While I was searching for gripe water to choose, I read some complaints about the gripe water makes a baby choke. In the beginning, I thought they were just a one-off thing. However when I did my research on all of her parenting forums I've come to realize that there are a lot of parents facing this problem. Why do babies choke on gripe water?
Let’s find out.
Why does my baby always choke on gripe water? 5 commons reasons
Gripe water is denser than breastmilk or formula and takes some time to go down the throat
I still remember one time that I almost choked on honey and I was 12 at that time. It was horrible. The honey could not pass through my throat, it lingered somewhere around my throat and choked me. I couldn’t breathe or scream and it scared the crap out of me.
So the first thing I did when I heard gripe water can make a baby choke is to check whether gripe water is too dense or not. And to my surprise, the gripe water I bought (Mommy’s Bliss) didn't seem to be that dense.
However, for babies and their developing tummies, gripe water is denser than breastmilk or formula and it takes some time to go down the throat. And that is the main reason why even being given the right way, the baby still can choke on gripe water.
Too much gripe water at the same time
The second reason why does my baby always choke on gripe water is that parents give too much gripe water at the same time to their babies.
For moms who breastfeed, You can notice that sometimes when you have let down and you breastfeed your baby, your baby sometimes chokes and coughs over your breast milk. The reason is when you have let down, the milk flow came out too fast and the baby could not swallow it all.
The same thing applies to gripe water. If you give your baby too much gripe water at the same time, your baby can easily choke on it.
Gripe water is shot straight to the throat
If gripe water is given to babies through a syringe, sometimes with just a little bit of mistake, the gripe water can be shot straight through the throat. And in this case, most of the time your baby will choke on the gripe water.
Gripe water is dropped on the tongue
Strange enough but even if you put a few drops of gripe water on your baby's tongue, your baby still can choke on it. The reason is that babies do not swallow or close their throat when their tongue detects some water. They simply just do not have enough experience to remember to close their throat when they feel some water.
So when you drop gripe water on your baby's tongue, the liquid will goes straight to the throat and make your baby choke.
The syringe is pushed too far into the baby’s mouth
If you use a syringe to give gripe water to the baby, there is a situation where the syringe is pushed too far back in your baby's mouth. With their gag reflexes, your baby will either choke or cough, or vomit when it happens.
What to do to prevent your baby from choking on gripe water
You see the other reasons why gripe water can baby choke. Good thing is, with a little bit of care and a little bit of flexibility, although we cannot eliminate the risk that your baby can sometimes choke on gripe water, We can prevent or reduce that risk. Below are some things you can do to prevent your baby from choking on gripe water.
Dilute gripe water
The first thing you can do is dilute your gripe water. Some manufacturers do not recommend diluting the gripe water into breast milk or formula, however, if it seems to be denser than breastmilk and formula and that is a problem for your baby to swallow, you can try diluting the gripe water.
Some parents have done this and they faced no problem with their baby choking on gripe water anymore.
Give small dose
Even though the dose of gripe water as instructed in the description is quite small already, You still should not give the entire dose to your baby at once. Use the syringe or an empty eyes drop bottle to give gripe water to your baby drop by drop.
Make sure your baby swallows the first drop before you give him the next one.
Give gripe water on the pacifier, or put a few drops each time to the side of the cheeks
When you use a syringe to give gripe water to your baby, make sure you just put a drop each time to the inner side of the cheeks So that your baby can swallow it slowly. Some parents try putting the gripe water on the pacifier and their baby seems to prefer that option even more.
You can try either way to see which one your baby prefers or doesn’t make your baby choke. Remember to be flexible and creative on this.
Why does my baby always choke on gripe water: wrap it up
There you have it. Five common reasons why do babies choke on gripe water and three things you can do to prevent or reduce that risk.
So for first-time parents or if you are using gripe water for the first time, remember the three principles to give gripe water or everything else to your baby.
Principal 1: small amount. When you try introducing a new type of food to your baby, or in this case, give your baby gripe water, remember to give a small amount each time.
Principle 2: wait. Wait for your baby to finish the first few drops of gripe water before giving him the next one.
Principle 3: Be patient. Each baby has a different time to swallow or drink something. If your baby seems to take longer than you would prefer, be patient and don’t rush it. Make sure your baby’s mouth is empty before repeating the process.