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Old Mar 24th, 2018, 10:06 AM   1
_Meep_
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Anyone else's kid cough over drinks? Long/anxious, sorry


I never really post directly about my kids on here - for the most part these days we don't really have any issues that I am hugely worried about. However, there's this one thing that I've put off asking you ladies on here about for the best part of three years, because it is a little odd and I'm terrified that nobody will be able to confirm that it is normal or that it has happened to them.

Obviously, as many on here know, I do suffer with quite severe anxiety so I'm probably overreacting/overthinking somewhat but this has become a huge issue for me and recently it's really affecting my mood. Pathetic, I know, but please don't judge. I really need to get it off my chest.

Basically, my kid coughs on drinks and always has done. She will be 4 in July and it started when she was a tiny, breastfeeding baby. To cut a long story short, she struggled to cope with my very enthusiastic milk flow and coughed on milk a lot. She had several nursing strikes and that's when I started to become obsessed, thinking the choking must be causing the refusal to feed. We found out, at 4 months, that she had a posterior tongue tie. We got it cut. Slowly, she grew into my milk and the coughing stopped. She's still breastfeeding.

At 6 months, I made the mistake of giving her a sippy cup with a spout and a non-spill valve for water. I'm sure these are fine for some kids, but not for mine. I think with hindsight, probably because she had to suck so hard to get anything out, that she consistently ended up with a huge mouthful of water which she inevitably choked on. Cue more anxiety from me about her swallowing ability. We didn't think to try her with a free-flow cup. Instead, we moved her on to a valved straw cup, which she did much better with, but still wound up coughing on quite a few times a day.

After she turned 2, we got her a Munchkin Miracle 360, which is like a regular cup but with a big rubber valve on the top to stop it spilling. By this point, she was able to take several consecutive swallows per try without coughing and would only cough at the end of the drink if she coughed at all. This happened a maximum of about twice a day. Sometimes not at all in a whole day. So a huge improvement, but still not great when you go out for lunch and see other people's kids chugging away without a care in the world while you sit on the edge of your seat hoping your child isn't going to do it again.

It took until she was almost 3 for her to drink from an open cup without trying to 'hoover' the liquid into her mouth and choke herself. She CAN now do it and actually does really well for the most part - in fact, moving on to only open cups and a flask with a big open spout like the neck of a water bottle has been the best thing for her. After her sister was born, nearly 10 months ago, I pretty much stopped worrying about it as it became so infrequent, and I thought it was over. Recently, however, she was ill and coughing all the time so that I couldn't tell what was a regular cough and what was a drinking cough and it's brought it all up again for me, especially since her baby sister very rarely does this and thus I began wondering what is/was wrong with my 3 year old. I couldn't even begin to describe how obsessed I am with it - mainly because I'm kind of ashamed of how much this seemingly little issue affects me.

I should add that it doesn't bother her in the slightest. It's not that awful type of red face and streaming eyes, gasping cough you get when something goes down the wrong pipe. Her eyes occasionally water a little bit, but mostly it's just a sort of splutter, or a couple of decent coughs and she's fine again. Which is really confusing. She HAS had a coughing fit a few times where you can tell it's truly gone the wrong way, but these incidences are rare. I'm not worried about aspiration or anything - she has never had a chest infection or pneumonia or even an ongoing cough really other than the one she had recently. I'm not even that worried these days that she has a problem with swallowing as she CAN swallow, multiple times in a row. What baffles me is that if she coughs, it's right at the end of the drink ...?

She has no problems with development in any area.
She has no problems with food.
She had no problems with speech, other than the fact that she never shuts up. She has been speaking 'better', for want of a less indulgent word, than most other children her age since she was 2.

So what the fuck is going on? I've rung our local speech and language helpline a couple of times and spoken to a few speech therapists (they deal with feeding and swallowing issues, not just speech) and none have been overly concerned as she has no symptoms or conditions that point to dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). Most recently, it was suggested that it sounds like she is trying to drink too much too fast without giving herself a chance to breathe so she ends up breathing in at the wrong time and inhaling the last little bit of water. I'd agree this is the most likely explanation, but it still bothers me and asking her to slow down, counting three swallows and then prompting her to stop, etc. is having little effect as she just doesn't care.

I know she seems to be growing out of it and I do feel ridiculous, but I'm having a real down day about it and just can't take it any more.

Can anyone relate? Anyone else's older child do this? Anyone have a kid who did this in the past who has now grown out of it? Please someone tell me it's normal ...



 
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Old Mar 24th, 2018, 13:10 PM   2
BunnyN
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Our middle boy had issues with BFing and later with swollowing liquids but seemed to mostly grow out of it by about age 2. He seemed to have slight issues with coordinating the muscles of his lips mouth and throat. He has slight speech difficulties with forming sounds and I think they might be related.

Honestly if it doesn't bother her and is improving she will probably just grow out of it. But I know it's hard not to worry as a mother.



