Six weeks ago Jack started rice cereal on his doctor’s orders due to severe reflux. Initially, he hated it. The food tasted different. It felt different. The spoon was not a bottle. You can see his original reaction here.
However, after lots of varied but persistent introductions he’s more than delighted whenever we buckle him into his booster seat for a meal these days. At six months he opens his mouth wide, cleans each mouthful off the spoon, barely dribbles, and neatly keeps his hands in his lap without struggling (anymore…). While we plan to have him feed himself as well, so far we’ve found that starting with a puree of food helps because it first lets him adjust to the taste of a new thing before introducing a new texture. One new factor at a time seems to be the magic key with our boy.
His twin sister, however, is less excited about solids. In part, it’s just because she cares less about food in general while he could eat all.day.long. She’s progressed from spitting everything out, but it’s hard to hit her sweet spot between “hungry enough to try something” and “too full from that delicious bottle to care about food.” The mechanics of eating from a spoon haven’t quite come together for her yet. She politely mouths things, swallows about 40% of her meal, and smiles a lot. Sometimes she tries to swallow but accidentally squishes the food out her lips. Sometimes she just sputters for the fun of it as oatmeal or sweet potato droplets fly across the kitchen. She does like the taste and will eagerly wait for an approaching spoon. However, rather than opening her mouth for the spoon when she sees it she sticks out a hopeful tongue. Like any baby the majority of her nutrition comes from her liquid feedings so we’re in no rush. We have plenty of time to let her figure things out, and for the most part she enjoys the process. Except, that is, for this morning when she’d had her fill, saw the oatmeal-laden spoon coming her way, and began to wail an irritated “Nein! Nein! Nein!” Her English is non-existent, but her German is coming along nicely.
(Last week Jack looked up and yelled “Damn!” while peacefully playing on his back. Perhaps we should redirect him toward German too.)