terrified of offering finger foods to ds after very nasty choking experience with his sister :(

(20 Posts)
Fairylea Mon 17-Dec-12 20:08:26

Help ... I could really really do with some reassurance. And hand holding.

Ds is now 6 months and a bit. He's formula fed and a very large baby in 12months clothing. I've started him on purees of various kinds and he loves them.... if we are eating something he's very keen to grab at it and try and eat it himself (which I haven't let him yet, I'm spoon feeding him and allowing him to hold the spoon himself).

When dd aged 9 was a baby she nearly choked to death on lumpy mashed potato. It scared the living day lights out of me. She went blue etc I turned her upside down and had to pat her several times and eventually she vomited it back up and began to cry. Scariest moment of my life.

So now I am absolutely terrified of giving ds anything other than puree. Even though realistically I know he can't go through life eating puree!

So what do I do .. what's safe ? I'm seriously phobic about it. I don't think I would be able to justsit him there with baby led weaning stuff to eat. sad

But I feel sorry for him because he seems to want to feed himself.

He can sit with some support more or less on his own.

At the moment he's having lots of milk and just a little porridge (baby mix stuff) for breakfast... then more milk then some puree for lunch... then more milk and then puree then bedtime bottle...

Confused and scared. Thanks.

Iggly Mon 17-Dec-12 20:11:03

Your dd choked on mash. Not a lump of finger food.

Offer him soft finger foods - things you can squash with your thumb easily.

Babies have a very good and strong gag reflex. Can you read up into it?

Also learn first aid for babies.

I know it's hard - maybe your DH could give him finger foods when you're away? Then you can try after a few meals?

Fairylea Mon 17-Dec-12 20:16:53

Thanks.. I know it's irrational in some ways.. I'm just so worried hes going to tear a big chunk off something and swallow it down. He's so keen to eat everything it's almost worse than having a baby who can't be bothered!

I'm thinking of asking dh to feed him but dh works 12 hour shifts so it's mainly down to me... gulp.

I'm going to do some reading on gag reflex and first aid for babies. I'm just so scared he will choke and an ambulance won't arrive on time sad big big phobia for me.

I'm being stupid aren't I. I will have to get on and try and get over it. Argh.

Iggly Mon 17-Dec-12 20:26:45

No no you're not stupid. I was terrified with my two! I had a couple of close shaves with ds when he was a baby.

So I'd rationalise it - really soft foods and in smaller enough diameter that if a piece broke off, it couldn't fill their wind pipes. Also I gave well mashed potatoes and soft foods (mashed with a fork) so they got used to chewing small lumps.

The main way to get over it is to feed the baby but do it with someone else around. I used to give new foods to mine when DH was around.

Fairylea Mon 17-Dec-12 21:06:09

Thanks.. I appreciate the support. And sorry to hear of your near misses too. It's the worst feeling in the world watching them struggle, it's the feeling helpless that's the worst bit.

I might have to leave it a bit longer.

Going to do some more research and reading up on things.

NotLongUntilXmas Mon 17-Dec-12 21:17:17

I still make my DH give my 13 month old son new foods without me in the room. I have an irrational fear of choking, not just babies but my older children too.
The first solid cooked food I gave my youngest was really soft broccoli, in tiny pieces that were too small for him to pick up. I am getting better, but I have certain foods that I give him if I feel particularly anxious. I have been known to take a bowlful of food away from him if he gags on it, because my heart races and I panic.

Organic carrot sticks were the first finger foods I let him hold. He took tiny little nibbles and managed to eat half before I snatched it away from him, worried that he would put the remaining half in his mouth in one piece. I wasted half of the packet in this way, but it made me feel more comfortable.

Angel hair spaghetti, broken into small pieces before cooking, is also great for nervous mums.

My DS is a hell of a gagger and we get an epic vomit a few times a week as well. It still makes me incredibly nervous, but textures are the only way to desensitise the gag reflex so they stop doing it. The health visitor said it should ease up around 8-9 months. The other thing which made me feel a bit better was being told that gagging is essential for the brain to stimulate chewing - they can't learn to chew properly otherwise.

All I can say is my DS is going to be a fantastic chewer <scrubs vomit off the highchair for the umpteenth time>

feekerry Tue 18-Dec-12 20:53:03

I used to feel a bit nervous but the worst incident we have had involved breastmilk!!!
Not sure what happened but dd was feeding from me at 6 ish months and spluttered a bit then started properly choking silently and going blue. It was awful. Proper turn her upside down smaking her back etc. Was seconds away from dialing 999 then she eventually vomited all the milk back up. Phew. Anyway what i am trying to say is since that incident i realised it can happen with anything so felt alot better about finger food!!

bonbonpixie Wed 19-Dec-12 23:06:08

I completely understand your reservation OP. My DD is 7 months and we have been weaning for about 6 weeks. She will eat any purée or milled food but I've yet to really try finger foods as I'm just so scared of her coking. Her peers are happily chomping away on bits of toast that I'm just too nervous to give her. I need to pull it together and as DH will be home soon (he works overseas for 3/4/5 week stretches) I will soon loose my I-don't-want-to-do-on-my-own excuse. Sorry to hijack but is there any food that was particularly enjoyed by your DC and what would be the safest foods to begin with??

