DS is almost 7.5 months / 5.5 adjusted we've been trying solids off and on since he was 6 months old. He hates them. He will tolerate a spoon full here and there but generally he closes his mouth and cries or gags. Is it normal to hate solids this long ?
Re: Preemie doesn't like eating solids
I'm a speech therapist and have worked with children with oral aversions and/or swallowing issues. If there is no medical issue, it can be normal to take up to 20 exposures to a food before a child feels comfortable enough to accept it (whether a preemie or not). So I would recommend picking something he has showed the most potential with (sounds like rice cereal in this case) and just simply offer it to him once a day for about 3 weeks and see what happens. If he takes some great...if not, that's fine too. Just simply making the food available to him for awhile without him feeling the goal is for him to swallow, or even put the food in his mouth. Make sure to provide lots of verbal praise for any attempt at eating, even if it's just touching the food. Ignore any negative feeding behaviors, such as if he spits it out. Be consistent about it and stick to just offering the rice cereal, or maybe another choice or two that is similar to the look, taste, and texture of the rice cereal. If he becomes comfortable with that, but is still showing difficulty accepting solids in general, then branch out from the rice cereal but next pick a choice that is still similar in some way...say pick a choice that has a similar taste....and so on, just keep branching out slowly (this is if he continues to show aversion).
I know it's hard not to worry, and if it were my child, I'd be right there worrying as well. I overanalyze the heck out of my baby, being an ST. But if it were a client, I would say that it's not too big of a deal right now..if he were over a year and still showing aversions, then it's something that would need to be evaluated (unless your pedi has said solids are needed at this point for one reason or another).
The only other thing I want to mention is the gagging. This might just be a behavioral sign of aversion, or it might be a physical sign that his oral motor and/or pharyngeal skills just aren't ready to handle solids yet. If the gagging is significant, or coughing/chocking is involved, you may just want to either wait awhile to try the solids again or may feel more comfortable having a therapist of some sort evaluate him to see if it's appropriate to be attempting solids at this point.
Hope that helps!
Peanut Butter and Jelly!
Thanks again. You always make me feel better!
I think it's too early to really be concerned. Just continue to offer it every week or two.
That being said, we had the same issue. Finally, at 11 months old, and still refusing all solids, we started OT with the early intervention program. It was wonderful, and after just a few sessions I saw huge improvement. Good luck, and remember that solids at this age are just for practice and fun.
I'll tell you my experience. My DD was born at 31 weeks, she is now a little over 2 years old. She HATED solids, would not eat them ever, never ate them. I kept trying and trying and trying till she was probably 11 months and I said well how about some green beans (regular green beans just cut up)....she ate them like there was no tomorrow....if I would have known to try actual food and not baby food she would have started way before that. She just never ate baby food, it took her up until 18 months old to really eat applesauce, normal adult applesauce...so I really don't know if she just hated baby food or what but now she eats all the normal stuff (even though she still is a very picky eater). Now my DS born at 37 weeks ( a "normal" time) ate baby food like there was no tomorrow so....but I would try regular food, just cut it up nice and small and see what he does.
(Lurking on this board because I'm likely going to have a preeemie...)
My non-preemie 2nd daughter hated solids until she was almost 8 months old and able to eat chunks of real food instead of purees. I think it's something some kids do older and some do later. And some kids don't like purees at all. She still doesn't care for most foods of that texture. I would give it time and if by 7 months adjusted your baby is still not interested I would actually talk to your doctor about skipping purees and going for a baby-led weaning approach instead. Once we did that my daughter ate everything and anything. I think part of it was not liking the texture and the other was her independent streak of not wanting me to feed her. They don't really needs solids from a nutritional standpoint until closer to a year, so I would back off and give it time.