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Beyond terrified of starting DS on finger food
please help me feel confident/capable


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13 replies to this topic

#1 misse10

Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:22 PM

My DS is 8mo and has 3 solid meals of puree each day (plus 5 BF) and I give him fruit in a mesh feeder, but I feel like I should be starting finger food so I don't leave it too late and give him problems accepting real food later.

The problem is I am TERRIFIED of him choking to death.  I am a naturally anxious person and have been treated for PND, but I am trying to do what's best for my baby...but it's stressing me more than I could imagine. Today I gave him a 1/4 of a soft fresh plum and my heart was racing so much and I was so terrified I thought I was going to burst into tears and I had to take it off the poor fellow.

I know they have a gag reflex and its all part of learning, but i'm worried about him just sucking down a big lump and it getting stuck.  He did suck down a chunk of mango accidentally when he was a bit younger and I think it got stuck for a second because he suddenly looked scared and starting crying/going red and i haven't felt confident since.

do you have any reassuring words, tips or really safe foods to start with?  Or some way I could try finger food without having a mental breakdown while doing it?  Is it better to give big hunks of food, so he doesn't try to swallow it all, or teeny tiny pieces that they couldn't choke on but that they can pick-up and self feed??

thanks so much.

Edited by misse10, 21 January 2013 - 07:15 PM.


#2 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:34 PM

I'm pretty sure the risk of choking (as opposed to gagging) is actually higher when the baby isn't in control of the food.  

You can also minimise the risk by making sure your son is sitting up in a high chair (as opposed to running around concentrating on something else) and not offering the high risk stuff (whole nuts, marshmallows, popcorn, apple chunks etc)

I've also found my DS was better with a whole fruit/piece of toast/chop bone etc than chunks cut off by me, that way he could only gnaw off a small piece and by the time he's managed that its pretty mushy anyway.

#3 elizabethany

Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:35 PM

start with softer foods, such as watermelon and cheese sticks, as it is harder for then to choke on stuff that disintergrates easily.  Have a chat with your local playgroup association/mach nurse/childrens centres about safe feeding courses (usually a couple of hours) that they may run.

Maybe do a first aid course so that you feel confident in what to do if something does go wrong.  And have a chat with your GP on ways to manage your fear and anxiety over the issue.

We all worry about this, but learnign to deal with whole foods it is an important part of growing up.  You will be fine, but it is OK to get some help from the community nurses.

#4 ubermum

Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:39 PM

Start with soft food that won't block a windpipe so you feel more comfortable. Mashed food he can play with and lick off his fingers until you get a bit more relaxed. My 7mo is having grapes cut into 4's, cherries cut into 4s (de stoned of course), cucumber and other bits of soft fruit and veg. I also gave her fish fillet on the weekend. The only soft food I don't give her unless I am in control or it's mashed is banana- she loves it so much she just keeps stuffing it in. I have to give her a small piece at a time. Spaghetti is good, he'll gag on it, but won't choke.

#5 noi'mnot

Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:44 PM

Another vote for a first aid course, to give you the confidence to know what to do if something does go wrong.

There's a big difference between choking and gagging, but that didn't stop my parter totally freaking out every single time our little one gagged. It took him awhile to figure out the difference.

As PPs said, start with the softer things like soft fruits and watermelon. Take it slowly day by day, and you'll both build up your confidence and skills gradually. Good luck! original.gif

#6 RCTP

Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:44 PM

I totally understand how you feel - when I first gave my daughter toast I actually started to cry with anxiety and fear.

Those gums even without teeth are pretty impressive at chewing.

As some PPs have said start with soft things and in all honesty if you are so very worried book yourself onto a First Aid Course for Babies (St John's Ambulance do them) so you would know what to do calmly in the event of bub choking or any emergency - that may ease your anxiety all round if you haven't done one already.


#7 mandala

Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:46 PM

When the mango got stuck, he was gagging, and the gagging was what brought it up. The red in the face, coughing, crying is a good sign - you can't cry or cough if your windpipe is blocked. And a strong gag reflex is a good thing - you're less likely to choke if your gag reflex makes you cough the food up before it gets too far down your throat.

Other than that, elizabethany has great advice. It can be scary, but they do need to learn. original.gif





#8 Riotproof

Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:49 PM

Beware of anything small and round shaped, so grapes, cherry/grape tomatoes, cherries, or anything hard like raw carrot/apple/whole nuts.

Other than that, would you consider doing an infant first aid course? That way you will have a definite plan should choking occur.



#9 Bluestocking

Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:54 PM

I was like that with my first, with my second much more relaxed. I think I started off with bite sized soft cooked foods like pumpkin and potato, so they are really soft and easy to mush up. Don't stress too much OP, its not going to hurt your baby to stay on soft foods for a bit longer.  original.gif

#10 tick

Posted 21 January 2013 - 07:00 PM

It might help to read the baby-led weaning book too?  (http://www.bookdepos...y/9780091923808) or even just do a bit of googling about it?  BLW is all about finger foods and letting your child master their own gag-reflex etc so it could be reassuring to read about.  My six month old has been on finger food for a few weeks now and it's amazing to watch what she can eat!  

Also remember that choking is silent - gagging is noisy and unpleasant but it's a good thing, it is natures way of preventing choking.

#11 Princess.cranky.pants

Posted 21 January 2013 - 07:06 PM

Just start slowly moving from puree to more textured foods. You can do this by mashing things with a fork and not blending food till it's really smooth. Mash potato, banana and avocado are good starters. Soft cheeses, broccoli chunks and other soft foods. He may gag at first but that is okay and it's a natural reflex. When you see him gag don't show him your are scared.

I also think it would be a good idea to talk to someone about how you are feeling. Try to deal with it now because it won't be long and your DS will be eating a lot more than just soft foods. Gook luck.

#12 axiomae

Posted 24 January 2013 - 07:17 PM

Big chunks of soft food are great - hunks of banana, watermelon, avocado, steamed pumpkin etc. DD picks them up and then smooshes it all in her mouth - no choking, some gagging, lots of mess and a lot of fun original.gif

Good luck!

#13 Dylan's Mummy

Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:16 AM

Toast fingers are good, with butter or mashed avacado.. Also try steamed carrot sticks or sweet potato sticks, I freeze these and take some out to defrost and give to bub. Slices of banana. We also slice up strawberries and cut the slices into smaller pieces. A few weeks ago I started giving bub pieces of frittata about 2 x3cm.

Any easy way to add some texture to your bub's puréed is to add some small pasta, cook it until it is softer than you would have it yourself. . I buy soup pasta which is made by San Remo. I add steamed diced (very small) carrot and sweet potato to the mushes I make for bub too.

#14 misse10

Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:55 AM

thanks guys. I have done a first aid course for babies, but it didn't help the nerves i'm afraid. but at least i have a vague idea what to do if he chokes!

i tried a jar of 8mo+ baby food and it had grains of rice and tiny cubes of pumpkin in it...he wasn't too keen and gagged on almost every mouthful, but i guess he'll get used to it. He's such a good/speedy puree eater that i guess any change will be tricky for him.

righto: action plan! mashed pumpkin, sticks of steamed veggies & toast soldiers. thanks guys ohmy.gif)




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