Your baby gagging is terrifying. Learn about your baby’s gag reflex and what to do when infants have a sensitive gag reflex and choke on their bottle or food. If only fleetingly you’ve ever been there.
My first encounter with my baby gagging was at the age of six weeks. My little one was feeding bottle but wasn’t entirely comfortable with doing so. I’d noticed him gagging every time I moved my head in his direction. I thought it was normal at the time but he was still in pain the whole time so I took him to the doctor and he diagnosed him with Tracheostomyelitis.
It is caused by not getting the nutrients and oxygen that he so desperately needed from the breast and from the bottle. This would explain the crying and kicking and the little one would be fine with solid foods but they were having such a hard time grasping and holding onto the food because they were so starved. He was only 6 weeks old but already suffered more than a couple of intestinal blocks.
The doctor prescribed a steroid and told me that my baby gagging was caused by my negligence in preventing his exposure to solid foods too early. I completely understand now. I was only 6 weeks and had never been shown the baby gagging sign during the whole of my pregnancy. I felt helpless as I watched my son struggle for air inside his pram and I just didn’t know what to do.
My next concern was whether the baby gagging was due to some chemical reaction I had while giving him the shot. No way. I found out that he was gagging as a result of some damage to his mouth. He had small holes in his mouth, which had meant that he could not absorb all of the food he wanted to swallow. His throat had also become very sensitive to any touch or pressure there resulted in a painful whimper.
In my frustration I stopped giving him the solid food and I would not let him have anything other than breast or bottle milk for the first few months. This worked for a while, but when he was 6 months old and could take solid food he began to suffer again. By this time I realized that I must find a way to help my baby gagging.
I used to use a head rest to keep him still when I gave him oral stimulation. This worked OK for a while but it certainly did not help my baby gagging. Another way to help babies stay calm is to make sure they always have plenty of soft toys to keep their mouths busy with. Babies like to imitate their parents. If you hold the toy close to their mouth, they will be able to keep it there and get the comfort and warmth it offers. Soft toys are especially soothing when your baby is gagging.
I also made sure that he was eating plenty of breast or bottle milk. My doctor even suggested that I add a pacifier to his diet. These simple changes made a big impact on my baby gagging. It is no longer an issue that he is not swallowing enough or that his throat is too sensitive.
Many babies, especially newborns, have a sensitive gag reflex. When this reflex is aggravated it can lead to babies not finishing all of their swallows. This is why it is so important to start solids before babies begin sleeping in order to ease any tension that could lead to babies gagging. You can help ease some of the stress that babies may experience by keeping them comfortable and feeding them with breast or bottle milk at the same time.
Once again it was necessary for me to turn to my trusted local doctor for help. He did a few trial treatments with a cream that I would apply to my babies bottom. This worked well and my baby gagged less while being feed. He did start to get over his gag reflex after the first few days but it took awhile because he had never gagged before and it was a huge adjustment for him.
After starting the feeding in the upright position more frequently, my baby did begin to eat a little more comfortably. He did not always eat all of his food at one sitting, but he still came down with a full tummy after every feeding. He also went from holding his breath to breathing normally within five days. If you are having trouble with your baby not finishing all of his food at one sitting or if your baby seems to gulp down his food too fast, be sure to discuss these issues with your baby’s pediatrician as soon as possible.