #3 of 14
Hayden is a big gagger. She is almost 19 mo and she still does not eat many solids. When we started trying to introduce solids, she would gag and then uke them across the room. Not pleasant. To this day, she will only eat a few things and only on her terms. But, she is 24.5 lbs and is thriving (good old breastmilk!!) and I am not too worried. She will eat when she is ready. Good luck to you.
post #4 of 14
I was begining to wonder the same thing about my younger dd. She has a huge tongue thrust reflex that has only just disappeared recently (she's 10 mo) for food--as long as she puts it in her mouth herself. And she will push out my finger (testing for teeth) or a spoon with food on it (95% of the time).

A couple of weeks ago a friend introduced me to a product where you can put pureed food in a "sippy cup" that has handles and a soft spout with large holes to suck the food out. At first I thought it was the most awful contraption I had ever seen, but I tried it at her house and dd LOVED it. She can sit at the table with us and feed herself. She gets pureed fruits and veggies in her cup, and then bits of whatever we're having chopped up really tiny.

And she'll eat now. Prior to that (and as late as last month) she would only take breastmilk and only straight from mom. Could it be that your ds is also one that wants to do it all by their self? My dd will eat anything now, but only if she can do it herself.

If you are interested in more info on the sippy cup product, I can give it to you.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yes, Jenni, thanks! I know it's still early, but I'd like to know about the cup/where to find it if I think it would help at some point. He's so little right now that I don't think it's so much a thing that he wants to do it himself, but that may be the case later, we'll see.
Any more positive stories of gaggers gone good eaters would be appreciated!
post #6 of 14
Hey Holly!

My ds was a big gagger as well. Eventually he did fine with solids, but it took a while before he would eat them. He was 2 I think. Anyways, he still gags pretty easy but usually when he is done eating and I am trying to get him to finish his food. I've learned not to push him. Oh, he is 5.5 now. Good luck!
post #7 of 14
Hi Holly, my dd is 2yo and is still a bit sensitive to certain things, or if she has too much in her mouth. She has always been a big gagger. I was very concerned about it while I was introducing foods, as she would gag and then start choking, we were pretty scared there a couple of times. And it wasn't even with much food. She just has a very sensitive reflex. But my sister has this too and she is 34, so it might stay a bit, but not obviously to the point of being debilitating.

I would just be careful when you do introduce more solid foods, all of my dd's friends were eating more advanced foods long before she was, and no one could understand why I wouldn't give her a whole cracker to eat, or a piece of melon, or etc... so don't be pressured, just take it slow. I once said to my dh that I would rather just be patient with the food we give her than force it too early and risk her choking or have it turn into a food aversion. It's not worth it. But at the same time don't be too paranoid about food, just be careful, small, small pieces and slow, and just follow his signals.

Now my dd eats better than any of her friends, she eats tonnes and breastfeeds tonnes, and hardly ever has the gagging.
post #8 of 14
YEp...I had issues with my dd not wanting to eat solids. I pureed everything under the sun ! She gagged and carried on with the most awful faces...until finally I gave up ( she was 7 1/2 months then) At about 9 1/2 months she took a green bean off of my plate and ate it... then I started offering her a little of this and that and she is doing great with no gagging unless she gets too much in her mouth. Now at 11 months she eats all things that are soft textured ( including chicken and fish) and is trying to spoon feed herself ( and doing pretty well )
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Awesome, you guys!! I needed those stories. All I read on the mainstream board I visit is how so many of the Dec. babies have started foods and love them and I haven't seen anyone mention this extreme gagging. He also completely vomits quite frequently and I think it's due to a combo of reflux and this hyper sensitive gag reflex.
It's going to be easier for me to be patient and not worry so much after hearing your stories, ladies. Thanks!
post #10 of 14
My neice's gag at 10mo just started improving last week. Previously anything beyond a very fine puree made her gag until she vomited. My ped had a babe with texture issues...she said that he had some texture aversion until about 4 or 5 but is fine now. So all is not lost. Go slow, go patiently. An early intervention person might have some ideas on techniques, but my ped said just slowly increase the texture and variety of foods and slow down when you hit trouble, or try a different food/texture. 6m is way too early to worry some babes are nowhere near ready yet but go on to be great eaters! My dd hated purees but took directly to finger foods. My niece is different, but still seems very intersted in foods.

A baby safe feeder might be a helpful half step in this instance, I don't personally like them for most kids but I think they're the ideal thing for kids with gag issues. Personally, I would wait at least another 2-4 months before trying really hard...your babe sounds just not quite ready yet.

I think it is related to reflux. My niece was VERY refluxy but we never had any specialized tests or medication because she gained weight more than fine on small frequent BF - adorably chubby in fact! But I would bet whatever is structurally goin on in there is affecting the gag issue.
post #11 of 14
Hey Holly,

Checking back in. Everyone has great stories, it makes me think that Mia will have more food than breastmilk eventually!!

The "food sippy cup" that we now use is a Parent's Choice product (Walmart) and it's called the "Infant feeder set". It comes as a two pack, one with a sippy nipple and one with a bottle nipple. I don't use the bottle nipples, since my dd won't take a bottle anyway. She's really decided that she likes fruits and veggies this way. (She'll get through 4 oz a day now!--Older dd was just about ready for pizza at this age!).

My dd even gags when we try to give her medicine and we just did two courses of antibiotics for UTI. It's a joy to get medicine in her system.

post #12 of 14
According to my Granny, I was a gagger baby and "picky" eater. When I went away to college, I gradually broadened my horizons and now eat a huge variety of foods. I do, however, still have a strong gag reflex and even sometimes gag on my toothbrush. I have to chew my food for ages and swallow only small bits at a time, but it isn't a problem and I really enjoy eating. My ds, now 11, was a gagger, too, and still has texture issues. He has a great appetite though and thoroughly enjoys the foods that don't make him gag. Just wanted you to be assured that being a gagger doesn't necessarily spoil the joys of eating!
post #13 of 14
dd is a year old (today actually) and has a strong gag reflex still.
I guess I don't have a lot of advice to give.
I have talked to a lot of other moms who's children didn't eat solids at 1 and went on to be fine eaters.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks, you guys! I'm going to have to print this out and hand it to people when they look at me with that "look". You know the one? The one that thinks you are making these things up and that your baby is starving because he is thin because YOU WON'T feed him real food.... The one that thinks you are a dumby because you hold and breastfeed on demand all day and night (because your baby will vomit the entire volume of milk in his stomach if you feed him on more than one breast in an hour....) :
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