I know you’re not supposed to start a baby on solids until he or she is 6 months old for a plethora of reasons, but what if the baby stares at you longingly whenever you eat food? And then proceeds to stick his fist down his throat? And what if he rarely seems full no matter how much milk you feed him during the day? Emory is a big boy (as in tall, he’s not overweight). I’m not sure I’m going to be able to wait 6 months to feed him solid food.

Sometimes I think it’s possible to read too much, do too much research. The other day I was peeling apples to make a hot apple crisp for TobyJoe and me. Emory watched me the entire time. After I finished, I decided to let him lick my fingers which were covered in apple goodness. He loved it. At first he made a face as if to say, “This is REALLY weird!” And then he wanted more.

I guess we’ll wait a little longer and see what happens.


  1. You could do what I always did:

    Start with vanilla ice cream.

    Because that’s how I got my babies to love me, I fed them stuff they weren’t supposed to eat. (I keed, I keed.)

    Just remember, NO honey until he’s a year. Something about bacteria? Anti-bodies? Can’t remember exactly.

    And it’s ALWAYS funny to give a baby (slightly older, of course) a lemon or lime to nibble/suck on. :-]


  2. Jon deal, you make me laugh out loud.


  3. My mom gave me solids before six months. If crushed up cereal in my milk counts as solids. Which, I guess back then it did!


  4. My son has always been a big kid – off the charts in height, about 90th percentile in weight. Like you, I felt that he was hungry/ready for solids earlier than six months. When he had his 4 month checkup, I remember asking his pediatrician if I could start him on rice cereal because he always seemed to want for more. She strongly advised me to wait until at least six months. She said that the reasons to wait have to do with allergies and also weight. Apparently, the earlier you expose children to solids, the more likely they are to develop food allergies. She also said there is some research that shows that children who are fed solids earlier than six months are more likely to develop into overweight children. In the end, I waited until he was six months old.

    When you do introduce solids, the advice I got was to do so one new food at a time and try the same food several days in a row before introducing a new one. That way if there is an allergy, it will be easier to determine what the allergen is. Also, I was told to introduce veggies before fruits (because the fruits are sweet and will taste better). As jon deal said, no honey until after one. Also no strawberries, dairy, eggs, and peanuts. That’s all I can remember. Good luck!


  5. I was walking yesterday and met a woman with a 6-month old that was- I shit you not- sitting in his carseat eating a whole piece of fried chicken. Bones and all. Not broken into pieces or anything else; just a whole piece of fried chicken.

    So there you go.


  6. Nicole: Brilliant.

    And regarding that whole food allergy thing and solids. Yeah, I heard that too, but then again, my entire family and my husband’s family were introduced solids long before 6 months. We do not have any allergies to food. However, I know SEVERAL people who breast fed AND followed this rule and who have children who are seem to be allergic to everything on God’s green earth. So, I know this will land me in a potential firing range with some of the mother’s out there, but I’m not sure I believe that warning entirely. It just doesn’t make sense to me. Either they are more vocal about children’s allergies now (because there seem to be so many more cases now than there was when I went to public school) or they are on the rise and if that’s the case, the whole 6 month thing seems iffy to me.

    I am not sure if that makes sense. I can write it better if need be.

    I know one family who started on solids at 2 weeks. Not an allergy in sight.


  7. just curious, because i thought you guys were semi vegetarians, are you raising emory that way too? :)


  8. Autumn, no. We are no longer veggies, gave that up quite a while ago. Instead we are supporting our local farmers, killing pigs, chickens and turkeys. We’ll be giving him meats but they will be (what I like to call) kosher. We may avoid fish because we’ve seemed to have destroyed all natural habitats (short of salmon) and the farm raised stuff is bad for so many reasons I won’t go into it here. We’ll see. It might be hard to do whenever we go out fishing with my father. I just can’t turn away fresh flounder.

    So, no, we’ll be feeding our little guy meat and veggies and dairy. We’re just going to make sure that we know where it comes from and what goes into raising it and killing it.


  9. One more thing about the whole meat thing…

    We are going to teach Emory that meat comes from a living thing so he is aware of the fact that it had to die for him to eat. We’re not going to scare the living shit out of him like Watership Down did to me, but we’re going to teach him that. So many times people grow up separating that fact. I don’t like that.

