My baby is just six months, has two tiny teeth, and is showing some signs of readiness for solids. I have a couple question (and so does the MIL!) that I hope you more experienced moms can help with. I don't really feel DD needs to start solids for any real reason right now, though DH and I think the idea of it is kind of fun.
1) I've been casually offering banana and pear for the last couple of weeks to see what she would do with it (since those are the fruits I tend to eat and they are very soft naturally.) I think she managed to get a bite of banana down the other day! Yesterday, I steamed some apples for dinner and let her try a slice. I don't know if I didn't steam it soft enough or what, because she bit off a little chunk, but didn't do anything with it. She didn't chew, swallow, spit it out, nothing. It just sat in her mouth while we nervously watched her until I reached in there and fished it out. Could this be a sign she's not really ready? DH said we should probably offer her tiny pieces so she doesn't choke, so I think I need to school him on BLS a little more.
2) The MIL is wondering about the tongue-thrust reflex. She thinks this is the same motion babies use to nurse and wonders if they really do lose it before they should start solids? She also says my FIL never lost his reflex (according to the dentist), and that this may imply something about losing the reflex truly being related to readiness for solids. Any thoughts?
3) MIL also wants DD to have rice cereal because it "gets their systems ready" to accept other solids. Hmmm... She and DH don't seem to mind that it's just empty calories (though DH will go along with what I want to do, so I'm not too worried about him sneaking babe some Malt O Meal on the side). I'm not sure what to tell her.
4) Am I doomed to eat bland, mushy food at every meal until DD gets the hang of solids? Maybe I'm just confused about what to offer. I want her to have table foods, not purees and cereal, but our table foods are so complex (at the very least, I put onion and garlic in EVERYTHING) that I worry about her getting something she shouldn't have yet. Does that make sense?
I'd appreciate any advice from the "been there, done that" crowd. BTW, MIL was a LLL lady back in her day, breastfed her boys for a year, and is very supportive. But times change, and I'm not sure how to respectfully explain what we are doing without making it seem like I'm judging her. Thanks a million!