Unlike in children who are mobile and able to voluntarily put things in their mouths, true choking in newborns is rare. However, if a baby drinks very quickly he may cough and sputter a bit until he adjusts to feeding. It often proves helpful to sit him up and pat him on the back until he recovers. These symptoms may also be related to how strong or fast breast milk “lets down,” and may be prevented by taking the baby off the breast for 30 to 60 seconds during a forceful milk let-down. If he coughs persistently or routinely gags during feedings, consult your pediatrician. These symptoms could indicate an underlying problem in the lungs or digestive tract.
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