    So, to a certain degree, he’s going to be raised knowing WHY people become vegetarians. He can decide what he wants to do.


  10. My baby was 10 pounds at birth, so. Yeah. We started giving him a little cereal around 3.5 months (eek! the rule back then was to wait 4 months! we thought we were only two weeks early!). We had our doctor’s blessing and all, and by 5 months he ate fruit and veggies everyday. Slept like a rock star, no allergies, is skinny as a rail today at two years, blah.

    Your instincts sound pretty good, and dear lord, who can keep up with this stuff? I was told 12 months for peanuts, and my sister (who had a baby six months later) was told to wait two years. And my kid would starve if not for PB&J.

    And really, really spicy curry. He is kind of weird.


  11. My mother gave me solids right away. We come from a long line of skinny bitches. I only put on weight when I discovered beer. MMmmmmMMM beer.

    My brothers, on the other hand, they are stick figures. My older brother, also given solids way early, can’t put on weight.

    I’m willing to bet more on genetics regarding the whole obesity issue. Oh, and lifestyle and not being a lazy parent by letting my kid eat crap while he plays video games all day.

    But I’ve been wrong a hundred times before.


  12. Hi, You don’t know me but I came upon your website by accident. I have a baby boy who is now 4 months old and I was doing some searches on breastfeeding and I found this blog. Like you, I also supplement with formula (my baby doesn’t have latching on like Emory did) but I just don’t seem to have enough milk for him. Like you, I also agonized over the whole thing – I wanted to exclusively breastfeed but can’t and now I pump (almost exclusively, except at night when it is easier to nurse than prepare a bottle). Like you, I wish I didn’t feel all of the guilt about giving him formula. It is just nice to read about a real life person that you can relate to in certain situations. So anyway the reason that I am writing is to let you know that my doctor said that we can start solids at 5 months, so you should ask yours because you might not have to wait until 6 months. Also most of my friends with children gave their kids solids before 6 months. The first solid is rice cereal but its a start :-)


  13. Thanks, SV. I am going to bug my pediatrician at the next appointment and get a feel for what she might suggest.

    Also, I do hope you feel better about the whole breastfeeding thing. I know that I do. I came to terms with it finally. It was hard at first. But pumping is going well and I too still don’t usually produce more than 17 ounces of milk a day. I know that may have been find had I been breastfeeding, who knows, but I have no problem with giving him formula. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not poison. ;]

    McDonald’s egg and cheese biscuits, on the other hand, are.


  14. How old is Emory now?
    From what I remember, depending on the child you can start on solids anywhere from 4- 6 months of age. It usually depends on readiness of the child and history of food allergies in the family.
    The main reason why Dr.’s say to wait until 6 months is the digestive systems of babies are not fully developed until that age. The things to look out for are: honey (because of Botulism), eggs, strawberries, dairy, and peanuts (they say now to wait until at least 3 years of age). Isabel is still severely allergic to nuts and peanuts. We were told to not even try the whole nut thing on Aubrey until she is 5! Although Aubrey has now been found to be allergic to eggs! I am almost certain that she will outgrow it, like her sister did.
    The reason I bring up the allergy thing is, I thought you had a reaction to eating shrimp once? Maybe it was another blog that I read….
    At any rate, my advice is check with your Dr.. They will be able to give you the best advice as there are so many variables involved in this decision.


  15. I got tested for allergies and am not allergic to any foods. I had a reaction to certain preservatives. So I don’t go near food that isn’t fresh.

    Thanks, cathy. I’ll ask the doctor.


  16. Okay, according to my family doctor and nurse, you can basically start babies on food when they have the signs of being interested. They watch you eat, intently, they try to grab food off your plate, they can push food to the back of their mouth with their tongue, and they can sit up independantly (with a little help in the high chair). Most babies get there between 4 and 6 months, but some aren’t ready until later even.
    And I was told if you wait until your baby is 6 months, you can start feeding them virtually everything (except dairy, nuts, egg whites, and honey) immediately, as their bodies are ready for it. I have lots of mommy-friends who started their babies on meat first, to build up their iron stores, as breastmilk has very little iron. Oh, and dairy is 9 months, honey and egg white – 12 months, and nuts are okay at 12 months if you have no allergies, but if there are any nut allergies in the family..wait 2 or 3 years.

