Help! Starting solids at 1 yr, gagging - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 08-05-2003, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
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I need help, mamas! We just started solids with our 1-yr old dd (exclusively bf until now), and it's not going well.

We're trying very ripe banana, both mashed and pureed, and though she loves to play with it she gags when we try to feed it to her. Even worse, just now I put a tiny amount (maybe 1/32 tsp) and she gagged and started vomiting *a lot*. She's not entirely against having it in her mouth--although she purses her lips when we try to give it to her with a finger or a spoon, she sometimes tries it herself while holding a spoon or using her finger. But she's having a lot of trouble swallowing and gags quite a bit, even when it's just a tiny amount and not even near the back of her mouth.

I'm hesitant to stop trying entirely--seems like she should start learning sometime soon, and I've read that starting and stopping foods can cause allergy problems. And I'm feeling the physical stress of being her sole source of nutrition.

Any suggestions?
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#2 of 8 Old 08-05-2003, 07:41 PM
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I really don't know, but just s thought. Could it be the banana? Maybe you could try something else to see if she does the same thing?
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#3 of 8 Old 08-05-2003, 10:32 PM
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My daughter does this too and she's almost 9 months. I don't really know what to do either. I have basically decided not to force the issue and I'll start when she's ready. Hope someone has some advice for us!

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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#4 of 8 Old 08-05-2003, 11:54 PM
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what about avocado?
full of good fats....i think its an excellent first choice.
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#5 of 8 Old 08-06-2003, 12:00 AM
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Hi mommas! I've had some experience in the past with feeding all kinds of kids with all kinds of situations including feeding difficulties. one thing that is coming to mind is that basically it sounds like a tactile/texture thing. Have you attempted to begin trying to "brush" the teeth with the 3 part tooth brushing system that I think is Gerber -made? this could be helpful to the child who is a little or a lot sensitive to stimulation of the mouth. No.2 idea is that allowing baby to Gum thing like a hard apple piece, a hard bisquit, and then once you're feeling comfortable with babies ability to handle something in her mouth and then swallow maybe a cracker that melts or falls into pieces( this may take some experimentation on your part to find the right one)
I'm thinking that the texture is taking her/him to the gag point but if the juices of gumming allowed baby to warm up to the experience baby would be more ready to swallow things that are mushy.
-Hard pretzels-
-frozen bagels
all this must be closely supervised since baby has no experience,of course
-things that baby can get a taste of without having it go down
-it's like tempting, literally wetting the taste buds.
I hope this helps somehow, Hang in there
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#6 of 8 Old 08-06-2003, 03:53 AM
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Caden is 8 mos. and the same. I've been doing what Laura has suggested, actually. If he isn't eating by nine months, I'm going to take our pediatrician up on prescribing some occupational therapy for Sensory Integration issues. My 6 year old son has SI issues and eats very few foods, so I think OT for Caden couldn't hurt and may just help us avoid some of the problems we've had with my eldest.
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#7 of 8 Old 08-06-2003, 03:36 PM
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All babies have a gag reflex to keep them from choking. They lose it at different times. I have a friend whose two girls didn't lose their's until after a year. I didn't start solids with ds until a year, either, and I was definitely feeling the effects of being his sole source of nutrition, so I understand how you're feeling! So, here's my experience.

For ds it was a texture thing. He never could take the texture of pureed or mashed things. He gagged and even threw up a couple of times. At that age I don't think it's not so important to have things so soft, anyway. What we did, to get him interested in food and used to it, was to give him some food in this thing that I can't remember the name of (sorry!!). It's a small mesh bag that screws onto a handle. You put a piece of food in the bag, screw it onto the handle, and baby can bite on it, taste the food, and small pieces of the food will come through the mesh, but the pieces are so small they can't choke on them. It works really well. We started to with avocado, then went to banana. Peaches are good, too. And when they're teething, you can put ice in it.

After ds was used to eating in this way, we could cook things up and give him small chunks. We did this with apples and carrots and pears. We'd chop them up, simmer them until they were soft, and then ds would eat them with his fingers. Once I knew what he liked (everything!) and how much he would eat, I could cook up plenty and keep it in the refrigerator. He also ate little pieces of cut up banana and avocado that way. And I baked sweet potato, peeled it, and cut it into chunks. Peas were a favorite, too, but I had to pop them out of their skins (tedious, but otherwise they went right through him). It didn't him long before he would eat a whole banana at a sitting!

The first cereal we gave him was a brown rice cereal made by Lundberg (sold in bulk at our co-op). I liked their's and Erewhon (for ds, not for me) because it's ground so fine that it's easy to digest. We've now graduated to one with a little more texture (Rice and Shine). I would cook it up per the instructions, which made it a little thick, and then not thin it with anything. If I thinned it he wouldn't eat it.

Hang in there, she *will* eat.


Christie ~ proud Mama to : 5/01, and : 3/07; and proud wife to my since 1992. We have 13 and 2 : It's looking more and more like either a farm or a zoo around here.
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#8 of 8 Old 08-06-2003, 10:40 PM
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The thing with the mesh bag is called a safety feeder. We have one, and our son loved it! You can buy them at Toys R Us (I live in Florida) and they are online at they have an online store. One mama on here suggested putting frozen peas in it for easing teething, and that worked great too! But if you put banana in it, it can be a little time consuming to clean. Easy to clean everything else out of it in the dishwasher or with a toothbrush.

One thing that I have heard is that if you wait too long to introduce solids it will be harded to do so. This was overheard at my pediatrician's office, and I don't know the wisdom behind this. I really feel that the gag reflex is very individual, and I think a sensitive one is more common in little boys.

Avocado is really a good choice, but have you tried shredding things? Zucchini comes to mind, or squash, or cooked beets? Even chopping things like eggs or cooked veggies into tiny dice might also work!

Good luck
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