Choking is usually characterized by the blocking of the airway by an object which also cuts off the airflow to the brain. This causes weakness and coughing as the person tries to get air into the body. Some babies experience choking while breastfeeding either because of the high milk flow, breast size, or the baby’s difficulty in adjusting to sucking to induce breast milk flow. Obviously, this is a very serious issue and is especially scary in children and babies.
Here, you will learn some causes of choking in babies, what you can do about it, and some feeding bottles you can use as a substitute for breastfeeding.
Causes of choking in babies
The milk flow is overwhelming
Although having a heavy milk flow is not a bad thing, it can be a lot to handle for a little angel. It may make him gasp and gurgle as he tries to cope and this may lead to choking when it’s just too much.
Residual fluid in the airway.
While your baby is still in the uterus, the lungs are filled with fluid which is secreted out as the baby grows and develops. Whatever is left of this fluid is pushed out during the labour contractions where the baby’s chest experiences some pressure. In addition, the doctors suction the fluid out after delivery to give a clear path in the chest and throat and if any fluid remains, it causes a choking or gurgling when the baby feeds.
Air bubbles in the saliva
Everything is new for your baby in those first few months and every experience is an opportunity to learn something new. That’s why before your baby fully understands the concept of swallowing down milk immediately and not allowing saliva to build up in his mouth, it may cause gurgling.
What to do about it
Choosing the right bottle
Every aspect of your baby’s development usually ties into something else. Like developing a pincer grasp helps the baby later on in life when learning to write and to button his shirt. If your baby is breastfed, he goes through the process of sucking on the nipple to induce heavy letdown, and when the flow becomes low, going through that whole process again. There are different kinds of feeding bottles for chocking babies. These bottles are essential for lots of reasons.
- It helps the baby develop the muscles in the mouth that help in speech. This means that having the wrong bottle or a bottle that is way too easy to get milk out of will lead to the muscles not getting strong enough to produce speech well enough.
- Some bottles are made of materials that are not healthy for your baby so choose bottles that are BPA free bottles.
- Select a bottle with just a nipple size that will allow low letdown which gives the baby an opportunity to work those mouth muscles and still develop them.
Best feeding bottles for choking babies
1. Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature bottles
Tommee Tippee Closer to nature bottles is designed to make feeding fun and easy for you and your baby. It is calibrated so you know the exact amount of milk your baby is having at a time. The bottles also prevent gas and spit-up and can be held by your baby when he is old enough to do so.
2) NUK simply natural glass bottles
The NUK bottles are anti-colic with a specially designed nipple that mimics an actual nipple by changing size while your baby is feeding. It also comes with different nipples or low flow and high flow depending on your baby’s age and development.
3) Philips Avent anti-colic bottles
Philips Avent anti-colic bottles are widely used by many parents and in various hospitals. It has a specially designed nipple that bends without collapsing completely. It is made of BPA free material and is designed such that the nipples can be changed as the baby grows older from low flow nipple to something more giving.
4) Lasinoh breastfeeding bottles
Lasinoh breastfeeding bottles is a special bottle because it positively impacts your baby’s oral development and reduces intake of gas, which reduces spit-up. They come with multiple nipples that are well designed to allow your baby transition easily from Mom’s nipple to the bottle nipple.
5. Dr. Brown’s bottles
Dr. Brown’s bottles are anti-colic bottles and are made from BPA free material. With this bottle, your baby will have to drink slowly because the design is such that makes the milk come out in sections.
6. MAM easy active bottles
The MAM bottles and are designed to be soft and mimic the feel of an actual nipple to prevent nipple confusion. It is BPA, BPS, and PVC free, it has a ventilation system that allows excess air to be released and thereby reduce spit-up and choking.
7. Comotomo baby bottle
The Comotomo baby bottle has two vents to prevent gas and reflex. Its unique design and nipple texture allow your baby to adjust to it quickly. It is also easy to clean because of its wide-body size.
8. Playtex baby anti-colic bottle
Playtex baby anti-colic bottle helps to solve any latching issues your baby may have with its soft nipple that is designed to prevent nipple confusion and ensure an easy transition for the baby.
9. Avima 10 anti-colic baby bottle
The Avima 10 bottles are also anti-colic bottles made of BPA free materials. They come with low flow nipples to prevent choking.
10) Avima 12 anti-colic baby bottle
The Avima 12 bottles have a wider neck than the Avima 10, they are made from BPA free material and are anti-colic. They have fast flow nipples for when your baby no longer struggles with reflux and spit-ups.
Other things you can do to solve your baby’s choking issue are:
Give your baby a breather
Take a little break while breastfeeding, let your baby catch his breath and adjust to the process, then get back to it. This allows your baby to learn gradually and get accustomed to the process and by so doing reduce the risk of choking.
Call for help
If you notice that the baby is choking and is having difficulty breathing or gasping then don’t wait around, get help immediately. Call your pediatrician and ask for guidelines on what you can do to ease your baby’s breathing before you get professional help at the hospital.
Above are 10 best feeding bottles for choking babies. With any of these bottles, your baby will transition smoothly to being bottle-fed and you would have also solved the choking problem.