When babies start eating solids there is always a chance that they will choke or suffocate. Choking and suffocating usually to happen more at a young age. That’s because until the age of 6 months the Pharyngeal reflex is located in a very frontal part of the baby’s mouth.
Babies that are Baby Led Weaned are at a lower risk to choke than babies are spoon-fed. Eating is a skill we need to learn and master – the sooner the baby practices this, the better.
To reduce the risk of choking - follow the following safety measures:
- Know the difference between choking and suffocation:
Dramatic and loud – the baby will cough and jump in his chair. It happens pretty often during a meal. Suffocation is a defense mechanism against choking. It means that your baby has great reflexes.
- A child will open his mouth and thurst tongue forward.
- Baby’s will turn bright red.
- The baby might sputter, cough or both.
- The baby will look frustrated rather than afraid.
Very quiet because the infant can’t talk or breath. The baby’s fingers, lips, and skin turn blue from lack of oxygen.
- The baby may begin coughing in an attempt to clear air passage.
- In severe cases, the infant may lose consciousness.
- Supervision: pay close attention to your baby during mealtime. Pay attention to choking signs: put your phone aside and make sure not to look at it. Reduce distractions as much as possible: put baby’s toys from the feeding area, try your best to not bring new faces to mealtime – especially when he’s starting the BLW process.
- Support: when starting BLW, make sure your infant can support his neck. A high chair can help his posture and enable him to spit food instead of choking from it. The baby should be seating vertically and not lean forward. Also, a foot rest will supply more stability and will create less of a distraction.
- Foods shape and size: the baby’s food shouldn’t be small or round because it can get stuck in his throat. It should be cut into small sticks a bit longer than the baby’s hand. Also, cook solid foods to be tender and easy to chew.
- Babies CPR: babies CPR teaches us what to do in case of choking. Make sure all of your baby’s caregivers take this course before being a part of the baby’s feeding.