Posts Tagged ‘ choking ’

How I Handled Baby Choking

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

Well, I guess technically it’s not called the heimlich with a toddler. It’s a back manuever. But regardless, I did it today. And dare I say, now that the shock is over, I feel like a rock star mama? The fact that I remembered what to do from a CPR class 4 years ago and that I stayed calm and focused is nothing short of monumental. I don’t think I’ve ever been calm, maybe focused, but not calm. If I didn’t believe in the mom instinct before, I certainly do now.

Here’s how it all went down. Literally:

I was feeding Emmett a burrito–shredded pork, cooked until it falls apart. Melted cheese was part of the mix, as was the soft tortilla. I broke it into little pieces on his highchair like I always do. I didn’t think twice. These are soft, small foods. But it goes to show a child can choke on anything. Especially a young one who maybe doesn’t understand the importance of chewing. My guy has almost a full set of teeth. But apparently if he puts too much in his mouth and doesn’t chew long enough he can choke. This is some scary shit my friends. Because I get complacent and often walk away while he’s eating. I don’t go far, but I’ll do some dishes, etc with my back to him.

Luckily today Phil and I were eating lunch with him when it happened. I had him strapped into his highchair. Phil said, “Look, he is choking.” Well you know kids often have choking/gagging issues but it rarely amounts to a full-on choking experience.

I stood up and patted his back. It was then I could see down into his mouth–which was wide open as he was gasping. I could see the shredded pork and burrito just beyond his uvula. It was way too far back for me to scoop it out. At that point we both knew he wasn’t just gagging.

I leapt up, unbuckled him from his high chair, turned him face down over my knee and bam bam, right between his shoulder blades. All in a matter of seconds. The piece of burrito came flying out.  Emmett was still gasping for air so I pounded again. Then he started to cry. What a perfect noise.

Phil took him in his arms where he quickly barfed all over him. I’ve never been so happy to see barf. We laughed and held him until he calmed down. He is now sleeping gently. I think Phil is more impressed with me than he’s been in months.

As scary as it could have been, it actually wasn’t. I just knew what I had to do. I never panicked or doubted myself. I always thought if I were put in that situation I wouldn’t function. However, I am going to take a refresher CPR class. Here are the steps I went through today.

I do know a mom’s instinct exists. I’ve known it since my babies were born. Today was just further proof.


Pic of baby via Shutterstock

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There’s Only One Person She Won’t Share With. Why?

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Fia shares with most of her friends. She has never been a baby who says, “That’s mine.” She also isn’t a huge grabber of toys. Until recently. And only with her baby brother. What is up with that?

Who Me? But I’m a perfect princess Mama!

I can have a handful of her friends over playing and with most of them, I run very little interference. But with Emmett it is CONSTANT. And it’s driving me crazy. Everything he grabs for or wants, she suddenly needs. He will be crawling towards his rattle, which she has never shown interest in, and suddenly she is bolting across the room to swoop in and get it before he can. It’s as if her life depends on stealing from him.

We keep telling her to stop it. To share with him. But I am so sick of hearing my own voice repeat this over and over again. She also delights in tackling him. She puts her arms around him from behind (while he’s sitting) and pulls him down on top of her. There have been times that she puts him in a chokehold. He doesn’t seem to enjoy being choked. I can’t imagine why. (He is a tank. He is so going to get back at her once he can hold his own.)

She is always in his space

The thing is, she doesn’t seem to be doing either of these things out of hostility or jealousy. The sharing seems to come from more of a bossy, I’m-in-charge place (wait, is there a mirror around?) and the tackling comes from her obsessive hugging habit. But both need to stop because he’s getting to the age where he cares and starts to cry. And I’m sick of playing referee.

When I say, “Fia, that’s not nice. Give it back to him. He’s upset,” she does, but not after saying, “B-b-u-utt-mama, I need it for just a tiny little bit more. Th-th-then he can share with me later.” She says it with such authority too. If it didn’t drive me crazy, I’d find it hilarious.

Is this normal sibling stuff? And is there a better way of handling it than being a broken record? Fill me in.

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Milestone Monday: The 2-Year Check Up

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Fia had her 2-year old checkup last week here in LA. I loved her new doctor, Dr. Iyer, at Glendale Pedatrics. She walked in, sat down and said, “Tell me everything from the day she was born.” Wow, I thought, I get the doc for 5 hours. Ha. I gave her the synopsis of her little life and she asked questions, took notes and just seemed very engaged. Not rushed at all.

Fia is developing fine, physically and verbally. No red flags. She said the hypochondria is probably a combination of attention seeking + knowing her body parts, which is very exciting to kids this age. I can ignore a little more, (since right now I immediately go and “kiss” the hurt area), and tell her not everything has to always hurt. Seems logical.

A few reminders she pointed out that I have to stay aware of: toddler safety. Phil and I tend to get a tad complacent, thinking, “well, she knows better than to…(fill in blank).” And for the most part she does. But she is still a tot, so we have to be hyper vigilant. For example, sometimes I’ll let her eat while watching Sesame Street and I’ll be out of eyesight in another room cooking. The doc gently reminded me that humans can choke on just about anything. Even a raisin (I have looked over to Fia before in her highchair and seen a mouth full of them). We always need to sit with our babes while they eat and not leave them unattended. Remember: choking is silent.


–Plants, including Poinsettias, are poisonous. I knew they were to cats, but I didn’t know they were to us as well.

–Toilets: This is the age where she may start to throw things in the toilet (gross). And along with that, toddlers may reach in to retrieve their toy and fall in since they are head-heavy.

–Make sure chords on our blinds don’t loop. Cut them so they dangle down individually.

–Secure cabinets. Two ounces of perfume contain enough alcohol to kill a small child. Mouthwash too, as it’s 85-95% alcohol.

–Stove top: cook on the back burners of your stove if your toddler is around while you’re cooking. I know Fia can almost reach the front burner now. Also, turn your pot handles inward, so they can’t grab it and pull, potentially spilling boiling water on them, etc.

–Helmets: we are thinking of getting Fia a tricycle for Christmas. From the very beginning make them wear a helmet. You want to develop a life long habit on this one.

And for my own fun, here are her stats:

Weight: 25.4 pounds (30th percentile)

Height: 34 inches (50th percentile)

Head Circumference: 19.25 inches (83rd percentile).

Some helpful websites for safety issues as well:

Picture of doctor and baby via

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