Yesterday Zoe turned 6 months old and so to "celebrate" I decided to start feeding her solids on that day. She sits up on her own now, she watches us very intently when we eat our foods, and she opens her mouth like she wants to eat our food sometimes. All of these are signs that she's ready to start eating solid foods.
I bought some Organic Whole-Grain Rice Cereal and mixed that with breast milk. She seemed to be a little confused at first but she actually opened her mouth for the spoon a few times! Most of the time I had to kind of put the spoon in her mouth, then some (or most) would fall out of her mouth... it really is a messy job! She did push it out of her mouth a few times but I think that is normal, even for a baby that is ready for solids. I know some people say that if a baby consistently pushes the food out of their mouth it means they are not ready (because it is a natural instinct for a baby to push stuff -- other than milk -- out of their mouth up to a certain age), but she actually consumed more than half of what I gave her, which tells me that she is in fact ready for solid foods!
Part of me was a little sad yesterday because I am no longer her only source for nutrition. Honestly it is an amazing thing to know that she survived 6 months on Mommy's milk alone. She was *completely* dependent on me for nutrition from the day she was conceived until yesterday. A little heart wrenching, but its a good thing that she is developing normally and ready to start eating foods :) In addition to her food, I do plan to nurse her until she is a year old though.
For those of you with babies that are ready to begin solids, here are some recommendations. They recommend rice cereal because it is mild, but you certainly do not need to start with cereal, you can do anything you choose, but for a baby's first foods it is recommended that it be something mild. It is also good to wait 3-4 days until trying something new just to make sure your baby does not have an allergic reaction, it makes it easier to determine what caused the reaction if they do have one.
Here is what you need:
- Rice Cereal (or something mild like Avocado or Banana)
- Soft Spoons
- Small Bowls
- Formula or Breastmilk (you can use water if you don't have these things available at the time)
For your baby's first solids mix 1 Tbsp of cereal with 3-4 Tbsp's of formula or breast milk.