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Why am I so panicky about letting my 7.5mth old eat finger food?

(8 Posts)
bergentulip Wed 16-Jul-08 21:04:52

I know that I am supposed to be letting my DS2 start eating pieces of soft veg/fruit/bread etc... but he is constantly choking on everything!

He'll happily eat lumpy food on a spoon, and seems to chew, but if he has something like a piece of pear, as soon as the end breaks off he seems to try and swallow the damn thing whole, and ends up choking.

Yup, super-effective gag reflex always kicks in, but jeez louise, does it have to be quite so nerve-wracking? I am worried that my anxious face peering at him as he tries to munch, and me fighting the urge to fish food out of his mouth is going to turn him into a child/adult with serious issues with food(!) blush !!

How can I just relax and let him get on with it? Or what's the best thing to give him? He enjoys food so much, I feel like I am taking all the fun away!

Frideswide Thu 17-Jul-08 15:52:26

Well you might just want to wait a bit. If he's happy with lumpy food on a spoon, that's excellent for now. But my DS2 was a bit like this a few months ago. I kept trying fruit and it was always really scary. The thing which sorted it out was crusty French bread - he could have a good old chew without bits breaking off too easily. Also halved mini-bagels (not toasted). This was at about ten months though.

EffiePerine Thu 17-Jul-08 15:53:51

What about doing a parent's first aid course? He might nt be ready for eating much atm, but it will still come in useful later on

Are you sure he chokes, and not just gags? Gagging is fine, they'll retch a bit and cough/spit the offending item out. Choking is when something gets lodged in the throat and they cannot breathe.

Most babies experience some gagging when they first try proper solids, it teaches them the limits of their mouth, and how to eat things properly. It's a bit scary for you to watch but as long as they're coughing and looking a bit bleary eyed they're ok. Try just saying "oops, spit it out then" and giving them a smile. 99% of the time they'll spit it out then pick it up again and resume eating (lovely!)

In the meantime you could try giving "safe" solids like a quite slim finger/slice of creamy (not crumbly) cheese, or a piece of ripe banana split into its natural thirds. That way you know that it's difficult to choke at all, and you can relax a bit while he practises eating.

lizziemun Thu 17-Jul-08 16:15:42

Leave it a while and try again.

DD1 had very strong gag/choking reflex and didn't take to lumps/ finger foods until nearly a year. Where as dd2 has been having finger food since about 8mths and doesn't seem to bother her at all.

bergentulip Thu 17-Jul-08 20:17:34

Thanks all!

You may have noticed in the weaning section I posted again.... got a day of no response so tried again. Interesting how the two posts got entirely different responses.

All very helpful, and sound advice!

I like the idea of just very thin slices of cheese, and the natural thirds of a banana. I do need to just grow a backbone and let him gag a bit! It is gagging I think, and not choking.

So weird, how with my first I was so laisse faire about it all, and it did not worry me so much, and with the second, it panics me. Maybe it's because DS2 is that bit more 'sensitive', more of a baby? Has taken longer to roll over etc.....??? Trying to work out why I am so anxious.

Basically, three things. Calm down. Try the cheese/banana thing, and if he likes the risottos and couscous things I give him, leave it at that for the moment, and try again in a month or so. Also, perhaps a first aid course so I know what to do, and that'll make me less neurotic!!!

Thanks again! Really has helped a lot!

Mercy Thu 17-Jul-08 20:22:21

I didn't like gagging either - to me it means they are not ready to eat more lumpy stuff or just don't like the food full-stop.

I don't understand why gagging is considered ok tbh.

Glad you're feeling happier now, op. You'll probably find once you relax, he'll relax, if he's the sensitive type.

Mercy, if they are feeding themselves and they gag, they won't continue if they don't like the food, it's different to someone shovelling food into their mouths and ignoring the gagging.

They gag because the gag reflex is quite near the front of the mouth in babies, and slowly gets further and further back until it's where ours is, allowing us to take a big bite of food without gagging. They only learn about eating and how much food they can put in their mouths by practising. My ds would gag all the time on his soggy little hands anyway so I guess I was pretty immune, and he soon grew out of the gagging stage and into the "stuffing his face with two fistfuls of dinner at once" stage.

I would say though that if any baby looked unhappy whilst being fed/doing blw, or if the gagging was constant, it would definitely be a good idea to leave it for a while before trying again.

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