beginning self-feeding - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 08-17-2008, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Who has begun self-feeding with a baby around 6-7 months of age? We did it w/ my first dd, but that was because she wasn't interested in solids until she was about a year old. With dd2, she has begun grabbing food off my plate, and she has all the other readiness signs - even teeth, which dd1 didn't have until 13 months. I gave her a ripe slice of avocado last week, and she picked it up, shoved it down her throat and gagged. So I tried little pieces, but she can't quite get them picked up (doesn't quite have pincer grasp, so maybe she's not quite ready?) and smeared them all over, which is fine. Should I give her even bigger pieces? Is a whole banana a choking hazard? I am skipping purees, but a baby cannot really self-feed anything that's been mashed w/ a fork either.

I have read about babies this age holding, say, a whole pear and self-feeding... I'm concerned that something as soft as a banana or avocado might choke her...

Any tips from those who have btdt?
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#2 of 7 Old 08-17-2008, 03:13 PM
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I'm *just* past that with DS!!!! He is now, at 8 1/2 mo, able to manage small pieces of food without gagging. It took about 4-6 weeks.

We do pureed foods because of the gagging issue. But DS self-feeds himself various veggies like mooshy carrots, banana chunks, avocado, etc. Anything that you can mash between two fingers can be mashed in their little gums (even with teeth, they don't really use them).

I make sure to cut everything super small and rarely give more than one at a time (DS doesn't know when to stop and then gags on the group of things in his mouth). To get him used to the texture I used some frozen BM slushies and actually assisted him in putting one in his mouth from time to time.

Don't give anything that isn't cut up super small, it's a choking hazard (i.e., pear or banana). But you could use one of those mesh feeders instead. I used to shove a half a banana in one and DS loved it! He got to try a lot of fresh fruit that way.

You'll be amazed at how much will develop over the next few weeks.

Valerie, wife to Kevin, mother to Elena (4), Jonathan (2), and twins, Andrew and Benjamin (2/2010)
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#3 of 7 Old 08-17-2008, 08:07 PM
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Dd started self feeding just before 6 mo (only cuz she grabbed and apple out of my hand and sucked on it). So I gave her very soft cooked fruits and veggies (sweet potato, squash, banana) cut up very small and she did quite well even without the pincer grasp.

Amanda - wife to DH Kellyjog.gif, Mummers to Trentreading.gif born 03/03/05 Bridgetdust.gif born 08/08/07 and a IT'S A BOY! Kennedy babyboy.gifborn 02/20/11!
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#4 of 7 Old 08-17-2008, 09:13 PM
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We're just getting started, although this babe is definitely more interested and ready than my older ds. If I give him a half a banana, he does fine with it. Takes little bites until its a mushy mess and then grabs handfuls and shoves them in. In fact, I am shocked at how well he is eating and how much since we just started. He has eaten an entire half a banana or half an avocado in one sitting. I'm guessing that's okay since he got it into his own mouth.
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#5 of 7 Old 08-17-2008, 09:22 PM
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I was just wondering about this. People tell me that he is too young for "table" food. Dd started at 6 months and he is already grabbing for food. I have given him organic baby cereal and banana's and unsweetened applesauce. So now I am not so concerned. Thanks for making me feel like I am not the only one feeding food to my 6 month old.

 Yoga loving momma to DD Eden Raine 8/04 , DS Brett Edwin 2/08 , DS Brantley Albert 12/12 and wife for more than a decade to Jason .
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#6 of 7 Old 08-17-2008, 09:51 PM
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I've been doing this for about a month, so definitely not an expert. We've mostly done fruits and veggies cut into "french-fry" shaped pieces, so that they have a "handle" for DD to hold onto. For the avacodo, I know some people spread it on rice cakes, but that was not that successful for us. So, I've been offering it on one of my fingers, and she guides it into her mouth.

Check out this website about self-feeding (which is also called baby-led weaning). It is pretty helpful and reassuring.
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#7 of 7 Old 08-17-2008, 10:56 PM
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We gave DS big chunks of food starting at 6 months. Sometimes he would gag, but he would never really choke. That is how they learn. A half banana or slice of avocado, or a steamed carrot or apple wedge will be fine.

Suzan, mama to DS 9-18-07 and #2 EDD 3/4/10 GIRL!.
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