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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I couldn't figure out where to put this, and as she is weaning from formula, I decided to put it here. She is 10 months old (well in a couple weeks) and she has been eating solids for about 4 months. We mostly do purees, but this last month or so, I'll give her tiny cut up pieces of soft foods, and she does great with this. She LOVES to eat! The problem is, is that when I start to increase the size of the food pieces, she still has a bit of a gag reflex. My partner and I are disagreeing with how to proceed and help her.

He thinks we should just keep dicing small little pieces and that she'll eventually just be able to do it.

I think we should keep giving her larger pieces (like something she can hold and gnaw on) and that she'll teach herself/learn how to swallow bigger pieces.

WDYT? Is it normal for a 10 month old to still gag whenever she tries to eat something that's not diced?
 

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I'm not sure that this belongs in Child-Led Weaning, since that refers to extended breastfeeding, but I'll give it a go since my daughter has similar issues with solid food


While it's probably not strictly speaking "normal" for a 10 month old to gag on solid foods, my daughter was definitely doing that at 10 months and is still doing it (albeit to a lesser extent) at 14 months and neither her doctor nor my husband (who is also a doctor) are terribly concerned. The caveat, however, is that neither are concerned because she is breastfed and in no danger of being weaned. My husband has stated that if she were not still being breastfed she would probably need some formula to compensate for how little she eats. (He has also said that a lot of parents wean from formula sooner than they need to and that 15 months is probably a more optimal age than 12 months.)

I think that your partner is right though, because his approach is the one that we've been following and our daughter has improved. We offer her tiny pieces of whatever we are eating and she has let us know when she wants to try bigger pieces. I would worry about giving her pieces that are bigger than what she is comfortable with because of the risk of choking. You might also want to check her mouth every time a meal is over because our daughter hides pieces of food in her cheeks when she is having trouble swallowing them.

At 10 months I would be more concerned with nutrition and exposing her to new foods than texture. Foods are just as nutritious in purees (or smoothies!) as they are in large pieces and odds are that she'll probably outgrow it. Individual babies are all different. My daughter has a friend who could eat chunks of food at 6 months (he started early) when she was still disinterested in purees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by rparker View Post
I'm not sure that this belongs in Child-Led Weaning, since that refers to extended breastfeeding, but I'll give it a go since my daughter has similar issues with solid food


While it's probably not strictly speaking "normal" for a 10 month old to gag on solid foods, my daughter was definitely doing that at 10 months and is still doing it (albeit to a lesser extent) at 14 months and neither her doctor nor my husband (who is also a doctor) are terribly concerned. The caveat, however, is that neither are concerned because she is breastfed and in no danger of being weaned. My husband has stated that if she were not still being breastfed she would probably need some formula to compensate for how little she eats. (He has also said that a lot of parents wean from formula sooner than they need to and that 15 months is probably a more optimal age than 12 months.)

I think that your partner is right though, because his approach is the one that we've been following and our daughter has improved. We offer her tiny pieces of whatever we are eating and she has let us know when she wants to try bigger pieces. I would worry about giving her pieces that are bigger than what she is comfortable with because of the risk of choking. You might also want to check her mouth every time a meal is over because our daughter hides pieces of food in her cheeks when she is having trouble swallowing them.

At 10 months I would be more concerned with nutrition and exposing her to new foods than texture. Foods are just as nutritious in purees (or smoothies!) as they are in large pieces and odds are that she'll probably outgrow it. Individual babies are all different. My daughter has a friend who could eat chunks of food at 6 months (he started early) when she was still disinterested in purees.
Thanks! And, I do offer a lot of pureed food, but she really seems to like picking up food and putting it in her mouth. She has a really good pincer grip. She's also really good at chewing (though she only has 6 teeth, but she chews softer food with her gums). I also expose her to new foods often. She is great at swallowing them if they are diced teeny, but like if she eats a biter biscuit or breadstick, or something, she seems to be taking too big for her bites, and then she gags.
 

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Check out the baby-led weaning/self-feeding thread! Maybe someone can help you there? DD has been eating larger pieces from the beginning, so I can't really help.
 

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Come on over to the baby-led thread! We don't bite.

OP, it is my opinion (and I've seen in in some of my research) that the gagging is actually part of the learning how to feed yourself process. It is a mechanism that sort of tells baby, ok that's too much/too big/too far back in your throat. Being parents, it's hard as heck to watch them do this and not think "that's it!! no more!!" but if you allow it, it will happen a bit, and then happen less and less to almost not (I say almost not, because heck, even us adults choke on our food sometimes!!).

I"m really a fan of baby led weaning. It's been actually easier than I thought. DD is pretty good with her pincher grasp (I think our babes are about the same ages - DD will be 10 months in two weeks), and we give her small pieces of things to eat, unless she gets a handful of something we've got. She manages it quite well now. We started out with some food at six months, spoon feed purees and some softer things like banana and avocado. She'd get SOO angry at the spoon, but didn't quite master picking things up well, so we backed off for a few months. Probably we could have given her big pieces of food, but Mr Toona was worried she'd choke herself, and both of us thought she'd be just fine with just breastmilk til she learned some new skills.

We really started feeding her more solids about 2 months ago (I think) and it works out well for us. She started snatching food from us anyways, so we figured the time was really right. Basically we give her little pieces of what we eat, (or it it's something pureeish, like an Indian Spinach dish, I give her fingers full of it) and she feeds herself. I've got a nephew who's just a few weeks older than DD, and I've compared our methods at Thanksgiving. My SIL and Bro barely got much in their own mouths with having to spoon everything to my nephew. He'd get impatient that they weren't feeding him fast enough and they were frazzled trying to eat. While I just sat DD in my lap, set some of my food in front of her and we both fed ourselves happily. She even got to a point where she was full and ready to play (a lesson that I'm so hoping she keeps with her as I'm not so good at stopping when full, heh). So it's helpful in convenience sense too. Plus I don't wonder if there isn't some sort of baby satisfaction over doing things on their own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks! Where is the baby-led thread? What you are talking about seems exactly what I'm going through. Baby will be 10 months on the 29th. She loves spoon-fed purees, she has some at every meal, but she also eats a (whole!) diced banana a day, half an diced avocado a day, and a bunch of other stuff. She loves peas and beans and stuff. She also loves hummus. She's getting really good at picking up stuff and feeding herself, and she seems to really enjoy it. (Oh, she helped herself to almost a whole pancake this morning!).
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Channelle View Post
He thinks we should just keep dicing small little pieces and that she'll eventually just be able to do it.
That. She's still pretty young and new to food!
 
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