My 9.5 month old has a weird issue. When he was 6 months I fed him some food at the pretty much harassment from my partner and family for waiting so long to introduce food.
Well when he made gross faces in response to the food his doctor and everyone assured me that it was because he is getting used to texture.
I should have trusted my son more. He totally trusted me at first and opened his mouth to swallow everything I fed him. Well two super nasty ear infections later where I had to force antibiotics and a severe reaction to rice cereal where he throws up for hours and hours after eating it he has reached a really weird phase. He wants to eat food. If I leave a plate or put somethign on his tray he will taste it. But gags every time. It doesn't matter what it is. A teething biscuit, pured foods, a taste of spaghetti sauce anything. The only thing he will take is water and ONLY from the cap of my water bottle. He opens his mouth for food but then closes it really fast. And forget anything me or my partner offer him on a spoon. He will not ope his mouth for a spoon. I can give him the same thing on his tray and he will taste it but gags and gags over the tiniest taste of anything.
Except for watermellon. he will eat that all day in his mesh feeder and even take little bites.
I don't mind waiting for him to try food. The food experiences we have had have been just as traumatizing for me (taking him to the er because he throws up so much he turns blue twice now)
He is still ebf on demand and loves to nurse. Hes over 100% for height and 90th for weight.
I guess the gagging thing s what I am really asking about. He used to eat and swallow food fine and will eat and swallow watermelon but anything else causes him to gag four or five times just in tiny tiny amounts.
Also how do I respond to the bombardment of everyone asking me every effing day about his eating habits?
You can call your local early intervention or talk to your ped to get a referral. That will also keep the nosey nobodies away!
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From what you have written it seems he is capable of biting off and even swallowing food. He seems to like and perhaps feel safe with watermelon.
He also swallowed food at six months......I may wrong but would think if he had negative experiences with his earlier intoduction of solids, which caused him to be quite sick, it seems reasonable that he would refuse until he is developmentally and emotionally ready.
Scroll all the way down to "Is there a “window of opportunity” for starting solids?: http://kellymom.com/nutrition/starting-solids/solids-when/
I suppose he could also have allergies, some children with allergies naturally wait to start solids.
It doesn't seem strange to me for an infant under a year of age to have a strong gag reflex, I would think it rather common. Before 1920 in the US, solids and semi solids were rarely introduced prior to one year of age.
As per relatives pushing solids, I went through it also. I received very little support or inquiries for breastfeeding but a lot to push solids. I found it extremely strange (to put it politely).
I definitely agree he should get a feeding eval probably from a speech therapist or a GI. I am a pediatric nurse and have seen many mechanical reasons why kids gag or don't want to eat solids. A speech therapist can give you suggestions tailored to your kid that are gentle and safe. Most important keep trusting your mama instincts! Good luck.