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Old 08-16-2011, 08:03 AM   #1
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Is Gagging a Sign that Baby Is Not Ready?

My 8 month old is still primarily EBF, but because of all the pressure to start solids, I have given him a few things to "try" and he seems to like some of them but if any little piece comes off, he gags and gags (no choking) so I'm wondering, is this just "part of the learning" or does that mean he really isn't ready?

Examples of foods he's had:
-large stick of watermelon he can hold, same with cantaloupe, strawberry & cooked carrot stick cut in half, baby cereal puff, avocado wedge, mashed potatoes, etc. = gagging
-applesauce, berry smoothie, what was left on the mango seed, orange slice to suck, dried mango to suck = no gagging

For what its worth, he also doesn't have the pincer grasp, yet. He still grabs everything with his whole fist. Isn't that a sign that they aren't ready?

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Old 08-16-2011, 08:21 AM   #2
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Re: Is Gagging a Sign that Baby Is Not Ready?

No not a sign that he isn't ready. When a baby can sit upright by themselves and put food in their own mouths they are ready. The gagging happens because he is still learning how and where he can put the food in his mouth. Babies have a gag center in the middle of their tongue and as they get older it moves farther and farther back towards the back of the mouth where it is as an adult.
Pincer grip comes around 8-9 months but like everything they need time to learn this and practice.
Just make sure he is upright when feeding and give him lots of practice. The gagging will pass quickly. I BLW by the way, have done for two babies now. No purees at all, they are given finger food from 6 months of age. We have had gagging, Lots of gagging but it passes quickly.
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:50 AM   #3
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Re: Is Gagging a Sign that Baby Is Not Ready?

I did a little puree to start b/c I was afraid of gagging, too. DD threw up a few times b/c of her gag reflex, but I gave her lots of guided practice. She'll still gag every now and then, but I think it's b/c she's learning how to handle foods.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:16 PM   #4
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Re: Is Gagging a Sign that Baby Is Not Ready?

How old is your LO, Mimsy.lou?
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:19 PM   #5
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Re: Is Gagging a Sign that Baby Is Not Ready?

Amber, my LO is almost 11 mo. We started on basic, homemade veggie purees at 6 months and started chunks of steamed, mushy food about 2-3 weeks later.
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Old 08-19-2011, 01:47 PM   #6
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Re: Is Gagging a Sign that Baby Is Not Ready?

Quote:
Originally Posted by willownz View Post
No not a sign that he isn't ready. When a baby can sit upright by themselves and put food in their own mouths they are ready. The gagging happens because he is still learning how and where he can put the food in his mouth. Babies have a gag center in the middle of their tongue and as they get older it moves farther and farther back towards the back of the mouth where it is as an adult.
Pincer grip comes around 8-9 months but like everything they need time to learn this and practice.
Just make sure he is upright when feeding and give him lots of practice. The gagging will pass quickly. I BLW by the way, have done for two babies now. No purees at all, they are given finger food from 6 months of age. We have had gagging, Lots of gagging but it passes quickly.
Yep, this.
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Old 08-21-2011, 03:31 AM   #7
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I was told by an infant expert that the gag reflex & the pincer grasp go hand in hand. Once the pincer grasp has been learned the gag reflex should be gone. Of course when you choke you gag as a way of bringing that item being choked on back up.

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Old 08-21-2011, 04:42 AM   #8
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I personally look for the pincher grasp as a sign of readiness
That usually happens around 9 months.
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