ah, the baby's first food conversation. Fun. Okay, so I was TOTALLY pressured to feed my daughter before she was really interested and ready. She was 10 months and everyone said I was totally "missing a window" and blah blah blah if I didn't feed her.
Well, a month after she started eating, I got my period. Luckilly I was ready for another baby, but I learned a couple of things from that, one being that I'd better be ready for my fertility to continue and for breastfeeding to taper off once I start introducing other foods and two that I"m not going to push my baby before he/she is ready.
So then I had ds. When he was about 1.5 years old, I was trying to entice him with food but he just wasn't interested. I started REALLY pushing foods a few months before his 2nd birthday. At this point I was paniced and felt totally drained being the ONLY food (or drink) for an almost 2 year old baby, and I couldn't find out any information about it ANYWHERE (at least not in English). I called a friend who said that it's fine, so long as he's healthy, but he was always the runt of the litter, so to speak. Healthy, but had weird issues develop.When he was about 1.5 years old, he had a virus that was out of his system in about 24 hours but then broke into hives that lasted 3 months. I took him to the doctor and had his blood taken for the first time ever. His numbers were all a bit weird but his iron was low, not SOOO low, but slightly low. This was the only thing that seemed to bother the doctor. He was like "well what is he eating?" I was like "he's not." So I really felt that I needed to push food.
I got so desprate that a couple months before he turned 2, I was giving him chocolate milk, the ONLY thing he would drink outside of breast milk ever time he asked to nurse. I would only nurse him AFTERwords. And I kept pushing foods. Eventually, right before his 2nd birthday, he began eating solids. He had a lot of gagging problems at first with eating, but he seemed to grow out of them over the course of about 3-6 months. Now he's 3.5 years old and he doesn't have any gagging issues, but the kid eats like a bird. In the morning he'll have a tiny bowl of cereal or oatmeal or something and then for lunch he'll eat about a tablespoon of soup. He might eat an apple, or a few bites of one. Or a slice of bread. For dinner he might eat a bite or two of lasgnia or a bite or two of potato or a fish stick or something. The kid probably eats about 1 cup of food all day. And he hardly drinks.
But, he's got loads of energy...always running and jumping and playing. He's very healthy, rarely ever gets sick. He has a bowel movement or two a day. Hes super skinny...just a boney little guy. Sweet as can be. A bit of a cry baby.
I dunno. My daughter ate her first foods at 10 months (though she had tasted carrot juice quite a few times before that...like a sip here and there) and my son at 2 years. My daughter is a great eater. Very substancial and hardy looking. Also pretty healthy, though my son might be healthier and bounce back quicker after illness if he DOES get sick (which is rare). So I don't really know what to make of it, but I always feel like I have to share my experience because I know that it is unique and on one ever hears about it.
Now the new baby, at 4.5 months, is totally eyeing food. I COULD give him some NOW (even though he isn't secure in sitting yet)...but I"m going to hold off. Until the kid is begging for it, I don't see any need to replace a PERFECT food (which I KNOW can sustain one of my kids for at least 2 years alone) with something else unless I absolutely have to.
As for first foods, I think we did applesauce or bananna or avacado. Carrot juice.
My mil used to grate up (on a super fine grater) apple, pear and bananna to give to dd.
Cereals are very hard to digest and the baby certainly doesn't NEED them, so I would hold off on giving those until way down the line, though I DO like baby bisquits for the teether.
But I wouldn't push food until the baby is really REALLY ready. I have a hunch that my sons gagging issues were because he simply wasn't ready to eat. I think he would have outgrown it slightly after 2 years and he likely would have been reatdy to eat then without any fuss.