Feeding Is Kind of a Nightmare

This is more of a vent than a question. My twenty six weeker (now fourteen months actual) had a problem with oral aversion when she tried to move to solids. We started feeding therapy to address the issue. It was very successful. She will now stick just about anything in her mouth.

However, now she seems to have a problem with swallowing. She chokes and she gags when she swallows. I feel bad for her because she wants to eat solids very badly. She tries so hard to eat. She hates formula so much that she went on a feeding strike. The pediatrician recommended a switch to whole milk in order to avoid having to resort to an NG tube.

The whole thing is stressful, exhausting, and I feel bad for my little one. She has been through so much... now this. I dread just about every feeding.

Thanks for letting me vent. If anyone has any suggestions that have been successful for their baby, I'm open to them.

7 Replies

  • Good luck with feeding therapy! Please let me know if you have any questions, and I can recommend a few ideas if you need them.



  • In reply to tucker'smom:

    I am glad the feeding study helped. Good luck with the therapy!

  • In reply to CharlieAllene's mom:

    I'm glad the swallow study was able to give you an answer about why she is gagging.  I'll keep my fingers crossed too that the feeding therapy works!  

  • In reply to tucker'smom:

    She had a swallow study yesterday and we saw a dietitian last Monday. I'm feeling better about her feeding. The swallowing problems are due to an overly sensitive gag reflex. So it continues to be an oral aversion thing.

    We are to keep with the feeding therapy. Hopefully, it will work. Fingers crossed!

  • In reply to tucker'smom:

    Sorry I'm so late on this, but in case you check back in, just wanted to share our experience.  My son didn't have an oral aversion, but did have a lot of feeding, swallowing, choking issues.  With solids, he seemed to have a lot of trouble moving the food around in his mouth appropriately in order to chew and swallow correctly.  Food would regularly get stuck up at the top of his mouth causing him to gag or choke.  We couldn't tell why he was gagging and choking just by watching, but his feeding therapist was able to identify it and it was confirmed by his swallow study (we mostly did the swallow study because he appeared to be aspirating, but this showed up too).  He did a lot of work with his therapist on building his oral motor muscles and coordination and he is much better and can really eat anything now (he's 5, but we were very late to the game on the feeding therapy - we started at 3), with some verbal reminders.  

  • In reply to tucker'smom:

    She continues to be in feeding therapy. She hasn't had a swallow study yet.

  • Hello,

    I'm sorry that your daughter is having the swallowing issues. Is she still in feeding therapy? Maybe the therapist can help you to figure out if the gagging and trouble swallowing is part of the oral aversion or if she has a true swallowing problem.

    Has she had a swallow study? My son would put lots of food in his mouth, lick it, then put it back down. He had several swallow studies so that we'd know it was perfectly fine for him to be offered food. He was just so deathly afraid of swallowing the food that he refused to and it seemed to hurt him when he swallowed.

    After intense feeding therapy he now eats a lot of food and swallows just fine.

    Has she had a swallow study?

    Good luck! Keep us updated!