Unsolicited Advice with A+J: Starting Baby on Finger Foods?

Starting your baby on finger foods?

How scary is it when you put that first finger food in your baby’s mouth just praying he or she doesn’t choke on their puffs??!!! I must admit the first time I stuck a puff into Jackson’s mouth I prayed…like REALLY hard. But there is a method to the madness. Finger foods teach babies how to grab things with their thumb and pointer finger. Most importantly, this is how they learn to feed themselves. So, if you’re just starting baby on his or her first finger foods, here’s what to keep in mind:

1. Pick naturally soft fruits or vegetables – opt for fruits and vegetables that are easy for your baby (who probably has less than 10 teeth at this point) to swallow without choking. This can include sweet potatoes, green beans, and ripe bananas. Be sure to cut the food into small enough pieces where they can’t choke, but large enough for them to grab and stuff in their mouths.
 
baby
Also opt for ripe bananas
 
2. Pick a food baby has already tried – now is not the time to try mangos if your baby has never had it before. That’s not to say never, but you hardly want your first experience with trying finger foods to end in an allergic reaction.
 
baby
This was Jackson’s face after trying carrots for the first time…
 
3. Be patient with yourself – Despite knowing that the puffs would melt easily in Jackson’s mouth, I still broke them in half for at least a month before I ever gave him a whole puff. What’s worse is after I did give him a whole puff, he gummed that sucker and swallowed it easy peasy. Your baby may be ready for that new food more than you are, so be patient with yourself and know that your little one can handle it!
 
baby
Despite not having many teeth, then can do it!
 
Here are some good resources to learn more about starting your little on finger foods.
 
http://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/finger-foods/
http://www.babycenter.com/finger-foods
http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/baby-food-nutrition-9/baby-food-milestones
http://www.parenting.com/gallery/finger-foods-babies
 
Images: Huffington Post
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