After 6 months of nothing but a breast in his mouth – a lifestyle that most adult males look upon with envy – my son experienced his first taste of solid food last weekend.
We are going with baby led weaning first, hoping he picks it up quicky – he has spent the first 6 months of his life watching his family chew, so I can only assume he’ll pick it up fairly swiftly, unlike bottle feeding, which he flat out refuses to do. Such a drama queen.
For his first food, we plumped for sweet potato, as it gets quite soft when cooked, but retains its shape fairly well. we cut it into sticks, so he could get it in his mouth fairly easilly. We then placed them on his tray attached to his high chair, and let him do what he had to do.
The thing is, the spectacular moment of pride in our son we should have experienced – the one that would follow once we had seen him shoving a stick of sweet potato down his throat – was not to be, as the first stick was crushed to pieces in his trotter like hands. Our son watched intently as orange potato squished between his fingers. We looked at each other with confusion. This was the first time Ned had held something and not instantly put it in his mouth. I believe Alanis Morissette incorrectly wrote a song similar to this.
If the first stick of potato was disappointment, the second stick was victory, as our son swiftly and accurately shoved it in his mouth and down his throat, looking at me the whole time as if to say ‘You sure you’re not going to stop me? I’m chewing this. You usually stop me by now’
I gave him a nod.
Ned looked back blankly, not knowing what the hell I was doing, but continued to chew.
Happiness swelled in my chest as he munched away. That pride turned to horror as he began to cough and gag. The horror turned to relief as he resumed breathing shortly afterwards. No matter how much people tell you that gagging and coughing are natural and expected early on in solids, nothing really prepares you for it, much like when we were told that babies are sick a lot, but that didn’t prepare either of us for the day when he projectile vomited on our sofa.
After about half an hour, Ned indicated he’d had enough (by starting to go rigid and making a sort of straining, whining sound) and we peeled him from the highshair, now sporting a lovely orange potatoey hue.
We’ve tried different food since then – Banana (he couldn’t get a grip on it, and the only bit he did eat he gagged and was sick – I class this as a fail) Carrot (Not a massive fan, he got it in his mouth, but looked at us af if to say ‘OMG WTF Guys, Fail’) Toast (which he likes chewing to the point we’ve done it every morning since then) Mashed banana on toast (which he enjoyed) and a Strawberry (looked at, picked up, and while looking at us, dropped onto the floor)
The whole experience was terrifying, but amazing. It was, to me, a real milestone for him growing up – I think back to the couple of days early on when he still had his eyes closed and was crapping tar, to see him there, sat in his highchair, eating/mashing/making a mess with his first solid food, was a true proud moment.
And to top it off, there were lumps in his poo. He’ll be leaving for University before we know it.