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Finding weaning very stressful!(18 Posts)
I have a 8 month old DS, who is my first child.
Basically I'm finding it so stressful when other mums tell me that my baby should be eating biscuits and bread, plus other finger foods between meal times.
He has a good eating menu during the day and has only just gotten used to lumpy food. But my biggest fear really is what if he chokes on a piece of bread or a biscuit? I would never forgive myself. He's not got any teeth yet. But I always thought the finger foods didn't start until the toddler years.
He shouldn't be eating anything specifically-if he wants something to chew to help with teething that's fine but I don't think any 8 month old 'needs' a biscuit! If he's hungry give him food but don't give snacks for the sake of it. Are you doing BLW? As long as he's being given opportunities to try different tastes and textures he's fine. Food is fun until they're one
(That first sentence reads badly-I don't mean he shouldn't be eating anything, I mean there's nothing specific that he 'should' be eating if that makes sense!)
Weaning is a significant shift in your routines and is a stressful time as we all want it to go well and not end up with a fussy eater. So it's not surprising you are feeling worried about it all.
I would have a read of the NHS advice on weaning which sets out what you should be aiming for by when.
At 8 months there's no need for snacks between meals, and you should be moving towards 3 meals a day around now. Biscuits are absolutely unnecessary and nutritionally dubious. Don't feel pressurised into giving them, not because of the fear or choking, but because they shouldn't be part of a baby's diet.
Bread is ok, but a bit high in salt, so I would give it occasionally.
Babies don't need teeth to chew - they have really hard gums (as all the teeth are underneath waiting to come out). Their hard gums are more than capable of chewing suitable finger food.
Ideally, you should be giving finger food with each meal, to allow your baby to feel and explore the food. He needs to learn to feed himself, and the earlier you start the easier it is.
Babies often gag on food - this is not the same thing as choking. Choking is not common, and is silent and scary. Gagging is noisy and normal, it protects the baby from choking as the food is brought forward in the mouth. This is how they learn to chew and swallow.
If you give easy finger food like well steamed veg or ripe fruit then choking is no more likely than when giving lumpy purees.
I hope I've answered all your questions! Don't worry about what other mums are doing - they aren't in your shoes. Nod and smile if anyone offers any "advice", and say something non committal like "oh ok". And then ignore it!
Finger foods start at 6m! If you're worried about choking, then familiarise yourself with what to do if they choke. Actually apple is the worst culprit for choking, IME. But yes, he should be given the opportunity to feed himself on a regular basis. Choking is very different from gagging - there are lots of good internet videos about how to deal with it.
Many people now give finger foods from 6mo. I did - I planned to do a mix of finger foods and purees, but DD was a spoon refuser. Still is, for that matter!
Teeth are a red herring - the lack of them is actually helpful, because they can't bite off big lumps of hard things that they then will choke on. Does that make sense? Give him chunks of soft juicy things (ripe fruits are great, fairly well cooked vegetables too) to mash up in his gums and hopefully your confidence will grow with his. Finger foods are brilliant for gross and fine motor skills and coordination, as well control and independence for the LO (and a blessed break from the spooning for you!)
And no baby needs bread or biscuits
It will get easier OP, just take your time, I hated it.
I felt pressured & stressed with peoples comments, So I decided to not listen
I just introduced things slowly, you will look back & think it wasn't so bad after all.
Don't worry about it- I wouldn't take advice from anyone that told me an 8 month old has to eat biscuits!
Finger foods can be used from 6 months. I found it really scary handing my tiny PFB a lump of food (and only did so after obsessively researching how to deal with choking), so I know how hard it can be to start.
One of the first finger foods I gave DD was sweet potato, sliced up then baked in the oven. It's just firm enough that she can hold it and feed herself, but soft enough that she can easily mush it up with her gums. She's 7 months now and we're graduating to baked slices of carrot and pear.
Relax and try to enjoy it- once you get over the fear it's lovely watching them feed themselves!
He has his breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus formula and fruit in between. He is eating so well, and I love letting him explore different textures and sometimes letting him do it himself.
But it's just what other mums are saying that are throwing me off.
Like, for instance, one mum said to me that she gave her 8 month old a piece of broccoli, something he could hold and chew on. I was like whaaat, can you do that? Then one mum said when I told her he wasn't eating finger foods 'Oh, give him a biscuit.'
I know I shouldn't listen, but I just can't help it. I guess this is all just a learning curve for me too!
I started with very well cooked veg carrot, broccoli, cauliflower etc that would pretty much disintegrate in ds mouth and worked up to harder food once he had convinced me he could cope would that work? When it's well cooked its pretty much purée anyway
Well I think you can take what you want other people's experience without feeling too unsettled - it's just food for thought (pun really not intended ) and it doesn't sound as though your friends are criticising you. You definitely can give them things to hold and chew on and based on our experience I think he would enjoy it - but in fact when you describe what you're doing you sound happy and confident. So go for it, follow your own instincts!
Neither of my babies had purées. You can give them nothing but finger foods and it's fine!
Banana might be a good one to start with, broccoli is easy to hold. Triangles of toast can be sucked on.
By 8 months my DD was picking up and eating peas and sweetcorn with her fingers, they are capable of more than you think!
Thanks for all the replies. I suppose it's just taking the next step and getting over the fear. I just want him happy and healthy, that's the main thing.
People should but out if their not asked.
FWIW my ds had such horrid reflux when he was given any puree or finger food he would throw it up then alongside any milk he had drank in the hours before until he was 8 months old. This made it completely counter productive feeding solids so he didn't start weaning at all until after 8 months.
He now eats everything, he isn't fussy at all, never in hes life has he ate biscuits for the pure sake of it while its true babies can eat finger foods safely from 6 months there is no cut off point where its too late for them to learn.
I'm just starting too, it is scary. Today I gave him a small piece of very ripe banana with the skin on the bottom (so he could hold it) and he sucked/gummed it. It was very mushy and I wasn't worried about chunks coming off in his mouth, maybe a good one to start with? Bread wise I have found "tougher" bread breaks up less - white or bagels as opposed to brown (although I suspect the sugar content isn't as good!)- the first time or so I held it for him
'Plastic' bread - processed sliced stuff - is definitely bad because it's salty, sugary, overprocessed, gums up in their mouths and it's very hard to move around, but the soft inner of a French stick is good. You can soak it in soup (both DSs were big fans of this) and they'll eat the lot. Lumps of cheese are good too, and fish fingers.
If you don't want to give biscuits (and rightly so!) then rusks are good - specifically designed to be a weaning finger food - and also cream crackers. Give him a cracker to hold and you'll be surprised what a good job he makes of it!
Banana is overrated as a weaning food, IMO - it's too slippery for them to hold easily and it makes them constipated.
I was just about to start this exact thread! The only finger food I've been even vaguely confident in giving is broccoli actually -stem hard enough to not break off and little end bits small enough to not choke on
Cooked pasta is good for them to gum on if I recall. The spirals esp.
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