B.R. asks from Littleton, CO on January 21, 2008
How Do I Help My Baby Eat When He Has Such a Strong Gag Reflex That He Throws Up
I have a 9 month old who will gag on any solid food that is not an extremely fine puree. When he gags, it is so bad he throws up his entire meal. I have tried making thicker purees, and giving him things like puffs, cheerios, and some other softer finger foods, but nothing seems to go down. If anyone can tell me when he might grow out of it or if anyone has some ideas on what to feed him, please let me know.
D.K. answers from Denver on January 23, 2008
This needs to be taken up with your Pediatrician. If it is to the point that he throws up you may just want to postpone anything more then baby food that is really pureed. Meaning like Stage 1 foods. 9 mos is still kind of young and when he gets more teeth it will be a lot easier for him. I would definitely talk to your Dr if you already haven't and make sure it isn't anything else causing this. Try smoothies too, very puree in the blender with fruits of all kinds and even throw in a veggie or two when he is older!
C.M. answers from Tucson on January 21, 2008
What about avocado, Oatmeal, Banana, Pasta, Meatballs? You can always do applesauce and yogurt too. I realize you are looking for "solid" foods but he might still want very soft things.
I would just put whatever selection you make on his tray/table first. DO NOT MAKE A BIG DEAL ABOUT IT. Just let him do whatever he is going to do. Always have a backup of something he likes.
Eating at this point might be messy, but that's okay, right? As long as he's eating. I am sure he is still drinking milk so don't worry too much if you think he might not be getting enough. You've got time.
I have a 4 year old that came out of the womb being picky about food any everything else. Good luck to ya!
K.D. answers from Denver on January 21, 2008
Our son choked and gagged due to reflux. Eating was a real problem for him. We've had good success with treating the reflux and working with a feeding specialist. We love our specialist, but she's in Boulder. She was the only one we found that would see us right away. I have the names and numbers of some good specialists that I would trust since they sent us to someone so good. Let me know if you're interested. If you can get in, Children's is a great place because many kids who have feeding issues also have speech issues and they have specialists who work with both, so you don't have a long list of doctors to try to coordinate.
N.L. answers from Reno on January 23, 2008
My advice is to just not push him. My daughter was very slow to adjust to solids. Her little friends were scarfing stuff down that there is no way I could've given her at that time. She is 17 months old now & does just fine. I would say the turning point for her was around 11-12 months. When you do try new things make sure they are small enough that he can't choke (though he may gag & throw up) and/or things that disolve easily. I started with those puffs because they disolve easily & then I cut them in half. Maybe trying things smaller would help him? Also, have you fork mashed banana or avacado? You may try that & then add a bit of milk or water so they are not so thick.Good luck!
S.J. answers from Denver on January 21, 2008
For big concerns I think a call or vist to the Dr. is always reassuring.
I had similar issues with my daughter who is now 15 months. It seemed to take forever for her to tolerate more chunky foods. I finally quit forcing the issue and every week or so would try again by offering foods with more solid consistency. Eventually around 10-11 months it all came together and she would tolerate a heartier consistency. As far as what I fed her....I did a lot of fruits and steamed veggies with tofu in the food processor. Add tiny bit fruit juice, breast milk or water from the steamed veggies to adjust consistency.
K.R. answers from Tucson on January 22, 2008
First of all, it's great that you're trying all different types & thicknesses of food. Next, remember that each child is different! Since he's only 9 months old, it's not necessary for him to "eat" all of his nutrients. He should still be nursing or drinking formula as a primary source of nutrition. Right now, food is a plus! It's most important to simply get him familiar with putting different tastes & textures in his mouth. Make it a game! See if he will feed you or your husband.
At the same time - don't ignore the issue. Talk to your pediatrician about your concerns. Make a food diary...record when, what & how much he eats, drinks, nurses, etc. Are there any foods he does NOT gag on? Keep meal time consistent & routine. Try the same (bland, mild) foods for several days in a row before introducing another new food. Does he have a history of reflux with nursing/bottle feeding? What is his activity level just prior to & during meal times? Is he calm & relaxed or in high gear?
If you don't get the answers you want from your pediatrician, don't give up. Call the University, talk to the speech pathologists, they not only work on speech issues, they also help with swallowing issues.
Remember - you're the mom & you ultimately know what's best for your children & your family. At 9 months, you are the only voice your son has! God Bless!
S.H. answers from Phoenix on January 22, 2008
My son had reflux as well and would gag and throw up everytime he tried to eat solids. If you have talked to your Dr and they dont see anything wrong, I say just keep tring. It took my son awhile, I think he was 13 month before he would really eat any kind of finger food, but after that he quickly adjusted. Good Luck!
P.A. answers from Denver on January 27, 2008
Your baby probably has acid reflux. It is very common in young children and infants. My grandaughter has it and once tested, was put on medication. It helped her sooo much! Reflux is when they swallow, it immediately comes right back up to the back of the throat causing the gagging and choking.
The test is easy...ask your pediatrician about this.