for my older daughter, we didn't let ANY food touch her lips until she was about 7 months old (though she did get nystatin when she had thrush, vitamins when she was little, and probiotics). But now that I have a second child, I keep thinking about the fact that 1) they say it's best to start solids at 6-7 months, but there are always other foreign materials other than breastmilk entering her gut, even residue that she mouths off of toys/fingers/the floor and I'll include medications/vitamins/probiotics in this category and even nipple creams or anything on your skin when baby nurses as well and 2) babies by nature shove everything in their mouths
So my question is not whether I should break out the rice cereal at 3 months (never used that with my older daughter either), but what you think about allowing her to get residual foods without panicking that I'm ruining her gut and causing lifelong allergies.
For example, today I'm eating lunch with her on my lap and she grabbed an apple slice from my hand and started sucking on it. I really wasn't too worried because she wasn't getting off any chunks (she's 4 months old and totally toothless) and she wasn't even mashing it with her mouth, but by putting it in her mouth at all, I'm sure she got some teeny tiny amounts of apple juices into her gut.
Do you allow your babies to get small amounts of food materials in their mouth before actually "starting solids" at 6+ months? And where do you draw the line? (as in, are you cool with probiotics or gripe water, but not cool with your baby gnawing a celery stalk?)