    So, if you start Emory early, you can go for the cereals, veggies, fruits, but wait on the egg yolks and meats until 6 months.

    I tried my darndest to wait until 6 months to feed my son solids, but he was so very angry when we ate in front of him, he would yell and scream at us. So I started him on cereals and fruits and veggies at 5 1/2 months. He also started chickpeas really soon, and avocados, because you know, i needed him to be able to eat guacamole and hummus! I think he was about 6 1/2 months when he had pork, beef, salmon etc.

    If you want any advice at all (wasn’t that the point of this essay? j/k), I’d say to start him on texture as soon as possible. I know a lot of babies who had so much puree, they still can’t tolerate lumps or chewing food, at 15 months.

    Have fun! One of my favourite things has been the introduction of solid foods. Jonah loves eating, and is always game to try anything.


  17. I appreciate your comments, I really truly do. Essay away, i say! (Sorry, been reading too many children’s books. heh)

    If my kid doesn’t like avocados we’re screwed. :]


  18. I don’t believe anything modern medicine has to say regarding children’s health, but that’s just me. I am a firm believer in “Mother knows best” (within reason of course). If your child seems hungry/interested in solid food, I see nothing wrong with giving them a “taste”. I started letting my son experiment with simple foods (mashed potatoes, cream of wheat, pudding etc) as soon as he gave me the signal that he wanted some. Of course I wouldn’t just sit him down at the table with a plate piled high, but a little taste off my finger when I was eating here and there. Also, kids may just be fascinated with the look and texture of the food rather than eating it. Meaning, they may just want to “play” with it. Which can be interesting too. I remember letting my son finger paint with chocolate pudding…..that was fun! Either way, I think as long as it’s in moderation, and nothing they can choke on, or anything that may be unhealthy, why not give it a try? Mashed potatoes are a good one to start with…Trust your own judgment, and good luck!


  19. Just another mom saying, we waited until almost 11 months. She just wasn’t ready. I diluted rice cereal with boob juice or formula and she was all down with it eventually. She is now a strapping young girl!


  20. Regarding the seafood issue (because you know I have to stick my $.02 in :D): I know you guys do FreshDirect sometimes – have you seen their Certified Sustainable offerings? Not just salmon, but black cod and halibut as well – good for you, and good choices for the planet. And though I haven’t tried it yet, I just heard about a new sustainably caught and low-mercury canned tuna from American Tuna – I saw it at Bedford Cheese Shop and I think Whole Foods sells it as well. Finally, tilapia isn’t (to me, anyway) the tastiest fish, but even though it is a farmed fish, scientists and tilapia farmers are doing a lot to raise it in a sustainable manner so that it doesn’t do harm to the environment or suffer from some of the other issues farmed fish do. They’re even farming it in an aquaculture lab down at Brooklyn College, which I think is pretty cool.


  21. p.s. Char hated and hates avocado. DAMN KIDS!


  22. Jenblossom, thank you so much for that information! I knew that FD had some low mercury options but I didn’t know about the other stuff. Good to know. Might as well use them while we’re still able, eh?

    I love cod and halibut. hell, I love fish. I just hate what we’ve done to our waters. What a bunch of buffoons.

    How awesome is the Bedford Cheese shop? Going to miss that place when we finally leave here.

    JenB: If we waited that long to feed Emory solids, he’d eat us both in our sleep. Or, at the very least, chew my boobs off or something. He’s just a big ol’ monster. Although, i hear they slow down after three months. We’ll see what happens.

    Good for you for being able to wait that long! Must have been nice not having food to clean up from all over the place.


  23. McDonald’s egg and cheese biscuits are poison?! How about sausage egg mcmuffin’s – cuz I really like those?!


  24. Well, that was misleading. they are poison like crack cocaine. Or something.


  25. Well I’m sure junkies enjoy heroin too….but it doesn’t mean it’s good for them, just wishful thinking.

    Stay away from fast food all together, and you MIGHT have a good chance of living past 40…..


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