8Mo Old Gags on Chunky Solid Food

Updated on June 09, 2011
K.B. asks from Pittsburgh, PA
21 answers

Hi Mamas-
My son is 8 months old. he LOVES baby food; stage 1 and 2, and the gerber "rice" and "oatmeal". But everytime i try to give him anything with a chunky texture, including those dissolving gerber puffs, or a small piece of cooked rice, smashed up carrot, potato, ANYTHING, he chokes and/or gags on it.
Has anyone else had this experience?
I am getting a little worried at this point because he is already 8 months and can't/won't eat any "real" foods.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Thanks so much for the comments everyone. You made me feel much better about this! I've read in books and online, and handouts from the Ped saying he should be doing this around this age, and the others at daycare his age eating these foods and it got me worried that maybe something was wrong. I'm going to take our time, and let my baby lead. He'll be ready when he's ready! Thank you for telling me about your experiences with your little ones, as this is much more helpful to me than reading something general from a book, etc. that tells me WHAT my son should be doing WHEN. All it does is get one paranoid, LOL. <3

Featured Answers


answers from Norfolk on

My son was about a year old when he finally took to solid food.
Gagging means he's just not ready yet.
There's no rush.
Just let him take it as his own pace.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

My daughter is 8 months and does the same thing. My son didn't really gag so much but he had a hard time with the chunkier food and finger foods, he didn't really start eating puffs or stage 3 foods until he was 10-11 months.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Tampa on

If he gags - he's obviously not ready for the next step!! This isn't a race to get your son eating table food as soon as possible - this is moving and exploring at HIS pace. His caloric intake should mainly be from breastmilk... or formula if that is what you are giving him. Solids are play time foods right now, not nutritional enough to make it a main part of his diet.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Madison on

He is just not ready yet for chunky food. My son was like that too, I had to put his food through the food processor. I very slowly introduced "less-smooth" foods as he grew older, depending on how he tolerated it. He started eating some small soft chunks around age 1. Now he is 3 years old and totally normal ;-)

So do not rush it. Just introduce different textures gradually, as he tolerates it. If he still has trouble after 1, you may want to talk with your pediatrician and see if s/he recommends seeing a pediatric ENT specialist to check for any potential problems with swallowing.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

Gagging and choking mean he's not ready for the chunky foods.

He's ONLY 8 months old, not ALREADY 8 months old. Read that again. He's ONLY 8 months old, he's not ALREADY 8 months old.

There's no rush with the baby foods or real foods because he's still an infant... he's so small and young and this is not an indicator of anything being wrong. I wouldn't push the puffs or any chunky foods until he has quite a few teeth and is able to mash food with his gums AND his teeth. His age doesn't have a lot to do with it but his stage of development.

So keep on pureeing and stop rushing him. Thin-ish purees, no finger foods, nothing he has to chew.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

It wasn't that long ago that pediatricians said don't even start rice cereal until 9 months. It was that way with our oldest (now eight). So, I wouldn't worry one bit. Eight months is still very, very young and most nutrition should either come from breastmilk or formula. Sounds like he's right on track with his eating.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

His body (mouth, throat) is just not mature enough, yet, to handle that texture. Eating requires muscle co-ordination.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

My daughter did that. Try smoother foods. Avacado is a good one. Banana is another. And continue to suplement with baby food. He will get there.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

He's not ready.
He's 8 months old.

Our Ped. said, finger foods at 12 months old.

You still need to make foods soft and mashed and finely minced. Or pureed.
Not chunky. Not thick purees.

He is not unusual.

For the 1st year of life, a baby's primary source of nutrition is still from breastmilk or Formula. Not solids and not other liquids.

Solids, for the 1st year, is only an 'introduction' to eating. Not a baby's main course. They don't even have to eat solids, 3 times a day. Yet.

You need to go by your baby's cues.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from York on

I don't think you need to be concerned. Give him a couple more months of just the stage 1 and 2 foods and then try again. My son is going to be 3 and still gags on some textures so I know it can get a little frustrating.


answers from Pittsburgh on

Three things come to mind, two of them based on friends' experiences with their babies:
1.) See if your son will drink from a straw cup, they need the tongue muscles in the far back to drink from a straw and when those are stronger, they can manage better with chunkier foods.
2.) He might have a sensitive gag reflex. My friend's son did this with chunkier foods well past 1yo, and at 3yo will still throw up when he's put too much food in his mouth.
3.) He might not be ready yet.

