DD is almost 7 months old. We started baby led weaning at 6 months with some steamed broccoli, carrots, green beans and baked sweet potato. She mostly played and got some to her mouth gumming it up a bit but not ingesting much. A week in she managed to gnaw off some of the broccoli florets and gagged on them. It came back out violently along with all the breast milk she had been fed earlier. It freaked me out. I know that gagging is normal and shouldn't be a concern but I'm still nervous about it. A stomach virus took the whole family down a couple days later and we are only now getting back to good eating as a family but I haven't given DD any more solids. She's reaching for them and wants to play but I am haunted by that gagging/throwing-up incident. Can anyone offer some reassurance/words of advice? I have the book and I know what it says about gagging but I can't get over my fear. HELP!
Scary start to solids-reassurance to try again
Well, maybe it will help to know you are not alone. Mine ate the florets too. And then gagged. And then vomited I swear 3 days worth of breastmilk. Over and over. It was awful. Evil, evil broccoli!
I'm saving broccoli for later! Or maybe I'll just give him the stems and not the florets!
Now we work on pear, avocado and banana. No more gagging, and I am getting calmer with solids and will be more adventurous soon!
I would try avocado, banana, baked sweet potato spears, cooked butternut squash, etc-- all things that are fairly soft and easy to manage. Avocado and banana can be hard to pick up though, as a word of warning. If you're not against grains early, you can try crushing up Cheerios or other cereal and rolling the pieces in the crumbs.
We have been going slowly with mostly mushy foods as well. He likes to eat banana from the whole banana, not mushed up, but can be overzealous :) So I break off pieces and give him one at a time. Something else we have had good luck with as we move to the more solid foods is rice puffs. I started by sticking them in the side of his mouth, and they melt pretty quickly. Other than those two we've done mostly mushier stuff. THen we are working up to carrots that are steamed pretty heavily but cut into bigger pieces.
My baby is about 5 mos. old and has been eating solids 3-4 times a week since she hit 4 mos. We do some spoonfeeding and some BLW. She has had no problem with foods like peas, sweet potatoes, carrots (in small chunks), apple slices, bread, etc. but the one thing she did gag on was cauliflower (she coughed it out but didn't vomit anything else up). I think broccoli and cauliflower can just wait a little longer.
You are definitely not alone - I wrote a similar post awhile ago. We scaled back a bit and actually had better luck with harder foods that she really had to work to get pieces off of, like large apple slices and crusty baguette (I know, I know... some people say no grains until later ;0).
DH, who is very chill, felt like eating would get better once she got a tooth and it certainly did.
I started wondering if it was the taste that was making her gag more than the texture so we experimented with purees by adding it to her (chunky) oatmeal and spoon feeding a bite or two... So far, she seems to enjoy the purees of the solids she self-feeds (pears, bananas) and rejects the purees of foods she tends to gag on (squash, sweet potato). Not sure if its just because shes familiar with the flavor but it's a fun theory to test out.
Thanks for the support and suggestions. I started with vegetables because I am afraid once she has the sweet fruit she will reject vegetables (I have a serious sweet tooth and want to avoid encouraging her down the same path!) Anyone have any experience with babies rejecting vegetables in favor of sweet fruit? We've been successful with carrots, green beans and sweet potatoes but the broccoli incident has made me nervous to even offer those foods again. Guess I need to swallow my fear and jump back in. I'm glad to know I'm not alone! Other words of encouragement and suggestions are welcome!
That would frighten me as well, but I HATE vomit, vomitting. Maybe you could cook it very very well, so it is super mushy, yet still together? When dd ate broccoli, and she LOVED it, she did gag one time, AND when she pooped it looked exactly like little florets...
This is how we are introducing foods, sort of. This was a list that our naturopath gave us. We are still in the upper section.
Peas or green beans
Pumpkin or squash
***after these are rotated in then add
hummus (I don't really understand this one, bc this could have tahini, lemon, onion, cumin and other things....)
mashed black beans, other beans, lentils
Meats and poultry
yogurt (sheep or goats)
whole grain hot cereal (Rice, buckwheat, oats)
nuts and seeds, grind and sprinkle on food (avoid peanuts due to mold)
I do think that veg should be introduced first because I think they're better for us than fruit and everyone wants their kid to like veggies. Start them off right.
I wish I would have done that with DD1. Live and learn.
I agree with the advice given, and would also suggest that if you haven't already to take a class in first aid that covers how to respond to a choking infant/child and child CPR. After I took a class I was much more confident in allowing my DD to feed herself. I have fortunately never had to use it, but I am glad I have that knowledge in case I ever do.
i would blame the flavor of the broccoli, and maybe the texture, more than BLW per se.
try some nice mushy pears and bananas. nice, mild foods.
ANYONE can choke. anyone. remember george w. bush choked on a pretzel while he was president, and secret service had to save him. heimlich (sp?) maneuver works on regular foods!! learn it, and then trust yourself to do it. important thing is to always be close by and watching while baby is eating.
If the gagging bothers you that much though, you can start with purees or foods that are closer to purees (avocado, bananas, etc.) Brocolli strikes me as a particularly tough food to start on (weird texture, flavor, tough to eat, etc.), so I would just come back to it later. For me, I started with some purees plus easier foods and moved up from there. I like the idea of introducing things slowly instead of all at once, I think it makes for a smoother transition to learning to eat. I think it is only a problem if you give you baby only purees for months and months without expanding their choices, then they might get too used to purees, but think about thinks adults eat/drink: smoothies, ice cream, soup, etc. that are the same consistency as purees, nothing wrong with some purees IMO anyway
But some kids do gag more than others, my baby rarely does, but she still occasionally puts too much in and gags/coughs it back up, but she only did the vomit back up once when DH wanted to give her a treat and she had some jello. Something in it did not agree with her tummy as she kept it down for a couple minutes and then did the gag/vomit back up. To me, that kind of stuff isn't scary as long as they are breathing, it's a good thing if they are able to deal with things that their body is rejecting or when they take in too much or too big of a piece. It did scare DH quite a bit though, so I understand how scary it can be from seeing his reaction.
Broccoli is tricky for a young baby, unless you cook it to mush. It may be that you need to stick to easier textures for awhile.
But I don't think there's much you can do to completely prevent the gagging-- it happens to all kids, from time to time. My DS is almost four years old, and this morning put too big a piece of toast in his mouth, and gagged badly. It happens to little ones, largely because they haven't got the experience to judge what they can manage and what's too much. That's why we avoid things that are the right size and shape to block the trachea-- true choking isn't gagging and vomiting. It's food that gets stuck and blocks air flow. So you cut grapes and small tomatoes, for instance, into slimmer pieces, and spread nut butters thinly, and stuff like that.