Finger foods - help please. Terrified of baby choking :(

(7 Posts)
Grumblelion Sun 15-Sep-13 13:45:18

DD is almost 8 months. We've been managing really well on purees and gradually thickening these up/adding cous cous etc no problems. I'm really struggling with finger food however as I'd like her to have a bit of both. She doesn't have any teeth yet either.

The main issue is that I am quite simply terrified of her choking and cannot seem to get past this. I am literally sitting on my hands sometimes to keep myself from interfering when she is feeding herself. She manages pre-bought rice cakes and those carrot puff things quite well and I'm better with those because they dissolve down so much. Banana would also be good but she detests it. Tried cucumber sticks today and she liked sucking them but struggled to swallow a piece that came off. I try so hard to be cheerful & relaxed when she's feeding so she doesn't pick up on my anxiety but the heart-stopping moment today with the cucumber has left me inexplicably tearful about it sad I know the first aid advice if she was to choke but that doesn't help my anxiety.

Any ideas for foods/strategies to try would be most welcome. I know it's not the end of the world if she's not having finger food but I think it is an important skill for her to learn and would like to persevere. Thanks!

Effjay Sun 15-Sep-13 13:54:43

A piece of toast is good as they suck it and gum it and it's so soggy by the time they've done that, that it'll not get stuck on the way down. Or pizza, oven chips? Melon, mango, pear is good too. Cucumber is a bit hard to deal with without any teeth.
Mine both loved the kidney beans in my chilli, but I'd leave that until she's a bit more experienced with chewing.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Sun 15-Sep-13 14:01:15

You could look into First Aid courses in your area to address the choking phobia a bit more thoroughly and feel more in control. Knowing the advice is one thing, but you might find you feel more confident if you can have a practice on a dummy baby. They may also be able to give you additional advice re dangerous foods/situations.

GreggsOnLegs Sun 15-Sep-13 14:03:36

It's terrifying watching a child learn to eat, I was on tenterhooks with both of my dc. Just relax.
My two gagged on most things, even pureed food! The gagging reflex is something they grow out of.
Choking is a potential hazard, but just remember to be sensible, halve grapes, don't leave them to eat alone etc common sense really.
As said above toast is good as a finger food aswell as cheese, most fruit and veg. Pitta breads and tortillas.

DoItTooJulia Sun 15-Sep-13 14:16:31

I share your pain.

My ds is 10 months old and I am scared too.

I used a nuby nibbler thing to help establish self feeding and now I just cut things up quite small.

Loads of people say but you know he could choke on purred food too don't you, which I find spectacularly unhelpful.

I'm just going with slowly and gently does it. Hth

RoadToTuapeka Mon 16-Sep-13 03:09:48

Just to reassure you, the gag reflex in babies is very strong, apparently they will gag with food further forward in the mouth than an adult would. Gagging is protective and will stop them choking generally.

Sometimes longer sticks of food offered to a baby to hold and feed themselves is better than tiny bits of food as the little bits might get swallowed whole or be a choke hazard. Things like cucumber can be thinly peeled and sliced longways, my 8 month old loves it and gnaws away at the soft bits, sometimes the firmer outsides get eaten.

Agree half and semi peel grapes (longways) for babies, something about the shape and skin texture makes them a choke hazard if whole. Likewise sausages - offer them cut in 'sticks' not rounds as round can choke more easily. And anothe tip from a baby first aid course I did - marshmallows are a choke hazard for young children.

Could read up on baby led weaning (see littlegrazers.com, is great on offering finger foods/tips even if you are doing traditional mixed puree/finger food weaning.

My DS has gagged a few times on food but it always come out. Apples can be a choke hazard but slices very thinly are fine and nice to chew on. Even with no teeth.

Do a baby first aid course if you can, will be much less stressful for you if you know what to do in unlikely even of choking.

Grumblelion Mon 16-Sep-13 07:27:03

Thanks for all the suggestions - will have a look into first aid courses. I have covered basic child first aid on for training at work including choking, but a refresher certainly couldn't hurt. Will try toast this week and definitely check out the BLW website.
Any other thoughts most welcome smile

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