Re: too early for solids???
Signs of readiness for solids:
- Baby can sit up well without support.
- Baby has lost the tongue-thrust reflex and does not automatically push solids out of his mouth with his tongue.
- Baby is ready and willing to chew.
- Baby is developing a “pincer” grasp, where he picks up food or other objects between thumb and forefinger. Using the fingers and scraping the food into the palm of the hand (palmar grasp) does not substitute for pincer grasp development.
- Baby is eager to participate in mealtime and may try to grab food and put it in his mouth.
Based on what you've posted, it sounds like your LO is ready or at least almost ready for solids. If you decide to start, remember that breastmilk is the healthiest thing your baby will ever eat, so you want to maximize her intake of it and not replace it with solids, which are not as nutritionally balanced as breastmilk. So always nurse first and offer solids second, and offer tastes of solids, not full meals. A taste means a teaspoon or two of food at a time, max. And there's no reason to start with rice cereal or cereals in general. They are fortified with vitamins and minerals, and that's good, but aside from that they are pure starch. Many moms prefer to start with veggies and fruits.
If you decide not to start solids until 6 months, you can still allow your LO to share mealtimes by giving her a spoon and a bowl to play with.
ETA: 5 months is not to early for baby-led weaning/baby-led solids. One of my 2nd kid's first foods was a whole peeled apple. She could hold it and taste it and lick it, but not bite dangerous chunks from it.
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"