differences between gagging and choking in babies

What are the differences between Gagging & Choking?

What are the differences between Gagging & Choking?

It’s normal to worry about the risks of choking when choosing Baby Led Weaning for your baby. But be reassured that choking is an extremely rare occurrence.

Gagging however, is very common. It’s easy to mistake gagging in your baby, for choking. A baby’s gag reflex is much further forward in their mouth, than it is in an adult. This means when your baby is gaging their food is much further away from their airway then it would be for an adult. This also means it’s actually a lot easier for an adult to choke then it is for your baby.

Gagging is your baby’s natural defence against preventing them from choking, it’s their way of pushing overflow foods back into the centre of their mouth. You will most likely find your baby gags when the amount of food they’ve put into their mouth is too much to swallow.

As hard as it feels, It’s important not to intervene during gagging instances. Your baby is figuring out how much food is too much food for them to swallow. You can help them by reassuring them that everything is ok, talk them through it, and offer a little sip of water following the gagging instance to wash away any food left behind.

What is Gagging?

A child will open their mouth wide with their tongue thrust forward, their race will be red, they will be making noises & they may be convulsing, followed by coughing & spluttering.

What is Choking?

Their skin will begin to turn blue/purple, they will be wheezing & unable to make noise.

It is recommended that you make yourself familiar with paediatric first aid for choking. So that should a choking instance ever arise your able to act quickly & effectively.