One of the questions for my La Leche League Leader application was how and when was Christophe introduced to solid foods - below is the questions and answers...
For the healthy, full-term baby breast milk is the only food necessary until baby shows signs of needing solids, about the middle of the first year after birth.
When and how did you introduce solids and a cup?
We decided as couple to introduce solids to Christophe right around 6 months (I think it was slightly pass that.) his “first” food was sweet potatoes that I prepared myself. I placed “food” in brackets because he did not any and still refuses to eat sweet potatoes. We were determined to make all his food and follow the guidelines that we would introduce one food at a time; however after 2 months of him not eating anything I turn to my mom friends and asked what they were doing and took the advice that seemed to suit me and went with it. So when Christophe was about 7 1/2 months old we decided since there are no major allergies in our family out with rules...
We started giving him little bit of everything we were eating; generally speaking we eat pretty healthy so we figured it was ok. By this time Christophe had already mastered saying no by shaking his head (thanks to my dad - I do not say this with any enthusiasm my father thinks its funny I hate it as we had worked so hard to that point to never use the word no around Christophe) so each time we approached his face with food he would shake it and say no; however sometimes he could be convinced to put food in his mouth himself. So out with the muchy food... We would give him large chunks of soft fruits and veggies (he had not yet mastered the pincer grasp) and small bits of food so he could practice his pincer grasp. We quickly realizes we had a very picky eater on our hands. Christophe (still to this day) will not eat anything that is too soft, too slimy, liquidy, leafy, sticky (that is not to drink), orange, purple, yellow, as a matter a fact any colour that is not red, beige (bread colour), brown, white or green (he likes green that is so weird). - Thank God for my milk I think he might have of malnutrition by now if he still did not nurse 8 to 14 times a day. Oh I forgot he still wont eat anything that he can’t feed himself, I am so happy he is learning to master the fork and spoon these days.
A cup? hum I think we started at the same time as solids - however i really can’t remember. We started by offering water with his meals only, this seemed to encourage him to eat more - some days. (Actually we tried cup feeding him milk when he was less then a month old but he never took to it so we stuck with tub feeding.) Introducing a cup and other liquids was a long process it seemed... he was very interested in liquids to drink but had a hard time with a cup, could not master the sippy cup (I think we tried 2 or 3 different ones) then one day when he was about 14 months or so we were at a restaurant and he was interested in my straw so I let him try it; he mastered it in 3 seconds flat. That day we bought him a sippy cup that had a straw in it and a pack of straws and since then he will try almost anything that comes with a straw. We have to watch ourselves in restaurants because he will steel our drink that are not always “approved for Christophe consumption” and try them. One of my favorite things to make for him is smoothy with all real fruit (no juices) and a bit of soy or cows milk whatever we have on had; this is actually the only way I can get him to eat fruit that is not dried.
What signs of readiness did you look for?
Unlike a lot of parents start because they are told to we made sure of the following:
He could sit unsupported
He could hold his head up
Seems interested in what we are eating
He is at least 6 months old
He seemed to have lost his tongue-thrusting reflex
He increased his nursing sessions
Christophe had not mastered his pincer grasp yet and did not do so until he was around 9 months sometimes I wonder if we had waited till then if we would have a less picky eater.
If you have used bottles, please describe when and how?
Like I mentioned in the past we tube fed for about a month at the beginning - here we used a bottle to hold the milk or formula depending on the feeding. I will go in greater details when I talk about starting breast feeding.
I also tried a bottle once with him that night I mentioned that he would not take to the breast and kept on crying. But like I said he though it was a toy.
We have 4 practically unused premium glass baby bottles (2 in the packages) that I hope will never have to be used by me again.