Baby-led Weaning: Will Baby Choke? Probably Not, but Get Used to Gagging

This post is a followup to the “For Those Loving Parents Worried about Choking with Their Baby” and in response to parents who say their baby/child won’t eat…anything pureed.

My daughter started getting large amounts of food to her mouth and down her throat around 9 months. She was more interested in nursing. Every child is different.

Baby boy wants to eat. He can eat. He can swallow way more than I am comfortable with.

Luckily for us both, I am comfortable being uncomfortable.

When I let my baby do as much as he can with his food. Feeling it, tasting it, mouthing it, swallow it and, yes, even gag on it, I am allowing his skills to develop. These skills are the very friends I need to assuage the natural fears I have as a parent that he is choking.

Choking is silent (no coughing, no talking, no sound) and blue in the face (sometimes).

Gagging is noisy, hacking, heaving sounds and gestures.

Despite the horrendous sounds emerging from my just turned 7 month old baby in this film, he is quite fine and happy. Does this every day almost, but less and less each day as he learns the ins and outs of food:

Here’s a list of the other things beside “eating” (swallowing “calories”) that my baby boy is up to exploring in this video:

  • texture
  • temperature
  • size
  • shape
  • hardness
  • viscosity
  • wetness
  • and, of course, taste.

I have found deep joy and trust in my baby-led weaning journey with two children, far away from the handmade organic purees I dreamt of when my first was in the belly….

5 responses to this post.

  1. […] Club « Fine Motor Activity for Toddlers: Bottle and Things… Baby-led Weaning: Will Baby Choke? Probably Not, but Get Used to Gagging […]


  2. […] Babies are made to learn everything; eating is no exception. They have strong gag reflexes and can cough up pieces that get stuck. In fact, the baby-led method might cause less choking than traditional spoon-feeding of purees. (More on choking, here and here.) […]


  3. How can I watch this? It says the video is private.


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