 
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Old Mar 24th, 2018, 13:25 PM   3
_Meep_
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Ah Bunny, thank you. I would also say my girl has mostly grown out of it, in that it doesn't happen every day any more and if it does, never more than twice at the most. I really thought it had actually stopped but she does seem to have started up a bit again lately, and I can only assume it must be related to having been ill. Her tonsils don't look swollen though so I'm not sure HOW it's affecting her?!

She doesn't have any speech issues at all or any problems doing stuff with her mouth like blowing out candles etc. which was one of the things the speech therapist asked me about, so it's just really confusing to me.

Mind if I ask how old your lad is now and how he is doing? How often does he choke now, if at all?



 
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Old Mar 24th, 2018, 13:30 PM   4
BunnyN
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He is 3 now. He doesn't choke on stuff anymore I don't think. He mostly grew out of it by about 2 and probably still did it a little until about 6 months ago. Thick liquids seemed to cause him the worst issues.



 
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Old Mar 24th, 2018, 13:39 PM   5
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It's thin ones for mine. Mostly water, though occasionally on milk. I know she can have periods where she doesn't cough at all really so I'm pretty sure it's not a scary 'problem' as such. I just hope it goes away again soon. Thanks for your reply.



 
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Old Mar 24th, 2018, 14:49 PM   6
jessmke
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You described my two year old to a T. She has a munchkin miracle 360 cup and coughs frequently when drinking. She never coughs if she drinks out of a straw cup. She also is terrible at drinking out of an open cup, she either spills it all down her front or she takes a giant gulp and starts coughing like she choked on it. Honestly until you wrote this post I never though much of it, it doesn't bother her and she is developing completely normal in other ways, she has never choked or had difficulty swallowing food. I have wondered if she has a sensitive gag reflex because she does sometimes gag if she has too much food in her mouth, or if she has a big bite of something soft like mashed potatoes or banana (I have the same sensitive gag reflex and soft moist textures like banana make me gag too). I always figured that she sucked at drinking out of an open cup just because we don't give her a lot of opportunity to try because it just makes such a huge mess. I just figure that with time she will get it, it's not like she's going to be heading off to high school and not know how to drink out of a cup.In contrast, my 8 month old also drinks out of a miracle cup and has never coughed or seemed to choke on fluids while drinking, and he has also taken to eating solid foods much sooner than my daughter did (we did BLW with both of them). They are all different, so long as everything else is normal and healthy then I'd just chalk it up to a quirk she has and try not to worry about it.



 
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Old Mar 24th, 2018, 15:01 PM   7
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This is exactly what I wanted to hear, thank you so very much. I absolutely agree you (and I) shouldn't worry about it - I have very bad anxiety and it has really latched on to this thing, probably because of how traumatic the early months were when my daughter hated breastfeeding.

She doesn't seem to have a particularly sensitive gag reflex but did take a long time to start chewing properly. She's not a fan of mashed foods like potato and stuff though, I think because of their sticky texture. She has quite a high palate left over from the tongue tie, and I do wonder if this is why she struggled so much with spouts and valves and things, though my second was tongue tied too, with the same bubble palate, and does fine. We did pick up her tongue tie pretty much straight away though.

Giving her practice is the best you can do really, that's when things really started to improve for mine, though overcoming the anxiety for me was so hard lol. Funnily enough, free flow is what she does best with?!

Anyway, thank you, it's so reassuring to hear from others who DON'T worry about this or see it as an issue. It reminds me that probably the issue is just me as usual. And also makes me think that the reason I can't find many people with the same problem online is not that it is rare but possibly just not something others think about the way I do.

You've really helped me, thank you.



 
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Old Mar 25th, 2018, 12:43 PM   8
cupcake.
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My little girl is only 16 months but does it too. I‘d say about half the time she has a drink (water, it never happens when she drinks milk) she‘ll cough afterwards.
It could happen after one little sip or after she had a few consecutive big gulps.
It also doesn‘t seem to matter what type of cup, we have a few different and she‘s just starting to try drinking from open cups.

I haven‘t ever really thought twice about it. To be completely honest i actually seem to suck at drinking as well considering how often i cough too, now that I think about it haha



 
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Old Mar 25th, 2018, 13:41 PM   9
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Haha, thank you. Mine was much the same at that age, about 50% of drinks were a fail for her too.

Now I would say it's more like 5%. I really don't know why I am so ridiculously upset by it. I'm such a prat. I'm not even sure that she's actually coughing on the water so much as clearing her throat because she's got a bit of phlegm following her cold that gets stirred up occasionally by stuff passing down her throat.

It's so lovely to hear from people who don't even think twice about this. I hope there are more. When my daughter was your daughter's age I was in a huge state over it and wanted a swallow study done on her, and an MRI and all sorts of crap. I was so convinced there was something wrong. Now I'm just confused by it lol.



 
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Old Mar 25th, 2018, 14:11 PM   10
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My 3 year old does this. She’s got no development issues and speech is great. She’s happy and healthy but has always coughed and spluttered on drinks- not sure how often as I’ve never thought about it too much. She’s fine with food so I just thought it was her learning to drink. She’s also a horrendously messy eater although she’s got great coordination so I just think it’s one of those things they just grow into learning how to do.



 
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