Baby Led Solids: Research & Experiments

Baby Led Solids: Research & Experiments

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Let's Talk About Choking...

Despite evidence to the contrary, many people object to baby led solids because they think it carries with it an elevated risk of choking. But, a baby who is controlling what goes into his mouth is actually less likely to choke than a spoon fed baby, who may suck food to the back of his throat before he is properly able to deal with it. Just out of curiosity (and to spark conversation), what has your experience with baby led solids been like? Experts currently advise parents to expect at least one choking episode in the course of their child's infancy, regardless of the feeding method used. Have you had any scary mealtimes?

Just by way of review: 
Gagging - a completely normal reflex designed to help babies move food they are unable to swallow to the front of their mouth. It isn't a sign of a problem, nor is it choking. 

Choking - accompanied by a terrified look on the child's face, and he will start turning blue. Gagging might produce some watery eyes, but the baby doesn't look alarmed, so you shouldn't be either.

How many times has your BLS baby choked or gagged?


  1. WOW! So encouraging to see these statistics (even though it's just a small slice of the BLS community responding so far).

  2. I am so thrilled to find this blog. I just started BLW last week. We did have a scare with a pear last night and it was definately choking. She has gagged a few times on bananas and carrots. My biggest struggle right now is how to cook the foods. If you ever do a post on cooking the foods to the "right" consistency, I would LOVE that! I have to admit, that it is scary to watch your child gag and then the one choking incident. Even with that, I still love BLW and do believe it will get better...she will get better!


  3. I just stumbled upon your blog, I have never ever heard of doing this, and I wish I would have! My daughter, 13 months now, was started on puree foods, and I think I got way to comfortable with them. Now, I must admit, I am one of the scared thinking she will choke on everything.
    Seeing your 6 month old (in your older posts) doing fine with foods that I am just now feeding my daughter, makes me SO much more comfortable! This poll helps also. I am CONSTANTLY thinking that my LO is going to choke.
    Thank you for this, and I think we will do BLS with our future little ones!

  4. Aimster -
    It's true! Babies are capable of a lot more than we give them credit for! Your LO will be just fine. It will be exciting to see how you find BLS after doing purees with your first. Keep in touch!

    Leah - as far as the "consistency" thing goes, maybe you would benefit from going through the blog backward? Start at the end (when Buttercup was 6 months) and see how we prepared all those foods. There is an easy navigation tab at the top called "Search By Week." Hope it helps!

  5. To the person who posted about cooking to the right consistency... If you baby has no teeth (or very few) a good rule of thumb I have heard is if you can mash it against the roof of your mouth with your tongue, they should be able to gum it up just fine :)

    Our son gagged occasionally at first but it subsided very quickly as he got the hang of things. He still does on the very rare occasion now (he is almost 2) *but* that is when he is getting a little over enthusiastic about food. I can't say I never gag on food even at 25... hah!

    Little man did start choking once on a piece of bread that I gave to him that was too hard. I didn't realize it was as dense as it was when I gave it to him (my mistake... :() but he actually got is sorted out quite quickly without me having to intervene actually. He looked panicked and got quiet, I got up ready to help him and he actually (tmi) puked it out before I even touched him.

    This sounds kind of gross but I mention it because even in these instances babies still have some extra built in safety mechanisms. It was scary at the time, but a good experience in seeing how well our bodies work to keep us safe. I have heard of this happening with others as well so I know it isn't just something that happened with us. I am very glad though that I learned infant CPR for the "just in case" as it helped me to remain very calm and collected during this experience :) Good to be prepared for any encounter but also keep your trust in your child and his/her body and abilities.