Ian's been drooling at practically anything and everything that we're eating - it's quite sad really. Similar to Aiden when he was about the same age, he would start salivating and even imitating our mouth gestures whenever we were eating. So when his pediatrician gave us the green light for us to start him on solids as soon as he turns five and a half months old (two weeks earlier than the recommended age!) we were overjoyed! Heck, that's two weeks less of him watching us eat, thank you very much.
Alhamdulillah, Ian is still fully breastfed - even at time of writing - but my milk supply has been dwindling down ever since I started work. I used to have abundant stock, at least 2 months worth in the freezer. But nowadays i'm encroaching on my April supply and it's not even the end of May. Therefore, starting him on solids will hopefully reduce his dependency on milk so that insyaAllah, if Allah permits, I can successfully breastfeed him until he turns one. Honestly, i'm already over the moon that Ian's going to hit his 6 month breastfed mark since that was the target anyway. Poor Aiden - he never had that opportunity. Back then, there wasn't much breastfeeding awareness even in the hospitals so when that 4.1kg baby yelped for milk, the nurses fed him with formula from Day 1. I think I only managed 5 months with Aiden, and even that was supplemented with formula.
I was quite surprised with the number of choices available for baby food. There was the organic range, the normal range, the simple food range (erk, is there a complicated food range?), the teething range. Even the trusty old Heinz offered over 150 different varieties!
Just for the record, Ian's first food was actually some macaron crumbs. I was baking and assembling some macarons and he gave me a forlorn look, so I took pity and gave him some. Oh wow, he loved it! But that was technically sugar, not real food. So to gauge his interest in baby food, I decided to give him the Heinz teething biscuit. Not the whole thing, of course. But rather - just as a first taste. And with close supervision, of course.
|Ian was quite intrigued with the new "toy" Mummy was handing out to him.|
|Making a weird face. By the way, can you see the slight bruise on his right arm, just below the wrist? I think that's a birth mark. It's been there for quite a while and show no signs of going away.|
And, as predicted, he didn't want to let go of the biscuit! Unfortunately, his grip wasn't as strong as he thought it was so the biscuit kept falling out of his hand and he kept wailing because he assumed we took it away from him. Okay fine, we did take it away from him a few times just to see him cry out (and we would laugh, poor Ian!). But each and every time we put it back into his hand and slowly guided the biscuit back into his mouth, he would immediately stop crying and start sucking and grinding his gums on it.
Great! So he loves food. Next up, his first meal. Like his brother, we started Ian with Nestle rice powder mixed with some breast milk. We dragged Aiden's baby chair out from the attic and strapped Ian in. Whipped out a new set of bowl and cutleries, and a baby bib from Yahoo! (picture below) and Ian was all set.
|Had the Chuggington set for the longest time - just waiting for Ian to officiate it.|
|Daddy strapping Ian in.|
|Looking curiously at his food, fingers itching to grab the bowl.|
|First mouthful, with Aiden encouraging him on.|
Weird but true. Despite his interest in food, he didn't really enjoy his first meal. Unlike Aiden (who gobbled up every single spoonful like a pro), Ian kept pushing his food out of his mouth. I think he hasn't figured out how to keep the food in his mouth and his tongue kept pushing the food out (similar reflexes as drinking milk).
|Ian sticking his tongue out to the next spoonful!|
|It was definitely a family affair. Mummy feeding, Aiden cheering, Daddy taking pictures and even the maid observing!|
|"No more Mummy!"|
|Last spoonful, I promise!|
|Last spoonful going in.|
Yup, I gave up after probably 5 small spoons. No two babies are the same so I shouldn't have expected the experience with Ian to be similar to Aiden.
But I am also happy to report that after a week of practice, he's starting to swallow better. We have also started introducing finely grinded ikan bilis to his rice cereal (no salt, please!), and steamed/pureed carrots (will post on that later), and he loves both! I try to introduce one new single food every week just to see if his stomach can handle that food. So this week I tried giving him steamed/pureed potatoes, but he gave me the weird face again - suspect because the consistency was too mushy and sticky for him to swallow, so will probably hold that off, thus we're now back to carrots.