Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Zuni mountains, NM
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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.