Baby Choking On Spit Up

20 Replies
sugar+spice - March 7

my baby is 4 months old and she is still choking on her spit up. to the point she cannot breathe. she's done this ever since she was born(even turning blue) but the hosp. staff asssured me she wouldnt just stop breathing, just to help her out when she does choke. but im so afraid of her doing this. do any of your babies still do this?


Jbear - March 7

Maybe you could prop her up for a while after each feeding. What has her pediatrician said about it? Personally, it would scare the heck out of me.


Bonnie - March 7

Liquid should not choke her in the same way that a solid would, eventually the windpipe clears it, though it is still very scary. Mine does this a lot and has turned red a few times but never blue. How often does your LO do this? Does she have reflux? You might want to ask your ped about thickening the formula which is what they do a lot for reflux babies with this problem.


KrisD - March 8

I agree with Bonnie - my son did it as well, but not constantly. Could it be reflux? Also, now that my son is teething, he's got a ton of drool going on. He "chokes" on that all the time. I think it is more than he can swallow at times. Coughs, eyes water, than he's done. Could that be the case??


sugar+spice - March 8

i dont think it's reflux,but sometimes when she spits up it comes out her nose and that makes it worse for her. she gets to the point of choking that her eyes go wide her arms flail up over her head and you can hear her making noises, and when she can finally breathe, she sucks in a bunch of air and makes that noise. im just afraid of not being there for her when she does this to help her out...i just wondered cause i thought at this age she shouldnt be doing that anymore. thanks for your responses guys!


Bonnie - March 8

Are you sure about the reflux? Out the nose is a common sign of that. How often does she spit up? Is she in pain? .... Generally is they are not in pain and do not spit up more than they take in then reflux is not considered an issue anyway. But thickening the formula helps weight in down and keep it from coming back up. My GI specialist said that all babies reflux, it is just a matter of whether they need treatment or not. Sounds like yours doesn't. But she did say that reflux peeks at 4-5 months so I would say that it doesn't sound uncommon that yours is still doing this. Choking to death on liquids is not common because liquid is so mobile, coughing clears it out. (Though I always fear it with them on their backs, mine sleeps on his side.) However, him turning blue soudns pretty serious to me. I would most definately check with your ped about that! Ask him about thicvkening the formula and he feels that would be beneficial to help keep her from spitting up so much. Also....when sleeping, start elevating her bed. That will ease your fears when she is asleep. has some good info on elevation even if she is not cla__sified with little guy does the same things and it is so scary. I have counted 12 seconds at one point where he could not breath and he turned beet red. See what your ped wnats you to do when she turns blue again, that sounds scary.


Jadyns Mommy - March 8

Not sure if this is the same but Jadyn has a very short gag reflex and even my let down while bfing was too fast for her and she woud choke. 1st thing, as long as she is gasping, she is getting air so even though it sounds scary, she is doing exactly what is needed to recover. 2nd, if yours is the same case as Jadyns, I had to keep her on stage 1 nipples, no medium or fast flow and I started to make her formula a bit thicker as well so it wouldnt flow as quickly. I dont know if this will help but at least it will be something you can rule out if not :-)


MichelleB - March 8

My baby had croup, which caused him to choke on mucas in his airway. Its not the same thing, but I feared that he wouldnt be able to cough it up. He would do exactly what your baby would do, eyes wide, arms raised, making gagging sounds and turn really red. I asked the doctor when I should worry, he said if your baby turns blue bring him to the hospital, so I would definately be worried. It doesnt hurt to check one more time. I would make a Doctors appointment. Good luck.


sugar+spice - March 8

jaydens mommy.... my daughter is like that too. i have to keep her on the stage one nipples. and when i was b/f she'd choke on the letdown. she has an appt. on the 22nd. so i will ask the doc. again. how do you thikin the milk? with rice cereal? and how much do you use?


Jadyns Mommy - March 8

If you are still b___stfeeding, you can ask your Dr if he would suggest mixing your milk with formula (if you are ok with that as well) and if so, just add about half a scoop extra of formula then what you need. What I would do was take 2 oz of b___stmilk pumped, mixed with 2 oz of water and 1.5 scoop of formula. That way its not too thick but enough to slow down the flow to where she could keep up with drinking and not gag. I noticed that she didnt spit up as much with that as well. My Dr told me not to add rice cereal to a bottle but I think it is what you feel comfortable with. If you are soley b___stfeeding and can pump, I would ask your Dr about adding cereal to a bottle as well. Good luck. I know how frightening it is when they gag like that.


Jason - May 6

You aren't alone, our 8 week old daughter had her 4th episode just this evening. What I recommend is to take a crash CPR course, the hosital we took her to offered one to us while our baby was admitted for her 1st episode. Also, have her taken for a swallow study, your baby may be silently aspirating during her feeds, like ours, the hospital gave us Simply Thick Nectar, a thickening agent used to help babies with this condition. The good thing is choking to death on formula is very rare, the bad thing is there is nothing we, as parents, can do aside from the choking technique and pray. Good Luck!


Bonnie - May 6

How odd to see this post pop back up over a year later. It's odd becaus enot long after the post started, Mason also started getting to the point where he was turning colors. We ended up using that Simply Thick as well. :) I wonder why the thread was brought back up though and how on earth do you find a thread one year old, lol


Jason - May 6

I did not even notice the year, sometimes that happens when the months are close. Well then maybe you can help us, does it get better? And when? The ambulance left over 3 hours ago but I still cannot get that image of her face out of my head and it is almost feeding time again, UGH!


Jason - May 6

BTW I googled the topic and there the thread was!


Bonnie - May 6

Ah that explains it, lol. I a__sume you are dealing with reflux and she is on meds at this point. Unfortunately, no ther eis not a lot you can do. It is very scary too. The problem is, while it is rare to choke to death on liquids, if the reflux spasms (for lack of a better word) over and over, then they can not clear it and that's when it gets dangerous and the color turning starts. I don't even know how much CPR would help because what can you do when the stuff keeps coming back up? :( We actually went to the Simply Thick honey. If she is still choking, you may need to go to that thicker version. (If you use Dr. Brown bottles it won't fit through the resivoir so you'll have to try a different bottle). I'm afraid I don't have a TON of information fo ryou becasue luckily for us, Mason's choking episodes stopped by about 3 months, though to this day (he is 15 months now) we STILL deal with reflux. But, it is a LOT better now. I recommend you post on the message boards at It sounds like your daughter has a pretty hefty case of reflux and there are some parents on there dealin with mild to extreme cases. (My user name there is Mirra). Hang in there! It is very rough at that age and I will never forget it.


Jason - May 6

Thank you kindly for that. Yes she is on Pepcid and we give her the gas drops, etc. Right now the Simply Thick Nectar is working, for the most part, and we use Avent bottles with the #2 nipple which flow nicely with the thickner. Hopefully this will pa__s soon, he reflux doesn't seem to be very bad and the Pepcid works on her almost instantly. The poor thig has this and colic... I often wished I could recall my infant years, now I can see why we don't! LOL!


Fatima - May 6

my ds did that twice, once when he was like a month old and when he was like 4 months. He is now 11 and hasnt had that anymore. I think it was reflux, but the ped didnt check him or anything, my sister and I had that when we were babies and doctors didnt know what it was.



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