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Expert advice

18th Apr 2024

If you’re anxious about your baby gagging when trying new foods, here are some tips

Jody Coffey


It’s easy to become fearful or anxious when you see your baby gagging

As a preface, it’s important to note that gagging during weaning is common, normal, and even a good thing.

Trialling new consistencies can trigger the gag reflex, which can, understandably, spook parents.

For your baby, weaning is a time of texture and taste exploration and gagging is just part of the process.

However, if gagging is something you do not wish for them to experience or if it makes you feel nervous, you can avoid certain foods that trigger the gag reflex.

According to Tiny Hearts Education, holding off on serving foods with mushy consistencies — such as avocado and banana — is one way to avoid gagging.

“If gagging makes you nervous, you might want to avoid serving avocados until you’re feeling more confident,” their post reads.

While banana and avocado’s soft and mushy textures may make them feel like the natural choices during weaning (and they are great choices), they can increase the gag reflex.

For this reason, Tiny Hearts Education says parents who are ‘already stressed about introducing solids’, may have their confidence knocked by introducing foods with induce gagging.

Instead, they recommend starting off with ‘high resistive’ foods — foods that your baby cannot bite but they help to desensitise the gag reflex.

For example, corn on the cob shaved down, watermelon rind, meat on the bone, or a mango pit constitute a resistive food.

“You can also use tools like a food feeder to help reduce the chance of large chunks of food being taken in,” the post adds.

“It’s quite common for babies to gag when they first start solids or when they try foods of a different consistency to what they are use to.”

Tiny Hearts Education concludes that ‘gagging is good’ and reminds parents that you don’t need to do anything if your baby is gagging.

Happy weaning!

Tiny Hearts Education provides quality baby, infant and child first aid, CPR and helpful information for parents online.