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Thread: Nervous about offering finger foods

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Default Nervous about offering finger foods

    Dear mamas,

    I think it's time for me to offer my LO some new textures beyond fruit & veggie purees. My pediatrician told me there's a window around 8-9 months and if I wait too long, my LO might not be open to different textures for a long time later. I would like to give her textured foods and also finger foods. I know there's a good fresh thread here on snacks with great suggestions, but beyond that... I would like some reassurance. I am SUPER NERVOUS about choking! To the point that it's keeping me from offering her stuff. Everything seems a hazard when I think of it... what if she swallows a whole Cheerio? Or what if a whole chunk of avocado or cooked carrot slips down her throat and stops there? Maybe I'm not understanding this whole thing right?

    ????

    Please... some words of wisdom, guidance, advice... I know I have to do this. If my mom lived nearby I'd just have her come and guide me along, but she's on the other side of the Equator...
    march 2011... the light of my life

    i love my little one

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    169

    Default Re: Nervous about offering finger foods

    I'm reading Baby Led Weaning right now (which I recommend) and they talk about how the baby's gag reflex is pretty far forward on their tongue, which prevents them from putting food too far back in their mouth. They basically would gag the food out before they got to choking stage, provided they are feeding themselves. Also, gagging can look like choking...youtube has some videos of baby led weaning babies gagging--weird i know, but it was helpful to see it in action. HTH...also maybe taking an infant CPR course would put your mind at ease as well. I've thought about doing that myself.
    First time mommy to Anika Jo, born 6/27/11 at home
    Love to , and . Cloth diapering full time, and part-time ECing-- my baby pees and poos in her little pink potty!
    I blog: www.the-whole-life.blogspot.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Nervous about offering finger foods

    Mama, I understand your hesitation. Your baby is precious and we're all entitled to our mommy-worries. But I think you're freaking out a bit too far about the cheerios. Take one, put it in your mouth, and see what happens. It's going to get soggy pretty quickly and fall apart, and in the soggy, falling apart state it can't clog the airway.

    In your shoes I would offer one single cheerio at a time and see what your LO does with it. Most likely she will end up investigating it with her mouth, and when she does you have a chance to observe her carefully. If she seems to maneuver that cheerio around her mouth pretty competently, you may be reassured about her ability to eat chunkier solids. If not, then you can hold off for a while longer.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
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    Jul 2010
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    Default Re: Nervous about offering finger foods



    They have to learn. We all do. It can Be scary to watch, and you should take infant CPR especially if you worry. But they DO have instincts they're dealing with to help protect them while they learn. Like gagging and coughing. Agree with PP!
    Mom to Taiga born 6/2010

    Pocket cloth diapers. Baby led solids. Full-time working mom. I my DH, DD, kitty Dr. Benway, and my working border collie Odin!
    BF for 1 year and she and I still love it !!!!

  5. #5
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    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: Nervous about offering finger foods

    thank you, mamas, for the replies! I did take an infant CPR class when she was little, but it was a short class (we had it at home) and i am not sure i feel very prepared.

    I just tried giving her some Happy Baby puffs (she needs gluten-free puffs)... it didn't work. She made the most hilarious faces of disgust, holding the puff between her lips. Then the puff got inside her mouth and she started to gag with the puff stuck to the top of her tongue. She gagged, gagged, and tried to spit it up, but since it was stuck I helped and picked it out of her tongue. I tried giving a small piece of the puff, but she wanted nothing to do with it. I scattered some, she played with them (definitely has the pincer grasp), but not even tried to put into her mouth.

    Does it all mean she's not ready? Or have I waited too long to offer?
    march 2011... the light of my life

    i love my little one

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    54

    Default Re: Nervous about offering finger foods

    Hi Mama,

    I understand that you are worried about the gagging. My DD is nearly 11 months and we started with mushed fruit and stuff around 7 months. She even till now wont eat that much but thats not the point i wanted to make.

    I wasnt sure about when to offer her finger foods and just started offering Joey o's (trader joe cherios) to her when she became about 10 months. I would put a couple on her table and she would play with them, and put one in her mouth and spit it out. Now she loves them and eats them all the time, i just kept putting a couple on her table area, where i put other soft mushy fruit like pear which she loves to pick up and she finally decided she would eat her joey o's.

    I think every child is different and they arent all like what people generalize them as. If you keep trying your LO might or might not like them. You little one will decide. I wouldnt worry to much about it and recommend for you to take it slow if thats what makes you feel comfortable.

    Hope this helps. Good luck mama

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Nervous about offering finger foods

    Instead of offering a new food (like Cheerios), have you offered any foods that she already likes in a different texture? For example, instead of pureed carrots, give little pieces for her to pick up. I'm still not sure about giving DS large pieces for him to hold, but we have done very well with more bite-sized pieces. Scrambled egg yolks were a big hit. They are super soft (and made a huge mess), so he was able to pick them up and gum them around before swallowing.
    ~ Megan

    Mommy to Alex (born 2/27/11) and Katie (born 3/31/14)

  8. #8
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    Apr 2008
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    Default Re: Nervous about offering finger foods

    It takes about 10 tries for a baby to figure out if they like a new food. Just because something wasn't a hit today doesn't mean it wont be a hit tomorrow

    I would offer a variety. Anything that your lo has had in a pureed form offer in a solid form (in very tiny pieces if that makes you feel better) as well as a new food that lo has never seen before. If she eats nothing that's okay. If she plays with the food that's okay. If she tastes one piece of food and spits it out, that's okay too. If she clears the plate that's also fine It's all about learning and practice at this point.

    The steamer is a great tool when offering finger foods. Steam a pear and taste it - falls apart in your mouth. Grated cheese was a favourite with my son, as were chunks of sweet potato.
    ~Jenn~


    mother of 2 boys!
    08/14/98~~03/20/08

    Birth: 7lbs 12oz, 1 year: 22lbs 11oz
    until he self-weaned 4 days before his third birthday ... still on occasion ... and happily

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****************
    People need to understand that when they're deciding between breastmilk and formula, they're not deciding between Coke and Pepsi.... They're choosing between a live, pure substance and a dead substance made with the cheapest oils available. ~Chele Marmet

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Default Re: Nervous about offering finger foods

    I started with letting my son chew on teething biscuits, because that really taught him he had to gnaw on stuff (he has no teeth). He now eats finger foods really well. He still sometimes miss judges how much he can swallow and gags some up, his eyes even water sometimes. But he just loves it. Just keep a close eye on your little one at first and try to make really exaggerated gestures of chewing and swallowing. They really do copy us ^__^
    the little monster 4/22/11
    squealy piggy 7/1/13
    CDing baby-wearing coffee addicted mama!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    555

    Default Re: Nervous about offering finger foods

    If you read the BLW book too, babies bodies are biologically designed with anti-choking mechanisms. They will gag WAY before they choke. So gagging is a GOOD thing, because it is the baby's body way of saying "hey! that piece was way too big/not chewed/etc!"

    Trust your baby. They can figure it out, they just need opportunities to experiment.

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