Our journey began about a month ago with mashed carrots. Charlotte was showing signs of solid food readiness and I really just wanted to see if she still had the tongue thrust. We had carrots in the house, so I steamed the heck out of one, added some water, smashed it up real good, and gave it a shot.
"Um, what is this all about guys?"
The verdict? Tongue thrust was gone but food was not a go. Or, if you believe Charlotte, food was a horrible torture device:
I was hoping to start her on something besides cereals since they aren't necessary as a first food and I wanted her to experience flavours. But, her reaction told me that perhaps bland would be a good way to go. So, a few weeks later, we tried oat cereal.
"Oooh, I want this!"
"You guys are jerks."
So oat cereal was a no-go as well. She seemed to want the food because she would grab the spoon and bring it to her mouth, but as soon as the cereal touched her tongue she wanted nothing to do with it. So we let it go for another couple of weeks.
During that time, it was becoming more and more apparent that she was ready for food. She is sitting up unsupported, she is drinking more and more at a time (and wanting more even after polishing off 8oz), and the poor kid will literally stop everything she is doing and stare at you while you're eating (all while making chewing motions with her mouth). We got a sample of just-add-water rice cereal in the mail, so I mixed it up for her and offered it to her on my fingers. She sucked a bit off my fingers and seemed happy with that, so I wondered if maybe the spoon was tripping her up. So, I decided to go a different route - lay off the purees/cereals and offer her some finger foods a la Baby-Led-Weaning. I cut up some banana and let her have at it:
"Hey you banana, get back here!"
This was the most successful food experience we had had thus far. She didn't get much into her mouth (because, dude, bananas are slippery!) but she did pick them up, lick them, squish them a bit, and suck the banana guts off her fingers. I even ate a couple of piece of banana with her (barf - I hate bananas) and she seemed pretty amused that we were eating together.
Later that evening, we picked up some add-breastmilk-or-formula rice cereal to see if that would make a difference. And did it ever! She lapped it right up, even opening her mouth in anticipation of the next bite:
"I'll just eat the whole bowl, thanks."
After devouring the cereal, I offered her an Arrowroot.
The kid was in heaven.
So it is safe to say, I think, that we are officially on solids now. My mom bought us the Baby Bullet (omg) so we'll likely be doing a mixture of purees and finger/table foods with Charlotte. She seems happy with both ways of feeding. Right now we're only doing cereal at supper time, but I think I'll increase it to cereal at breakfast and something else at supper within the next few days. Next up: sweet potatoes! Can't wait...