Baby Choking on Milk: First Aid For Baby

If your baby is coughing and making an effort to expel the object from his or her throat, then you can try to help him or her do so. 

However, if your baby isn’t responding or seems to be in distress, then you should call 911 immediately. 

In this blog post, we will discuss the worry signs of a baby choking on milk and what to do when it happens.

Baby Choking on Milk

What Does Choking On Milk Mean In Babies?

Some babies may choke when they drink milk from a bottle. This usually happens when the baby is trying to suck and swallow too fast. The milk can go down the wrong way after feeding and get stuck in the baby’s throat. If this happens, it is important to remove the milk from the baby’s mouth so that he or she can breathe.

Choking on milk hours after feeding can also happen. This is often a sign that the baby is sick and has trouble digesting the milk. If your baby is choking on milk or having reflux, it is important to seek medical attention right away.

In some cases, you may notice milk coming out of nose after your baby drinks from a bottle. This is called aspiration and can happen when the baby is not latched on correctly.

Why Is My Baby Choking On Milk While Breastfeeding?

A newborn can choke on breast milk for a variety of reasons, including normal infant development to feeding issues caused by structural or functional anomalies. Maternal conditions may also be a contributing cause. The most common causes of choking when breastfeeding are:

Excess Supply Of Breast Milk

One of the major reasons for choking on breast milk is reduced milk flow. Infants may have trouble swallowing. This can frequently happen if the mother produces too much breast milk. As a result of the overflow of milk, the baby may bite while nursing, making it more difficult to swallow.

Developmental Delay

Feeding difficulties in newborns are linked to a significant danger of choking while breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. The following birth defects might cause feeding problems.

  • Developmental delay.
  • Down’s syndrome.
  • Pierre Robin syndrome, cleft lip and palate, and other structural anomalies of oral, respiratory, or feeding structures.
  • Tracheoesophageal fistula, for example, is a gastrointestinal disease.
  • Congenital heart diseasesLung and liver ailments are other common causes.

A healthcare professional should look for frequent choking when feeding. Early detection may help to reduce the incidence of aspiration pneumonia and other issues.

While Breastfeeding, They Swallow, Cough, And Pant

This usually happens when the baby is trying to nurse and swallow at the same time. When this occurs, milk can be drawn up into their nose and airway causing them to choke and cough. Sometimes, a small amount of milk may even be aspirated into their lungs. This can happen because the baby’s coordination is not yet perfected. By six months old, most babies have mastered the art of breastfeeding and no longer choke while nursing.

They Frequently Detach From The Breast When Being Fed

Babies frequently detach from the breast while being fed. When this happens, they can take in too much air, which can cause them to choke. To avoid this, make sure you keep a close eye on your baby while they’re feeding, and gently encourage them to stay attached to the breast. If they do start to choke, don’t panic – simply lift them off the breast and pat their back until the coughing subsides.

Presence Of Tongue-Tie

It’s also worth noting that babies sometimes choke while breastfeeding because of an undiagnosed tongue-tie. If you think your baby may have a tongue tie, it’s important to see a doctor or lactation consultant for help. Untreated tongue-tie can cause problems with breastfeeding, including poor latch, inefficient milk transfer, and increased risk of choking.

They frequently Spit Up

Babies frequently spit up, and when they do while breastfeeding, it can cause them to choke. This is because the milk can go down the wrong pipe and end up in their lungs instead of their stomach. To prevent this from happening, make sure your baby is upright when breastfeeding and burp them frequently.

Strong Sucking Reflex

Another reason babies may choke while breastfeeding is that they have a strong suck reflex. This reflex is so strong that it can cause them to swallow air along with the milk, which can then lead to choking. If you notice your baby starting to choke, take a break from breastfeeding and let them catch their breath.

The Refuse To Breastfeed

One common reason why babies choke while breastfeeding is because they are trying to refuse the breast. If your baby is choking while breastfeeding, it’s important to take them off the breast and see if they will latch on again.

Improper Latch

Another common reason for choking while breastfeeding is an improper latch. If your baby isn’t latched on correctly, they may take in too much air while they’re nursing. To ensure a proper latch, make sure your baby’s mouth is wide open when they attach to the breast. You should also hear them sucking and swallowing rhythmically while they’re feeding.

If your baby is frequently choking while breastfeeding, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional for help. Do it in the early stages so that your baby doesn’t have to wait for long to feed properly again.

Doctors will be able to rule out any underlying medical conditions and offer guidance on how to prevent future episodes of choking. In most cases, with a little time and patience, you’ll be able to overcome any challenges you’re facing with breastfeeding.

When To Worry – Signs That Indicate A Baby Is Choking On Milk

A baby choking on milk is a scary thought for any parent. While most cases of choking are minor and the baby will eventually cough up the milk, some signs indicate a more serious problem. If your baby is choking on milk, look for these signs:

The Baby’s Face Turns Red Or Purple

This can be a serious problem and you should seek medical attention immediately.

The Baby Has Difficulty Breathing

If the baby is struggling to breathe, you should seek medical attention immediately.

The Baby Is Unresponsive

You should call 911 immediately if the baby becomes unresponsive.

