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Choking hazard

We officially have a crawling, talking, giggling 8-month-old! Life has gotten a lot more interesting in the new year. The transition to baby mobility is amazing, albeit exhausting. If she’s not making a beeline for the dog food, she’s climbing on the fireplace hearth or scuttling down the hallway. This makes for one tired mama...

IMG_2828We officially have a crawling, talking, giggling 8-month-old! Life has gotten a lot more interesting in the new year. The transition to baby mobility is amazing, albeit exhausting. If she’s not making a beeline for the dog food, she’s climbing on the fireplace hearth or scuttling down the hallway. This makes for one tired mama (and dada).
Lately, my biggest fear doesn’t involve Lily bumping her noodle, as we like to say, or adding to her collection of leg/knee bruises. No, my anxious, mommy brain has been focused on something entirely different: choking.
According to the New York Department of Health, more than 10,000 children in the United States are taken to the emergency room every year due to food-choking injuries. That number seems high, but after doing a little more digging I learned there are about 70 million children in the United States. Meaning only .014 percent of the child population end up in the ER because of choking. Logically, that should ease my fears, right?
I know every baby is different, but we introduced puréed solids at 4 months, which she loved. If anything, this girl can eat! At the recommendation of her pediatrician, we began giving her finger foods last month. I was hesitant to do so because I’ve always had a huge fear of choking stemming from my childhood. My younger brother was constantly choking on food as an infant and child. We later found out that he has acid reflux and abnormally large tonsils, making his throat smaller than the average person. I have too many memories of my parents rushing over to him, mid-dinner, forcing out whatever morsel had lodged itself inside his throat. As an adolescent, it was semi-traumatic, to say the least.
IMG_2801Even though giving Lily finger foods makes me nervous, I still want her to be able to try and enjoy food! Right now, her favorites are scrambled eggs, steamed sweet potatoes, and avocados.
With the abundance of information and parent groups online, I’ve tried to overcome my fears with the power of knowledge. One of the Facebook groups I follow is all about feeding babies; I love seeing photos of what other parents are feeding their children. Obviously, no two children are alike, but it does lessen the anxiety of introducing a new food when I see what other babies her age are eating.
I think as time progresses, and the more food she tries, my worries will subside. If anything, I’ve spent a good two to three hours watching CPR & Heimlich maneuver videos on YouTube, and in turn could probably save a small horde of choking children.

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