My Claire-Bear is 5 1/2 months now, and last week she got her first taste of "solid" food. She was sitting on my lap at dinner and kept lunging at my plate, which contained some roasted sweet potato. I figured sweet potato is a pretty traditional early food, so why not? I cut off the outside to get rid of the salt, pepper and oil, and let her have a go at it. Aside from my worries that she could get a piece off and choke on it, it seemed harmless enough. She loved it so much that we decided then and there to give her a bowl of baby rice cereal mixed with breastmilk, and she's been loving that for the past week. Tomorrow we're going to try carrots. Exciting adventures (and a lot more work for me) ahead!
I know the current guidelines say that you shouldn't give anything but breastmilk (or formula) for the first 6 months, so I was kind of on the fence about introducing any food "early". Interestingly, although they said the same thing two years ago when Owen was a baby, I was more or less asked by a health professional (our health visitor) "why haven't you started given him any solids yet?" when he was about 5 1/2 months. Claire was really just over 5 months, but she definitely seems to have all the signs that she's ready, and she's taken to the food really well, with one exception (**TMI baby poop discussion warning**): she hasn't managed to poop in nearly 2 weeks. This isn't really anything new for her, as she's gone ages without pooping previously, but of course I'm now worried that it was too early, rice wasn't the best first food, etc. etc. Anyway, we're off to the doctor this afternoon and will see what he says. Hopefully I don't get too much of a scolding for having already started her on solids.
A brief note if there is anyone out there reading this who hasn't weaned a baby yet and someday might. I really wanted to keep her to all breastmilk (no formula) for as long as possible, but I have found that baby rice does really weird things in breastmilk that it doesn't do in formula. Basically, it turns completely liquid, so that what starts out as a bowl of cereal with a good thickness for an infant turns into something so thin you can't spoon it. So you end up adding more and more cereal. I have no idea why breast milk does this and formula doesn't. Enzymes? Anyone happen to know the answer to this?