Thursday, February 21, 2008

Puke-a-plenty

Since Alex has done so well with baby food and has been more or less indiscriminate about what we shovel into his mouth, we were thinking that it might be time to start introducing him to the world of finger foods. The first attempt was in the form of a fresh pea off of my plate at dinner the other night. He had eaten peas for dinner, albeit pureed ones courtesy of Gerber, and we knew he wasn't allergic. So we thought, what's the harm in giving him the real thing? Oh-ho-ho, what a poor naive mommy you are...I set it on his tray and he pushed it around a bit before picking it up and mushing it into the side of his face. A tiny bit of it made its way into his mouth and proceeded to trigger his gag reflex, causing a re-enactment of a very popular scene from The Exorcist (the one involving pea soup). You can thank me later for not posting the video.

Since that very unsuccessful trial run, we've tried several other things, including sweet potato puffs, green beans, and mashed bananas. The unusual textures made his nostrils flare as he gummed them and tried to swallow. But all three, along with whatever else he had eaten that day, ultimately end up on his chin, his shirt, his bib, and his high chair. I kept thinking that he just needed to get used to the new textures, that eventually his gag reflex would submit and let chunky stuff make it to his stomach. But after a while, I got tired of cleaning barf off of everything and really started to feel bad about forcing A to eat stuff that his little belly isn't ready for.

We did, however, have success with one thing, which also happened to be one of his mama's favorite snacks as a baby. The good ol' fashioned biter biscuit. Based on his previous reactions to anything chunky, we decided we oughta be prepared this time. So we pulled out the big guns and slipped him into his full body bib, a gift from Great Aunt Suza who was wise enough to foresee that we may have occasion for such a thing.

With his protective armor in place, it was time to "bite the biscuit" and give finger foods one more try.

And we're off!

Hmmm, interesting flavor.

What exactly is this thing?

It's pretty messy...

...but that makes it more fun to play with. I particularly like how it feels under my fingernails...

Still not really sure what it is, though...

All done!!

He snarfed down every last bit of that biscuit (just like his mama always did), with the exception of those nasty little chunks that were clinging to his face and hands. Somehow that brave little biscuit managed to escape the fate of so many finger foods that came before it. Although it created a huge mess for me to clean up (yes Mom, biter biscuits still dry to baby skin like cement), none of that mess involved vomit, and it kept Alex occupied for long enough that I actually got to eat my own dinner while it was still hot.

As for the future of Alex's food experimentation? I guess we'll cool off for a while and let his poor tummy recover, unless anyone can suggest how to prevent the contents of Alex's stomach from ending up on his stomach. Is it possible that he just isn't ready for finger foods yet? I think that is my prognosis at this point unless you, oh wise ones, can convince me otherwise...

3 comments:

Weems World said...

Emma Grace was the same way. The thing that finally worked for us was to get the chunkier baby foods. That way it's still in the protective gooey-substance coating, but the kid gets used to there being chunks in it. Sometimes trying to get the dry stuff down by itself is too much. Gerber makes some pretty good stage 2 and stage 3 foods that are more gradual with the chunk:) Good Luck-keep trying!

Oliver said...

I'm with Abbey - that's what we gradually did too. Although I started trying puffs at 7 months, Oliver did the exact same thing, and his gag reflex didn't let up until around 9 months. He would even gag some on the stage 3 foods, the ones with the actual chunks of rice and such in there, until his gag reflex calmed down. Hang in there! He'll do it when he's ready. I don't think there's a magic formula :) And I freaking love that body bib - holy cow, where were those when we needed them?!?!?

cnorthcott said...

I agree with all the others. Connor actually took to finger foods really well, he has never thrown up anything, evidence his pot belly. But he didn't really start on them until a little later on, probably 9 months or so. Some other foods that worked well are also ritz crackers and graham crackers. Both melt away as they are eaten.