Good luck!!



answers from Spartanburg on

Too soon, if you feed him right (with textures he can handle at this point) why should you be worried? "already" doesn't apply to all kids as they all grow at different paces and should not be forced. He'll do better in a month or two, give him more time...



answers from Philadelphia on

This is totally normal. He's only 8 months. This is a transition age where some children at this age will be able to eat well and others will still have a gagging issue. With my triplets, each one learned eating skills at different rates. I don't remember which one but one had a gagging reflex for longer than the other two. One didn't have it at all as he was quite the eating machine from birth, lol, unless he tried to shove way too much in his mouth at once. With time your son will lesson the gag reflex and if it takes longer than the average, that's ok. I would try to slowly get him used to thicker things but adding just a touch of less water or milk to his oatmeal and rice to slowly get used to the thicker consistency. Just ween him slowly toward thicker things and with time it'll get better. No worries!

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets



answers from Pittsburgh on

He's not ready. Many babies aren't ready for 'real' foods until 12-14 months. There is plenty of time, don't rush it.



answers from Dallas on

Totally normal! My youngest did that as well at first. Like Mommy of 1 said try chunks of smoother foods first and then slowly introduce the others later on. All these textures are new to him and he probably just hasn't decided if he likes them yet.



answers from Oklahoma City on

He is way to young to be eating this stuff. His main nutrition should be coming from breast milk or formula. The food he is eating has calories but not enough nutrition for his development. Feed him less food and give him the nutrition he needs. He will be ready for this much food at about 10 1/2-11 months when he is getting ready to wean off formula. By his first birthday he should be eating stage 2 baby food enough to transition to regular whole milk then on to stage 3 or regular table food chopped up finely. He is not old enough to be eating this much baby food and never chunky at this young.



answers from Philadelphia on

My son didn't start any kind of thicker/chunky food until he was almost 1 year. Why are you rushing it on the chunky food? He's too young for it now.



answers from Pittsburgh on

It's just developmental. My lo was a great eater-- was eating all table foods by 9 months. My next door neighbor's little girl was still choking on oatmeal at 9 months. He'll get over it. Just puree it to whatever level he needs and try every week or two it a little chunkier. There will be day where his mouth "gets it." As long as he's on track otherwise, don't worry.



answers from St. Louis on

I think he is too young for little chunky food. Wait another month and try it again :)


answers from Kansas City on

it is normal.. and he will get used to it. It could also be a texture thing. My son will ONLY eat dry non messy, non gooey, non clumpy food. If the yoghurt seems like it has fruit bits in.. forget it... or even just clumpy...

I feel for you.. make him milk smoothies and mix in baby puree so he can get his veg and fruit in, let him eat what he wants to eat.. for now.

Call your pediatrician and ask the nurse what she thinks you should do. She has tons of experience and might be able to offer some good advice.

Good luck



answers from Minneapolis on

That sounds like my son. He is 13 months now and still doesn't like table foods a lot.He doesn't gag as much now, but somehow still prefers pureed food. He can eat fine now but as soon as he feels something in his throat he starts to refuse. But smooth pureed food - his baby food and yougurt he eats just fine. Everything else he just eats few bites, never finishes them.
I was super worried as well. I talked about this with his doctor and she tells M. it's his gag reflux which is making him not to eat table foods yet and that to keep offering and soon he will start eating them. Until then she asked M. to give him whatever he eats, just offer table foods and let him eat as much as he eats, no forcing him.And if he decides not to eat table foods that day, top him off with his baby food. She told M. some kids take longer to eat regular food - issues with gag reflux and also textures. For example : if my son touches food like bananas, avacadoes , oranges etc he doesn't like it. It's yucky to him. But if I give him dry food - biscuits, cheerios etc he touches and picks and eats them just fine. Oh my son would gag with gerber puffs as well and rice too. It's just a matter of time, they will start eating everything when they are ready. I used to break those gerber puffs in half so he doesn't choke on them.Now I can't stop him while eating those.He would still have 1 in his mouth and he puts in another and another - he does just fine now. So I am hoping he will take to all other foods too when he feels he is ready for those - until then I will keep offering so that he gets used to new flavours and textures.Hope this helps!

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