Larkin greeted solids as if he'd been eating his whole life. As you can tell from the photos, I was fully prepared for a mess. I stripped the kid down to his diaper, and put on a full body plastic bib. But he surprised all of us by having near-perfect table manners.
|Seriously, this was as messy as it got. Not much of a photo opportunity, but it makes his OCD mama proud!|
|"Hey, this is kind of cool!"|
I've had a few people ask me why we started solids early, especially considering my emotional reaction to the milestone. For those of you without kiddos, doctors typically recommend starting solid foods (which is a total misnomer, by the way. There is nothing solid about baby's first purees!) at six months. Larkin is a couple of weeks short of the mark, but we felt comfortable that he was ready.
We have been practicing what they call baby led solids, and letting Larkin show us when he was ready. At four months, he started getting very interested in our food and the practice of eating. Starting at about five months, I would occasionally give him a tiny sample of a baby safe food I was eating (example: I would rub some banana on my finger, or a tiny bit of avocado). I only did one food at a time (with several days in between) and no one was allowed to feed him except me, all precautions in case of an allergic reaction.
At first he made cute faces and spit everything back out. But recently, he began diving for my finger and pouting for more. At the same time, his nursing demands were skyrocketing (we were back to feeding non-stop) as my body was fighting to keep up with his caloric needs. He's a seriously big kid, people! Finally, my "Mommy Yoda" (a new friend who has been full of awesome child rearing advice) helped me see that I was putting off starting solids because of my own hang ups, and that my little man was *ready*. And, as you can see (in a very short clip of the very long original - we ARE first time parents!) he did awesome.
Our success in starting solids has just been another reminder that every kid is different, and no child needs to be scheduled on a random doctor's pamphlet or Internet message board advice. Many people have told me in the past 5 1/2 months that I should rush solids, to get Larkin to sleep through the night. Others have insisted it's better to wait until he is well over that 6 month mark. I have to say that it's a good thing we didn't start solids with the intention of increasing sleep, because (at least so far) his sleeping schedule hasn't changed at all!
Larkin's dinner went even better tonight, although it was quite a bit messier. This time, he managed to wolf down almost a half a banana, and still wanted to nurse for awhile after. And now, it's time to play!