That's right, Gus has joined the ranks of those who eat solid food. And what an adventure it is!
We first gave him solids about three weeks ago (the Saturday before he turned 6 months), and he has taken to it like a pro. We're doing baby-led weaning, and his first meal was banana and avocado. He was a bit unsure about it all, but not so much that he didn't want to keep going back for more!
|Gus's first meal|
Banana and avocado are quite squishy, and therefore difficult for little hands to pick up sometimes. I found that it is helpful to leave a bit of the peel on the banana as a handle. Works well, until he's eaten everything that is sticking out! Or just give him something easier to hold, like steak and asparagus!
He loved his steak. Obviously. I mean, who doesn't? (Okay, I think it's kind of gross now that I am a vegetarian, but Jon is a meat-eater, so Gus will eat meat occasionally as well.) I was surprised that he liked the asparagus so much. I thought it would be kind of bitter for him, but we have had it a couple of times now, and every time he has just gnawed away on it for ages, sucking up all the juices and even sometimes swallowing some.
He does swallow some food, but probably more gets spit out still. It is awesome watching him learn to use his tongue to move the food around in his mouth. He is really quite good at moving the food to the front of his mouth to spit it out, but I don't know if the skill of moving it backward is developing a bit more slowly! It doesn't matter, really, though. He is just learning about different tastes and textures at the moment, and anything he actually swallows is a bonus. I certainly haven't noticed any decrease in the amount of milk he drinks yet (or, more accurately, in the number of times a day he requests nursing).
|what is that!?|
(mango was too slippery for his fingers,
so he used Pa's hand as a handle)
He makes this great face that seems to say "what in the world is this horrible thing I am sticking in my mouth?!" Yet he always goes back for more! We think, actually, it is not the taste that he dislikes so much. Instead, he is still trying to get used to the sensation of solid food in his mouth. As I pay more attention, he seems to do it most often when he the food (I think) goes back farther on his tongue. He also does a lot of mild gagging, trying to get the food forward again. He hasn't choked at all, though. Thankfully. (Some say that actual choking is unlikely with baby-led weaning, whereas others suggest that some babies are just more prone to it. Either way, it is not something we have had to worry about so far.)
|maybe it gets so messy because the handle is in his mouth?|
He also really likes to use a spoon. He can't put food onto the spoon himself yet (unsurprisingly--that's a tough skill to develop!), but I fill it up with yogurt or oatmeal, and he can easily get it off. Although, I think he just likes to chew on the spoon itself sometimes. And using a spoon does cause a huge mess! Mealtimes are a bit messy anyway, but the yogurt gets everywhere--face, hands, arms, tray, floor, hair. Luckily Gus is washable :) And I've put a plastic tablecloth over the floor to try and save the (brand new!) carpet a bit.
We've been having a lot of fun with feeding so far. And it is really quite stress-free. We give him the food that we are eating, just cut into Gus-sized pieces, then let him eat--or not--as he pleases. He's even gotten to eat things like Mexican food and curry, both of which he really loved! More, please!