Thursday, March 7, 2013

Choking Hazard

I'm looking for advice here.  So if you have anything to offer - even criticism! - please leave it in the comments. 

Gavin has a problem with choking, coughing and sputtering on his food.  The most recent choking episode  with the peanut was obviously pretty bad, since we wound up at the hospital.  I've had a few days to process the incident (and have some major anxiety and panic attacks following the experience).  I've come to realize that the peanut was far from Gavin's first choking episode.

How about that time when Gavin was hours old, just back in the little plastic tub of a bassinet in our Mother & Baby after his circumcision, and he choked on the Tylenol he had been given for pain management.  We were all fast asleep when I heard the spluttering and gagging.  I threw on the light, hit the call button for the nurse, and flipped my baby burrito over to help him get up the puke without choking.  The nurse came, checked on everything, assured me that "it happens all the time," and I moved on with our lives.

Then that time when Gavin was a few weeks old, and was nursing in the middle of the night.  My milk hit him right in the tonsils, and he sputtered, choked and gagged.  I patted his back and got him settled, but I felt shaken by the experience.  He wheezed and coughed for days.  And while his pediatrician wasn't concerned, I really felt like he may have aspirated some milk. 

And what about all of the times he has gagged while drinking his bottles?  He gets so angry when the flow isn't fast enough, but he gets so easily overwhelmed when the flow is too fast.  We've had a hard time finding the right nipple flow for his bottles. 

Most recently, I notice that Gavin gags, chokes and sputters on almost every food he is able to self-feed.  It doesn't matter when is on his highchair tray - he'll start to cough and gag at least once a meal.  I almost want to stop giving him finger foods... except he is losing interest in being fed purees.  He hates the purees, but chokes on everything else.  What am I supposed to feed him??  I really don't know what to do!

Does anyone have any advice?  Should I pull back on finger foods?  Force the purees (that he still manages to gag on at time)?  Should I be calling his pediatrician for this?