My daughter will be 7 months old next and we've started playing around a bit with solids. My concern is that she has gagged a few times - and my only experience with feeding a baby was my ex-26 week preemie, who had extreme swallowing/feeding issues. So, I really don't know why is normal.
Here's what we've done so far:
First: Offered some very soft baked chunks of sweet potato for her to play with/taste. Some small bits got into her mouth from sucking her fingers and she promptly gagged and threw up all of the breastmilk she'd previously taken.
Second: Gunshy from try #1, we went the purée route and offered some stage 2 organic jarred sweet potatoes. Predictably, she wouldn't let me hold the spoon, so she held it and tasted a few bits here and there from the spoon and her fingers. Gagged herself on the spoon.
Third: Offered her half of an apple to play with/mouth/etc. That went fine. I don't think she got any bits in her mouth (she has 2 teeth, so I thought she might scrape some off), but she seemed to enjoy the flavor by licking.
Fourth: Mashed up some avocado and gave her a bit on a spoon (that I held onto also so she didn't stick it to far back). She got a little bit in her mouth and had a big ol' gagging episode.
We've also given her some teething biscuits to play with a few times and she seems to enjoy those.
Does this all sound normal? Should I just shelve solids for a few weeks and see if the gagging is better later on? Or carry on, expecting there to be some gagging? (My son's issues were complex and serious and he gagged and vomited multiple times a day for 2 years, so I have a touch of PTSD about gagging/vomiting.)
That should have read "she'll be 7 months old next WEEK".
That all sounds relatively normal. Does she push the food back out of her mouth with her tongue as soon as it goes in her mouth? That could indicate she hasn't lost the tongue thrust reflex and she's just not ready. In that case I'd probably wait. If that's not happening, I still I don't think it would hurt to put it on hold maybe a couple of weeks and try again later, if only to save your own sanity. But I also don't think it would hurt to keep offering and letting her try. All stress-ree of course, because at this point it doesn't really matter if she gets any food into her tummy that way or not.
Thanks for your reply! She doesn't seem to thrust the food out, so I think she's lost that reflex. It's just that whatever does make its way back seems to trigger mega gagging. I might just stick with things like the large apple piece or a piece of well cooked meat - things she can taste without having bites of food in her mouth. And maybe try the bites/soft chunks/purees later on. I'm definitely not in a hurry...we're in a good groove with breastfeeding and I don't want to hurt that. But she does show interest and has the other signs of readiness, so I don't want to hold her back. Plus, there's that nagging voice that puts pressure on me because she "should" be eating...and if she doesn't start soon, it could make it harder later. Ugh.
I can't offer much advice, just empathy. I know exactly the nagging voice you are talking about . . .
My son is in the exact same spot. He turned 7 months last week and is showing all the signs of being ready-- pretending to chew, great body and motor control, two teeth on the bottom, sitting alone. First I offered him avocado, then several days later sweet potato, all mashed up or pureed. Both times he gagged like crazy. Then apple, then rice cereal mixed with breast milk. Same result. One evening he grabbed some bread I was eating and almost seemed like he wanted to eat that, but I was afraid he would choke. Yesterday my husband offered him a slice of an apple and he played with it for fifteen minutes-- without putting it in his mouth once. He seems interested in eating everything . . . but food!
I am not too worried except for everyone around me talking about iron deficiency . . . is that something I should be concerned about? Should I get iron drops from the pediatrician?