Finger Food

Lauren - posted on 12/18/2008 ( 13 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone I'm new!

My daughter was born on 15th of March and she too doesn't have any teeth....(I read the thread)

BUT alot of you are talking about finger food? I while ago I tried a whole banana cut into about 2 inch logs but Charli doesn't seem to chew it and ends up gagging. I would love to give her finger food more often but the whole experience is a bit frightening.

How did you get your baby to 'chew' with no teeth? Was it practice or are certain vegies better?

I would love to stop 'blitzing' everything.

13 Comments

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Char - posted on 12/07/2012

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Hi everyone, I am new as well and would love to make friends if anyone is interested. I have a wee boy who was born on the 9th of march and he has 6 teeth and more coming through. He first became interested in solids when he was about 4 months old without teeth. Whenever I ate around him he would mimick me opening my mouth, follow me with his eyes and then start trying to grab my food. I first gave him puréed food to get him used to the sensation of moving the food around in his mouth and swallowing. This gave me the chance to observe his gagging reflex and whether he was able to push the food to the back of his mouth without his tongue protruding. If it does I knew he was not quite ready and will gag a lot. When he was ready I began feeding him baby rice with breast milk and then my milk dried up so I mixed it with formula. As he got more used to it I added things like mashed carrot, sweet potatoe and banana. As his teeth came in I gave him small pieces of sweet potatoe and banana about a cm in thick. Then I gave him rusks and thin slices of baked bread pieces with a thin spread of marmite. I also bought a wee plastic gadget a bit bigger than a pacifier with gauze inserts that you put pieces of fruit, vege or other things that you think your baby may choke on and they can suck on whatever you put in it and bite or gum on it until they are ready to start really eating properly. Whatever you do know that both of you are learning and you both will get there. Remember that gagging and choking are slightly different. Babies have a natural gagging reflex that is left over from the mechanism they had to prevent them drowning when they swam around in the womb. It can look scary and if given a few seconds will expel food that isn't quite ready to go down. Just try to stay calm so as not to upset your baby. Choking on the other hand usually happens when something has gone down and gotten stuck and then began to close off the airways causing obvious distress. You can always seek emergency help if needed but I prefer to do what I can to prevent such things by making sure the food I give is not only cut into smaller sizes but also to make sure the food is not too dry and is followed by a drink of formula or iced water. Also try your baby on different textures and gradually build your way up. If you are able to an infant/child first aid course can really do wonders where your confidence is concerned.

Maggie - posted on 12/27/2008

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My Matthew was born 2 days before yours. He, too, doesn't have any teeth yet...lol! I stay away from a lot of finger food. But I do give him Cheerios and those fruit puffs. They melt in the mouth so it's easier for them to eat. Maybe you can try them if you haven't already. I am afraid of the risk of choking!

Kim - posted on 12/27/2008

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Hello people. My baby boy was born on March 3rd and has 7 teeth already. He loves finger food. I asked the dr about the gagging and she said that a lot of babies just aren't used to the feeling of solid foods in the back of their throat and it makes them gag. She also said that some babies like the feeling and will gag themselves at times. I also learned that once your baby can pick things up with their thumb and pointer finger that is a good sign that they are ready to chew even if they have no teeth. Just be patient!

Katie - posted on 12/26/2008

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HI Everyone, I'm new too :)
My baby was born March 24th and she has 2 teeth on the bottom, but she has been eating finger foods for about 2 months now. We started with the Gerber (or Walmart brand) "puffs" because they pretty much get smushy right away. Anything that can dissolve or melt is good to start with. Then we moved onto cheerios, crackers, cooked & cut veggies... she eats a lot of "real" food now, which is nice.

Amy - posted on 12/26/2008

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Sam was born March 11th & doesn't seem even close to teeth yet. Apparently his daddy didn't get his first tooth until he was 2! He has eaten peas (frozen - heated in microwave 1st), diced banana rolled in baby cereal and a little cinnamon, scrambled eggs, avocado slices, and shredded cheese as finger food. He has also eaten the Gerber Puffs and seems to really like those. I try to test stuff out myself to see if I can mash it with just my tongue before giving it to him. He does obviously "chew" stuff even without teeth using both the sides and front of his gums. It's pretty funny to watch!

Antonia - posted on 12/26/2008

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My son was born march 7 and has 7 teeth already. He is not too fussed about finger foods- he'll have a nibble of apple or a sandwich but will not eat enough to make a meal... i gave him teething rusks and teething rings alot which most probably taught him how to chew a bit, but he doesn't always chew his food even with all of his teeth, i'd say just try her out with different bits and pieces of food or even toys she can chew to start her off- good luck

Amy - posted on 12/25/2008

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My daughter (born 3/14) won't eat anything with texture either - fork-mashed banana gagged her too! The Gerber puffs are toys, not food. We try something every day and hopefully it will stick. The closest we've come is applesauce with a little bit of chunk to it.

Angela - posted on 12/25/2008

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My son was also born 3/14. He has a two teeth (but in the front) and I also was hesitant about giving him figure foods. He also didn't like thick foods and I still water (breastmilk) down his oatmeal and whatever stage 2/3 jars. After talking to the pediatrician, we started giving him cheerios. He got excited about the whole experience, and much to my surprise, he just started chewing (albeit slowly) as if he's done it before. Apparently they just melt in your mouth. Babies' gums have teeth in them so they aren't super soft and can handle it. Now he gets excited whenever we put cheerios in front of him. He's trying to pick them up too. We're going to move on to other puffs and maybe avocado next. We'll see. Good luck!

Kimberly - posted on 12/24/2008

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My baby acted like I was trying to poison him when I'd give him finger foods. We tried little pieces, smaller than a pea, rather than big ones for him to chew on, because I'm paranoid of choking. I did banana bits, avocado, cheerios; he would get this look like "what are you putting in my mouth?" and spit it out.

I just keep trying with a variety of stuff. Added the Gerber puffs, and got him to actually eat a couple, which was a breakthrough. After that, he seems to be more willing to eat them. I still have to put most of the foods in his mouth first to get him to try them; he doesn't get it that it's food when it's just sitting there.

I also find that he's much more interested in little bits of what I'm eating than in other finger food.

Allison - posted on 12/18/2008

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My son was born March 15th too. He also does not have any teeth yet. Start with the baby food in a jar that is Stage 3 (for babies after 8 months). Then move to easier finger foods like shredded cheese (if you've introduced yoghurt or other dairy).

Cindi - posted on 12/18/2008

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One of my girls gags on food too so I just wait and try again the following week. I have heard if you give them carrot sticks, celery sticks, teething biscuits etc....it can help with the gag reflex. They won't eat them but can use them for exploration and to learn. hope this helps!

Tammie - posted on 12/18/2008

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I started giving my boy the wagon wheels and fruit puffs. Teething helped him learn to knaw on things as well. Giving him teething rings, etc. It is frightening to give them something new but as long as you're there to watch them, they'll learn quickly.

Amanda - posted on 12/18/2008

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Unlike adults without teeth, babies have teeth under their gums. It makes their gums hard enough to chew (certain things). I didn't do anything to 'get' my daughter (Born two days after yours!) to chew. I just offered her things often and she figured it out. Plain cheerios were great for that. I give her bits of whatever we are eating now. That being said she still down't actually eat much of it. She gets bored and wants to play after a couple bites, so I still spoon feed her purees as well.

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