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When to start finger foods?

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  • When to start finger foods?

    Hi ladies! My little man is turning nine months old next week. I hear a lot of people say they feed their nine month olds finger food like crackers and fruit. My little guy eats gerber cereal and 2nd stage fruits in the morning, and a Gerber second stage fruit and veggie for lunch and same for dinner. Am I behind the game here? Honestly, I'm scared to give him anything, even if it is a small piece because I am afraid he will choke. When is a good time to introduce this? How do I know he is ready for finger foods? Thanks!

  • #2
    Hello fellow Marylander!

    There are a couple different schools of thought on this one. Certainly get yourself training in the Heimlich so you will feel more prepared at any age. I think that would be a prudent step especially if this is a fear of yours.

    With my first child I did the traditional foods as you describe and did introduce 'table foods' at around 9m's also. I think it is key to always watch closely when they are eating new things to see where they are. When a baby goes from sucking (milk) to slurping (baby food off a spoon) it can be difficult if they try to eat table food that way too. The older baby is learning how to mouth a piece of food, push it around with the tongue, smash with the gums and use a entirely different swallowing skill then with sucking or slurping. The action of gagging (moving food away from the throat if it gets close unintentionally) is actually a very good skill for babies to does not mean they are choking unless it goes into the throat..... And gets stuck! It is a developed skill and takes every baby its own timeline to get it. If you put it off longer until you and/or your baby seems more ready it should be fine.

    With my second child I did entirely "child led solids" where we never fed him anything but gave him food and let him put it in his mouth if he wanted. The idea being a child is putting the things in his mouth so is learning skills himself, not getting things put in his mouth (that he may not want). If you are interested in this idea please check out this (non-API) link-