Broccoli is brilliant. Cauliflower and broccoli cheese is one of DS's favourites - if he's not in an adventurous mood he can just suck the sauce off the florets, but he's still experiencing a bit of texture. Some bits will sometimes make it down with a little gagging and shuddering on his part. Soft-cooked veg cut into fingers are the classic first finger-food. Rice cakes are also good (the little baby ones). Spread them with a bit of plain cream cheese or salt/sugar-free nut butter and they'll suck on them which breaks them down. Crumpets are a huge hit with my DS - they break up into little tiny bits with sucking/gumming. Omelette is also good. I read a good BLW article which reported raw apple to be the biggest culprit when it comes to actual choking. Soft bread can also be a problem as it's a bit pappy and can form lumps so I stick to toast or the hard crusty edges of bread rolls. If you're out, a thick chip (unsalted) is good - crispy on the outside for easy holding but soft and suckable in the middle.

Food for thought (do you see what I did there? grin: the sooner you introduce textures, the better oral development will be. Slow language acquisition has been noted in children kept on purées for a long time as normal biting, chewing and swallowing is needed to develop the muscles and coordination required for speech.

Just keep repeating - gagging is normal! Actual choking is very rare.

Fairylea Thu 20-Dec-12 17:26:10

Thanks for all the advice... when you say broccoli and suchlike how big should the pieces be?? I'm imagining myself virtuallygrating the broccoli into tiny tiny pieces - which surely defeats the purpose?

Well I'm still no further on sad I just can't let myself give him anything.

We went out for lunch again yesterday and he sat there on my lap desperately grabbing for the bread and I ended up putting him in a high chair and feeding him puree again (well him feeding himself puree).

I'm just constantly anxious about it. And as some of you have rightly said it's possible with milk (!) So I know I'm being a bit daft but the odd thing is since reading that I'm now feeling anxious about giving him literally anything!

So upset sad and sad about it all. I don't know how to feel less stressed.

Broccoli = large-ish floret size so they can hold onto the stalk and chomp on the dark green part. Broccoli is really good because those dark green bits only come off in little tiny, tiny bits. If you cook it really soft, your DS will only mash up the stalk bit if he happens to put that end in his mouth.

The NHS wouldn't recommend finger foods from 6 months if they were perilously dangerous. There are greater risks by persisting with purées than introducing textures and finger foods, but I totally sympathise with your concern having nervously watched my DS gag his way through a vast array of food.

And another thing - baby food companies wouldn't sell things like rice cakes or dry finger foods and advertise them as being 'from 7 months' if they weren't pretty darn sure that choking risk was minimal/non-existent. The stuff they advertise as being suitable from 4angry-6 months is too smooth, because they don't want to get sued. They're going to be just as wary with the finger foods they sell.

RedTinsel Thu 20-Dec-12 17:50:01

I had the same experience as you with DS when he choked on a piece of apple. Scared the life out of me. DH hit him so hard I thought he was going to break his spine! Fortunately it came out.
I Did a first aid for kids course and DH took over giving new foods. Mine would still be on purée now if it was up to me!

babySophieRose Fri 21-Dec-12 21:11:24

Don't push him if you think hi is not ready yet. All babies are different. Smoot food is ok until 10 months, introduce lumps later, and for fingerfoods try giving small bite-size pieces for a start.

bonbonpixie Fri 21-Dec-12 23:50:36

Just wanted to report that tonight DD was given broccoli for the first time. I steamed a handful of tenderstem florets. Lots of funny faces, shuddering, gagging and even a little vomit. I offered the usual purée after. I have to say I feel ever slightly more confident.
Tomorrow we're on to toast fingers dipped in egg... Then maybe some grated cheese/apple. Fun times.

boxoftricks Fri 21-Dec-12 23:55:53

Fairylea, how did you move on to feeding your daughter after the choking incident? Can you think back to how you gradually did it?

Fairylea Sun 23-Dec-12 20:00:53

Thank you for the replies. Interesting about the baby food manufacturers saying from 7 months for finger food. Maybe it is safer to wait till then then???

Well I have made small but significant progress - for me anyway. I gave ds some very very slightly lumpy chicken and sweetcorn meal for lunch... literally blended till nearly smooth but some miniscule lumps none the less. Ds loved it! He did ever so well and I could see he was actually chewing rather than just swallowing like he does with the pure purees so I'm sure that's a good sign.

I think the gradual approach is what I did with dd after her nasty incident. Maybe I should just catry on the same way. It's just so much pressure to do the blw thing.

fluffacloud Sun 23-Dec-12 20:21:44

I'm a fan of BLW but you might be right to take it slowly. For one thing, your DS will pick up on your anxiety and could start associating food and negative 'vibes' from you.

When you do decide to introduce finger foods have a go with broccoli, roast or boiled parsnip, courgettes or Organix carrot puffs, especially if your still a bit nervous - the puffs melt on contact more or less.

Giving my DCs food in batons scared me at first, so my rule was bigger than their mouth/fist - that way I knew that the whole lot wouldn't get crammed in grin

It can be a very scarey time, but it can also be great fun - good luck!

Piemistress Fri 28-Dec-12 22:25:27

Just marking my place as having similar fears and at a similar stage weaning wise!

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