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Baby Led Weaning Doesn't Increase The Risk Of Choking, Study Says

First Posted: Sep 20, 2016 05:00 AM EDT

A study reveals that baby led weaning, wherein the infants feed themselves the small piece of food, does not heighten the risk of choking. This is compared to those infants who are spoon-fed with pureed foods would likely experience choking.

The study was printed in the journal Pediatrics on September 19, 2016. It involved 206 infants wherein the researchers assigned them to a modified baby lead weaning group or the traditional feeding. Those in the baby-led group has added contact and support by phone or meeting with a certified lactation consultant. They also received extra home visits from a research assistant to prevent choking, according to CBC.

The team asked the parents about choking and gagging, which is a reflex closing of the throat and pushing the tongue to the front of the mouth. To those who reported choking, they were asked who resolved the choking, what form it was fed, who fed the child and the food.

The results showed that those who baby-led did not experience choking compared to those who were spoon-fed. About 35 percent of the babies between ages 6 and 8 months choked at least once with no significant difference between the two groups. They also discovered that babies in both groups were provided with foods that could have the choking risk. At age 7 months, there were over half of the babies were given risky food and almost all of them at age of 12 months, according to UPI.

The authors said that infants following a baby-led weaning approach to feeding with advice on minimizing choking risk do not appear more likely to choke compared to infants following more traditional feeding practices. On the other hand, they said that a large number of children in both groups offered foods that pose a choking risk is concerning. They advised the parents to have close supervision of all infant's eating occasions. It is significant so that any choking episodes could be identified and managed right away.

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