We've been doing solids for a couple of weeks now, just a few meals with me mashing things with my fork and feeding them to him. A little banana, some avocado, some steamed pear (his favorite) and some oatmeal.
After reading some forum postings and the Kellymom site, I knew I wanted to do BLS, but I needed some inspiration, not a lot a of do's and don'ts and dry lists of fruits and vegetables, so headed out to do my own research.
Had more luck with the phrase baby led weaning, and stumbled upon some wonderful sites, which I found through the wikipedia entry on baby led weaning (links below).
After looking at the great pictures and videos, plus reading the lively forum, I was ready to give it a try.
The first meal we did consisted of cucumber slices, a small piece of toast, and the yolk of a hard-boiled egg. I had a great time watching ds explore and play with his food. He made a huge mess but had a great time, and I'm surprised at how much he ate.
The next day I have him some banana slices and a rice cake. Was fascinated to watch him try to get the banana to his mouth. At first, no luck, but I resisted the temptation to feed it to him. Finally, after much exploring and trial and error, he figured out a technique. Nothing more amazing than watching the problem-solving abilities of a six-month old.
There was some gagging, but it was funny, because ds would just work it out. He even smiled at me while coughing with watery eyes, as if to say, "I got it, mom." I'm familiar with infant CPR so I knew I could handle an emergency, but I also let him try to deal with it as long as I knew he was breathing and just gagging. I think it's part of the learning process. You definitely have to watch actively in the beginning, but try to resist the temptation to "help."
I'm completely in love with this form of feeding and not going back.
One interesting thing about the baby led weaning forum is that most of the women live in the UK, where there are NO restrictions given regarding allergies, etc. It's shocking to read about them giving all manner of foods this early. We are being a bit more cautious about dairy, egg whites, berries and citrus (and of course no honey or nuts) and don't plan to give meat just now. But ds has had wheat and egg yolk with no reactions.
Wikipedia entry on Baby Led Weaning