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Why Do Babies Gag?

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May 18th, 2006, 11:22 AM
Rusha's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Canada
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Why Do Babies Gag?

The moment finally comes, youíre ready to feed your baby his first taste of ďgrown upĒ food. And instead of making that yummy, happy face, he gags.

Donít worry itís not the food and itís completely normal. Itís actually a natural reflex that all babies are born with. Swallowing on the other hand is not as natural, and gagging is natureís way of keeping your little one from choking as heís learning to swallow.

Though this gagging reflex is normal and not to be worried about, the first thing you should do is make sure that your baby is truly ready for solid foods. Here are some things to help guide you:

Your baby can sit with your support.

He can hold his neck steady and control his head movements (and so can refuse food).

He can take food from a spoon and swallow it.

To help minimize the gagging reflex here are some things to keep in mind:

Keep your baby upright during feedings for easier swallowing.

Be careful not to feed him too quickly.

Donít worry if your baby refuses to eat more than a teaspoonful. Thatís plenty for some beginners.

Some babies have a more-sensitive gag reflex than others and might gag more frequently. But constant gagging could indicate a problem and you should contact your health care provider.

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