The Baby Is Making High-Pitched Noises When Trying To Breathe

If the baby is making high-pitched noises when trying to breathe, this is also a sign of a more serious problem.

If you see any of these signs, it’s important to act quickly. Try to dislodge the milk by patting the back firmly or performing the Heimlich maneuver. If the situation does not improve, call 911 immediately.

What To Do If Baby Is Choking?

The airway of your newborn is incredibly small, which means that when there’s too much milk in the airway, it can block the baby’s ability to breathe.

While this may come as a shock, it is important to remain calm and give first aid as soon as possible to breathe again.

  1. The first step is to place your newborn on its stomach. Remember to support your child’s head and neck with one hand while performing this procedure.
  2. You may use gentle taps to the back until you’re confident that any milk blocking their airway has been cleared from their airway.
  3. If the baby is still choking, turn her onto her back and give five firm slaps between her shoulder blades with the heel of your hand.

Avoid putting your hands between the mattress and the crib during this time, since you don’t want to injure her. As you’re doing this, keep in mind that you’re dealing with a tiny infant, so apply little pressure and make your motions as light and effortless as possible.

How to Keep Your Baby from Choking While Breastfeeding?

There are various techniques to deal with an oversupply issue and prevent the kid from choking. Here are some pointers:

Slow Down Milk Supply

With the palm of your right hand on the nipple of your right breast and counting to five, a nurse from one side, saying the left side. This counterpressure, which must be applied numerous times during each feed, sends a signal to the body telling it not to produce milk in that breast.

Feed From One Side Only

The technique gives the best of both worlds: an empty breast and all of the fat-rich hindmilk.

Ensure The Baby Is Latched Properly

  • It’s been shown that when infants don’t have a strong latch on their nipples, they choke frequently while feeding. When babies attach incorrectly, the milk is supposed to go straight down into their mouths. A firm latching, on the other hand, can assist newborns in better managing the milk flow.

Change Nursing Position

  • An uphill nursing posture is also beneficial since the milk has to fight gravity to flow and prevents letdowns. It’s a great feeding posture to have the kid feed while you recline on a surface.
  • The infant lies on top of the mother, with his or her tummy pressed against hers.
  • The football hold, which is also known as the “footballing” hold, may be used to feed your baby. It’s a fantastic nursing position when you’re out with your kid.

Avoid Overstimulation Of Your Breast

Stimulating the breast excessively can also cause an oversupply of milk. When you become engorged, your breasts may leak milk, and your baby will have a difficult time latching onto your nipple. If this happens, try to express milk until your baby can latch on correctly.

It’s important to be prepared for anything when you have a baby. Choking is one of the many things that can happen, so it’s important to know what to do if your baby chokes.

How Often Should Your Baby Be Fed?

It’s vital to note that an oversupply of milk can also be harmful to your infant, therefore even if you have an overabundance of milk, it isn’t necessary to give all of it to him.

You may always drain any extra if needed. Hunger signals in your kid might include:

  1. When you pick up your baby, he/she naturally turns towards the breasts.
  2. Simulates sucking movements.
  3. He’s doing something with his hands in his mouth.
  4. Spontaneous outbursts of enthusiasm.

Let your kid feed himself until he is full rather than limiting sessions.

If you are unsure about anything, it is always best to consult with a doctor or lactation specialist.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What are the signs that a baby is choking on milk?

Ans: The most common sign that a baby is choking on milk is coughing or gagging while drinking. Other signs may include turning blue, difficulty breathing, or becoming unresponsive.

Q2: What should I do if my baby starts choking on milk?

Ans: If your baby starts choking on milk, the first thing you should do is remove the source of the problem. If they are drinking from a bottle, take it away and let them calm down for a few minutes. If they are breastfeeding, you can try burping them or changing positions. If the coughing or gagging persists, call 911 immediately.

Q3: What should I do to prevent my baby from choking on milk?

Ans: First, make sure they are in an upright position when drinking from a bottle or breastfeeding.

Second, watch them closely while they are eating and stop if they start coughing or gagging. Third, avoid giving them hard foods or small objects that could block their airway.

Q4: How to slow down baby drinking bottle?

Ans: If you’re concerned about your baby’s rate of drinking from a bottle, there are a few things you can do to slow it down. Try burping your baby frequently, especially after they’ve had a particularly large amount of milk. You can also try changing the size or shape of the nipple on the bottle. Some parents find that their baby drinks more slowly from a sippy cup than from a bottle. If you’re really struggling to get your baby to drink more slowly, talk to your pediatrician—they may be able to give you some additional advice.


Baby choking on milk is a scary experience, but it is important to remember that most of the time, it is not serious. With a little help, your baby will be able to clear their throat and start drinking again in no time.

In conclusion, if your baby is choking on milk, don’t panic. With quick thinking and a little bit of know-how, you can help your baby through this scary situation

My name is Mark Joseph, and I’m on a mission to help new parents navigate the world of parenting. With over 5 years of experience as a parenting coach, I’m here to provide you with insight into all aspects of pregnancy, childbirth, and raising your newborn baby. Instagram Linkedln Facebook

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