One of the main reasons that Mums give for avoiding Baby Led Weaning is the fear of their baby choking. While it is sensible to be cautious about this very real danger,
Gagging is common and completely normal amongst younger children. Children are designed to have a very sensitive gag reflex which prevents them from choking.
If your child is gagging they will…
- Open their mouth and thrust their tongue forward
- They may begin to sputter and cough. These are both good signs, it means they are working it out!
Remember to never interfere if your child begins gagging. This could make things worse and lead to actual choking.
Choking happens when something is completely blocking your child’s airway.
If your child is choking they will…
- Turn blue
- Be completely silent and unable to breathe, cry or make noise
- May try to begin coughing – this means it is only a partial blockage and a good sign they
are clearing their airways.
If your child is turning blue and can’t breathe, they need immediate help. Be prepared and make sure you know first aid procedures in order to dislodge whatever is blocking their air ways.
It’s important to know exactly what to do if your child is choking. This video from the St John’s Ambulance provides a brilliant reminder.
Avoiding choking hazards
There are a number of ways to protect your baby from choking. Here are just a few…
- Don’t start your child on solid foods before they are developmentally ready – this is typically around six months, but can vary. Check out our helpful guide to find out…
- Ensure your baby eats sat in an upright position
- Never attempt to remove food from your babys mouth, as you can end up pushing it further back. If your baby is gagging, allow them to push the food out with their tongue on their own.
- When your baby is eating, be present and supervise how they are getting on
- Give your baby food which is the appropriate size and shape for their developmental stage
- Know the signs of choking, as written in our guide above
Knowing what to do and staying calm is one of the most important things to do if your baby is choking or gagging. We understand that this can scare any mum or dad, but by following our guide to identify what is happening, you are able to safely help your baby.