I have a 10 month old with no teeth. This is not surprising because my first didn't get a tooth until she was almost 14 months old (and then they came in all out of order - the tops ones were first). My older child wasn't interested in solids until that tooth came through - she'd maybe taste one bite of what we put on her tray as an older baby up until she got teeth. My current baby has been having fits if I don't give her food... if I try to nurse her when we sit down, she seriously screams and cries, ha ha... and if I just try to hold her on my lap, she will grab my plate/cup... she's a very grabby baby! So, clearly she has all the solids readiness signs except teeth... and she also will still push chunks of food out of her mouth at times, but I think that is more of an issue of not being able to get chunks of food down and gagging them up. But I've noticed if she eats a lot of solids (by "a lot," I mean more than a tablespoon), she is more restless than usual when I try to put her to sleep for the night and throughout the night. It is particularly when I nurse her to sleep on my left breast - she'll be mostly out and then suddenly writhe and cry and not want to latch back on that side. I recently remembered that lying on the left side is what aids digestion, and she is lying on her right side when nursing on this side.
So... all that to say, if they are gagging up chunks of solids and having thrashing issues which might be related to gas/digestion, then are they really ready for solids? I don't want her to eat much food now, because if it's related, I'd rather not have it take 3 hours to put her to sleep! Usually it takes me 30-45 to nurse her to sleep and lay her down... the two worst nights were bean and watermelon... she actually had big diaper blowouts of those in the middle of the night, so to me that says she's not ready for those things, at least... for it to wake her up, clearly uncomfortable, and then to have diaper blowouts... so we've avoided both beans and watermelons since then! Tonight she had a few peas though - maybe five - so maybe since they are in the bean family they disagreed with her as well?
I have considered an ear infection - she's been a bit uncomfortable on that side for weeks, but only when I nurse her to sleep at night. Last night she was clearly very uncomfortable, so I may go get her ear checked to rule it out... she's nursing fine on that side right now, at 8:45 am.
I also have wondered, because this is not mentioned in the typical "starting solids" information... if they are started with table foods, as we do, and you are seeing chunks of undigested food in the diapers, then is that a readiness sign? It seems that they would be digesting at least some of it if they were ready for it, you know? Really mushy things like banana, butternut squash, and avocado don't end up in chunks in the diaper, but the color is there, and the stringy brown parts from the banana. It makes me wonder if, for babies started on purees, if they aren't digesting much either and the foods are tinting the color of their stool, yet parents think they are digesting the food since color is the only change in appearance? I know to expect to see, say, blueberry skins in diapers for quite a while, but when there are chunks of soft steamed carrot in the diapers, then obviously it's not being digested at all. She doesn't chew much yet, apparently...
I have a toothless 8 month old. She started showing sign of being ready for food about 2 months ago, and I went ahead and started putting some soft cubed foods on her tray. Like PP said, we stuck to banana, avocado, and such soft foods for a while. She digested them fine. Gagging is a normal part of learning to eat, even though sometimes seems scary.
Ash- DS 2003, DD 2006, and one baby Turkey born on Thanksgiving.
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