DD is 8 months and an enthusiastic eater. I'm doing BF, homemade purees and oatmeal but wanted to give her some bits of lumpy stuff to experiment. So, she has so far choked on baby rice biscuits, Cheerios, teething biscuits (used to be good, now she has teeth and bites off a chunk and chokes) and lumps of avocado and banana.
When I say choke, I mean red face, stops breathing (very briefly), I panic, she vomits. She's all smiles afterwards but I am in pieces. She can pick things up. sit up, do all the 'readiness' stuff but she just seems to be a choker.
Should I just wait and introduce later (and possibly be stuck on purees forever) or persist and be braver?
It will take her time to learn how to cope with lumps - if I was you I would persevere, although it looks like she's choking, she's not. She is gagging on the food and then managing to bring it up - if she was choking she wouldn't be able to do that.
Dd is now 10m and gags much less frequently but yes she used to vomit a lot after gagging which is a bit annoying but not a worry. When she gags I don't panic I just do chewing faces (sounds stupid) and stay calm. Obviously if she really chokes then make sure you know what to do so you have more confidence?
I have to say I wouldn't have been so calm with ds so you're not alone at all.
That's definately gagging, not choking. Babies gag reflex is nearer the front of the mouth than adults' so they will gag more frequently. Stick with it and she'll gradually learn how to make sure food is chewed better before she moves it towards the back of her mouth. It's also a good idea to stay calm and allow her to clear the food herself.
You may be able to think of things which you are more comfortable with her gagging on than others. For example baby crisps or well cooked potato. If you are confident that the food is soft enough that if she does begin to gag/choke it will break down of its own accord then you might find it easier. You could also go for lumpier purees rather than finger foods if you would find that easier. Also this stage goes by really quickly. DD is 11 mo and had some problems with gagging at 8 mo, but I have just realised that she hasn't done for over a month. DD never seemed to have a problem with rice cakes - you could try them. On the other hand she doesn't have enough teeth to bite stuff off even now, so the same stuff may not suit your DD.
I always soak rice cakes for DD (6.5 months) as personally I think rice cakes are too dry. I just sprinkle some water from her beaker over them, and then wait a minute or two for them to go soggy. It is then much easier for her to bite off a sensible-sized piece and deal with it without choking.
Sounds strange but with anything new that is lumpy or hard, I always put it in MY mouth first, and don't chew it with my teeth, but just move it around using my tongue. If it doesn't break down pretty quickly then it gets soaked to make it softer, or gets cut into a much smaller piece. Try eating a large bit of rice cake without using your teeth - it's very difficult, so imagine how hard it must be for a baby who cannot control their muscles as well as we do!
OK, you lot are great. We managed a few milk-soaked Cheerios today and some lumpy asparagus. I did chewy faces and it worked (I didn't actually believe you, BeaWheesht but you were right). I should have known MN advice on this kind of thing is always stellar.