Starting Solids We started feeding our son solids this past Friday. He was 5 months and a week old. Some of the signs that the pediatrician told us to look for to know if a baby is ready to start solids include; interest in your food or reaching for it, ability to sit up in a highchair with some assistance, and no tongue reflex (where their tongue pushes anything out that enters their mouth). Our son has hit all of these milestones so we thought we’d give it a whirl. We started with oatmeal. We were a bit worried about starting with rice cereal, so oatmeal seemed like the best choice for us and our son. As a blind mother, this was a whole new experience. I would sit in front of his high chair, use my left hand to feel where his mouth was, and put my finger at the corner of his mouth. I would then take the spoon in my right hand, which is my dominant hand, and spoon some oatmeal onto the spoon. I flipped it upside down and dragged it against the edge of the bowl so that there was not too much on the spoon. Then, using my left hand as a guide, I’d put the spoon slightly into his mouth. He sucked the oatmeal off and played with the spoon a bit. It was a bit difficult, knowing if he took the food off, if the spoon was going to choke him or knowing exactly what was going on visually, but it is all practice, for him and for me. Sometimes he moves his head back as I am bringing the spoon towards his mouth, but having my left finger near the corner of his mouth helped to understand his movements. At daycare, three days later, they told us that he ate the whole bowl of oatmeal, silly boy. They also said that he eats better than some of the 9 month babies in the classroom. One of the best pieces of advice was given to me this week by one of our son’s daycare teachers. She said “food before one, is just for fun.” This takes the planning out of starting solids. Our son does not need to be on a specific schedule or eat at certain times a day. We are just having fun, teaching him new tricks and trying yummy foods along the way. This Friday we will be starting sweet potatoes and I hope he loves them.

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