Feeding difficulty in infants and small children is a scary concept for parents. Eating and drinking come naturally, right? Not for everyone. There are many anatomical and sensory reasons that a baby or child may have difficulty with feeding. If you have concerns about your child coughing, choking, or vomiting during or immediately after feeding/ drinking, the first person you should talk to is your pediatrician. Your doctor is your best first ally in determining if your child is demonstrating signs of feeding difficulty. That being said, one of the skills I encourage any parent to practice with their child is to cough on command. Coughing is one of the body's strategies for protecting the airway. Make it a fun game! Practicing the skill of coughing helps strengthen the reflex and increases the likelihood that a child may effectively be able to clear their airway when needed.
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