Originally Posted by wagamama
I know we are not supposed to start giving solids until 6 months, and with ds#1, I waited until nearly 7 months, as he wasn't showing much interest at all. But my 4.5 month old DD (born one week late) is different. For the past 2 weeks, she has been "going nuts", for lack of a better expression, at the dinner table. I usually have her sitting on my lap, and she gets incredibly frenzied as she tries to grab all the food off my plate. She gets really upset if I move her away, so lately I have been letting her pick up things, like a crust of bread or a lettuce leaf, whatever. She brings it to her mouth and sucks on it, then eventually drops it and gets really upset until I give her some more food to hold. (Tried giving her a spoon or teething toy, but she wasn't interested.)
What should I do? Should I keep letting her hold food and suck on it? Or will it damage her stomach/gut, having solids too early?
This was my DS2 exactly. He was also born late (10 days), was sitting up early (at 4 mos), was a huge baby (18 lbs at 4 mos), showed all the classic "signs" of readiness to eat, and plus was lunging wildly at our food and trying to grab it off our plates-- but he was only 4.5 months old! I never thought I'd start a baby on solids younger than 6 months (DS1 was not interested until over 9 months), but I really believe in following the baby's cues and listening to baby's communication, and it just seemed like he was really ready.
We started DS with some slices of soft pears and soft avocados at just before 5 months. I never fed DS, just put the soft foods in front of him and let him go to town on his own. He struggled with picking them up at first, but he never ever choked on anything and handled it all great. I think I did the right thing in listening to DS and trusting his instincts. We went very slowly with solids, sticking with pears and avocados, and later bananas and sweet potatoes for the first month-- no purees, just soft chunks so baby could feed himself. Didn't start much else until he was 6 months old, but now, at 9.5 months, he is an amazing eater.
Personally I'd say, stall if you can for another week or two (or as long as you can while still respecting your baby's needs) and then I'd go ahead and start, really slowly on one or two types of food if your baby is ready in other ways too (sitting up, no tongue-thrust, gained enough weight). As I was telling myself when I let DS start eating so early, in other cultures and in other species of primates I'm sure it's quite common practice to let babies start tasting/eating solids when they are grabbing it out of the adults' hands.