What Does it Mean When My Baby Gags?

Babies sometimes gag when they experience a new texture or flavor.

It doesn’t mean they don’t like something, it’s a totally normal protective reflex. It’s understandable that when you see your tiny human gag, you want to avoid giving them the same food that made them wince in the first place. Give them a minute to shake it off, and try again. In order to avoid falling into the “picky eater” trap, it’s important to understand that the gagging reflex is just that, a reflex.

Gagging is oftentimes mistaken for choking. Here is a helpful way to know the difference between the two.

Choking: the complete blockage of the airway. There is little to no sound during choking. The baby is in distress and can become blue. Intervention is necessary

Gagging: often confused with choking. Gagging is an important protective reflex during which a baby coughs noisily and brings up food.

Gagging is a NORMAL reaction. Deep breath.

American Academy of Pediatrics
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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