16 answers

Choking/coughing While Eating

My 9 week old daughter Mia chokes/coughs almost every time she eats. I only breast fed for the first 2 weeks, then I stopped producing milk, so I had to switch to formula. I always make sure the formula is completely mixed in so there are no clumps, but almost every time she eats she chokes and coughs, and her face turns red. Is she eating or swallowing too fast? I am a new mom and very new to this, has anyone else experienced this? She goes to her 2 month old appt tomorrow and I will be asking, but I was wondering if this is normal?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Try a different nipple - the flow might be too fast for her and she's getting too much in her mouth. Use the newborn nipples.

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Maybe you can try a different nipple on the bottle. Could be that the one you are using has too big of a hole and she is getting more in her mouth than she can swallow at once...
Good Luck!

My baby did the same thing, but I was nursing. My lactation consultant told me that my flow was too fast, so I had to pump before feeding so the flow was slower and the milk was thicker. Maybe switch to a smaller hole in the nipple of the bottle? I would guess that might help. Good luck!

hi C., are you feeding her formula and cereal from a bottle? the reason I am asking is because one of my daycare moms has been feeding her baby likethat since she was 6 weeks, the problem was that she made the hole in the nipple bigger, which was fine but she made it a little to big, and so when Julianna would drink the bottle she would choke and cough because it was coming out to fast and she couldn't swallow as fast as it was coming out. Your baby may be having the same problem, check the bottle nipples, J. L.

You are using the wrong nipple on her bottle! Get a newborn nipple with a slower flow. or switch to an Avent bottle with a newborn nipple.

You might want to try a slow flow nipple, sometimes the nipples are too big so the milk/formula comes out too fast.

You might want to check the speed of the nipple flow or try switching to a bottle that has different size nipples. Avent has a really good nipple system.

Hi C.-
I am a mom and a feeding therapist. It sounds like the flow of the formula is too fast for your daughter to coordinate. You can look for nipples with a slower flow. You can also try sitting her up a little more to reduce the flow. If those approaches don't work you may want someone (pediatrician or Occupational Therapist) to see if she is having difficulties coordinating her suck, swallow, breath; but I bet the above modifications will help.
Best Wishes,

The flow is too fast. Get a nipple with a smaller flow/hole and give little breaks in between. Don't forget to write down your questions for your appointment. :)

Sounds like it could be the nipple flow, my babies did the same thing if it was coming out too fast. With the bottles we used, the flow was guaged by the tightness of the lid combined with the nipple size (the tighter the lid, the slower the flow), but I know there are several different types of bottles out there. Be sure you are using the slowest nipple and also check your bottles to see if there is an adjustment there for the flow. My babies used the slowest nipples until about 5 months or so. We gradually loosened the lid to allow more flow, then eventually went up to the medium flow nipples, but they never went above the medium flow nipples before giving up the bottle altogether at a year old. I think it is a very individual thing with babies - how fast they like the flow. She probably needs it real slow now, most young babies do. I would also bring it up with your doctor at your next visit, just to rule out any other issues. Hope this helps!

Sometimes when you transition from breast to bottle they tend to suck harder, therefore getting too much milk. Give it a little time or try getting a different bottle that has a smaller hole in the nipple. Also, use goats milk formula, it's a better source - no allergies!

I would also suggest the Avent bottles. It is most likely the flow of the milk.

Try a different nipple - the flow might be too fast for her and she's getting too much in her mouth. Use the newborn nipples.

The problem could be with the nipple on the bottle. Nipples have different size holes in them and there is one that is for newborns.If the hole is to big, the milk may be comming out to fast.

Try switching to newborn/preemie nipples. My DD could only tolerate the slow flow until she was about 4 months old. It also could be reflux...check with your doctor.

As unusual as it may seem, this is totally normal. Babies sometimes choke and gag because this is the first time their used to having solid foods, even purees in their mouth. I would continue to give her purees and see how she progresses. It's great that you're seeing her pediatrician so you can ask him too.-www.weelicious.com

Maybe the bottle nipples you are too fast flowing for her at this point, look for slow flowing/newborn nipples to start with. Also, tip and re-tip the bottle to make sure the pressure in the bottle has equalized and isn't spraying a stream of milk into her mouth. Even though most bottles come with newborn or slow flowing nipples...they all seem to flow at different rates. Some bottles that prevent this are Dr Brown's and Playtex Airvent, maybe buy 1 or 2 different bottles or nipples to see if it helps her, you may also want to prop her more upright in your arms when she takes the bottle. I hope something helps soon...it sounds quite distressing. ~~L.

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