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Help! Baby gagging not sucking...

  1. #1
    csj
    csj is offline Registered User
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    Help! Baby gagging not sucking...

    I'm still breastfeeding my 9.5 months son but since almost 2 weeks now, he sometimes gags right after he gets the nipple in his mouth and then refuses to nurse. This happens sometimes after he feeds from one breast or simply without nursing beforehand.

    For example, this morning he nursed just a little bit from the left breast and then gagged. I tried to feed him the other breast but then, he gagged again after having the nipple in his mouth and did not want to nurse at all. Last time he nursed was 7pm last night. I don't think he was full as my breast are not as full (and big) as they used to.
    I finally gave up and decided to give him his breakfast cereals, which he happily ate (I mixed the cereals with water this morning though).

    He normally has a feed in the morning, at 2.30pm and before bed.
    Morning feeds were never a problem until this morning. Bed time feeding is never a problem; 2.30pm feed, he would sometimes gag and not nurse at all.

    By the way, he does not like to take my expressed milk from a bottle. I also tried the cup but he prefers to drink water from it. I don't know if I should even try formula because the drinking challenges.

    Have you encountered such problems ? How did you deal with them ?
    From what I read, babies his age should drink about 350-500ml (?) of milk/day but I'm worried that he doesn't get his daily requirement when he gags and refuses to nurse like that.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. #2
    yonge is offline Registered User
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    Dear csj

    From the timing, I'm just guessing that your breasts are very full in the morning, less full in the afternoon and probably even less full in the evening. You might to try expressing some milk in the morning before offering them for him to nurse. My younger son used to gag a bit, but he was more persistent and would go back to nursing - problem with him was getting him to stop nursing. Anyway, it's amazing how much milk you can be producing even if they don't feel as full as they used to.

    Both my boys wouldn't take the bottle or a sippy cup, but they did well with a cup and straw or a cup and spoon. Once they started getting picky, I also introduced them to Pediasure, which will give them their daily requirement of everything. My pediatrician told us to dilute it to half the strength recommended because it's pretty sweet and you would want them to drink more liquids anyway. I find that they'll still take it if I dilute it to 1/3.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    At his age, I wouldn't think it's because he CAN'T feed - he's been doing it for 9 months already. I would think maybe he's just starting to self wean or something like that. By the time that they're 12 months, they don't need breastmilk any more - and at 9.5 months old, that's only 10 weeks away, not really that long at all!!

    My daughter was on about 3 feeds at 9 months, went down to 2 at about 10-11 months, and then 1 at 12-13 months. Now at 14 months, she's on one feed every 2nd day or so... Some days she starts to feed and then sits up and says "baba!!" (water - don't ask me why!?!) - she actually prefers water to milk most of the time...

    He does need to be getting liquid from somewhere though - does he take a sippy cup or a straw cup?

    I personally wouldn't stress about it - he's probably just growing up and doesn't want milk as much. But I would try to ensure that a) he's getting enough liquid - I think water is the best, but if he doesn't like water, try juice etc... (diluted is best for that age), and b) he's getting calcium - does he like cheese? Yogurt? you could possibly try cows milk although most places say to wait until 12 months...

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    csj
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    Hi,
    Thanks for your replies and sorry for the delayed response. We (the whole family) caught a bad cold this weekend and are just slowly recovering from it.

    Nicolejoy: you could be right about the self-weaning as my sister-in-law, who is a maternity nurse in Canada, agrees with you on that.
    However, since baby was rather sick this weekend he was not gagging at all and, in the contrary, wanted to nurse all the time!
    Yonge: where do you buy Pediasure ?

    Food-wise he likes to eat and LOVES his yogurt and cheese, so I think he gets enough calcium this way.
    I will try feeding him the EBM from a cup or straw cup but I'm not sure how well it will go as he already doesn't drink much water this way (although it's the only way he likes to drink water)

    Thanks again!

  5. #5
    nicolejoy's Avatar
    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by csj View Post
    Nicolejoy: you could be right about the self-weaning as my sister-in-law, who is a maternity nurse in Canada, agrees with you on that.
    However, since baby was rather sick this weekend he was not gagging at all and, in the contrary, wanted to nurse all the time!
    My daughter was the same when she was sick a month or two ago (around age 12-13 months)... she went from feeding only once a day to wanting to feed up to 4 times a day again!! Thankfully that was only for a few days though because my poor body was struggling to keep up with her!! But after she got better, she went right back down to her regular one feed a day again... When she was sick, she wasn't eating as much solids either, I think that milk was her "comfort food", like chicken soup or something like that ;)

  6. #6
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    Nursing a baby can be a great comfort for both mother and baby when the little one is sick. But don't assume all that is happening is for comfort. The more the baby breastfeeds the more antibodies the baby will get and so the quicker the baby will get better.

    Hope your little one is feeling better soon,
    SARAH
    La Leche League Leader
    www.lllhk.org

  7. #7
    csj
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    Thanks Sarah and Nicolejoy for sharing.
    I agree with Nicolejoy that babies seem to want more cuddles and comfort whenever they are sick (who doesn't ?), hence the more frequent nursing... and from the amount my son has been nursing I hope he's built a whole load of antibodies for the rest of the year by now !
    He's doing better though: he still has a cough but no more high fever.

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