So, after about a month of trying a combination of purees and BLW, I think I've finally gotten over my fear of the gag reflex! Each time DS started gagging, I panicked and fished out the food from his mouth without giving him a chance to work it out himself. I was finally able to restrain myself one day and stayed calm enough to coax him into doing more chewing motions and he got through it. Now, he can swallow rice (and similar sized food) with very little gagging if at all! Phew!