Starting Rowan on solids has been infinitely less stressful than I thought it would be; which is great, because it helps make up for the messiness of it! I was hesitant to introduce him to “people food,” mostly because it was an indicator of how fast he has grown and will continue to (as if the 6-month-old boy wearing 12-month-old clothing wasn’t a sign already). But for some reason, beginning solids seemed like a sign that my little boy wasn’t going to be a baby for much longer. I think my subconscious hoped that by holding off, I could prevent him from sprouting too quickly for a little while more.
I also enjoyed the fact that feeding pre-solids was relatively easy—his food’s with me at all times, and it’s already prepared! Rowan’s still primarily breastfeeding, but adding solids to the mix means more prep work, more time, and as noted before, more messes (both going in and coming out).
We waited until he started showing interest in our food to make the transition more fun for everyone, and I’m glad we did. Once we started the process, I learned how exciting it can be!
Seeing Rowan react to a new food each week is oddly rewarding. The look on his face is priceless, and experimenting with different flavors and textures is just as much fun for him as it is for us. His little legs start kicking in anticipation when we put him in his high chair, and his arms start waving up and down when he sees his bowl in front of him. As the spoon makes its way to him, he can hardly wait to find out what’s on the end of it. If he likes it enough, he’ll even reach out and pull the spoon directly into his mouth, because clearly, Mama is too slow in delivering it.
Welcoming my son to the world of solids has made me examine my eating habits more closely, too. If I’m going to expect Rowan to eat healthily, I need to set a good example. I can’t reasonably expect him to fill up on fruits and vegetables while I’m enjoying sugars and preservatives (well I could, but I’d rather not). This is also the beginning of a family tradition that I valued growing up—sitting down for meals together. More often than not, Arthur and I would eat sitting in front of the TV. But with Rowan joining us, it’s more meaningful to eat together at our dining table.
I’m also very happy to report that while Rowan has started solids and continues to grow much faster than I’m comfortable with, he’s still very much a baby. Go figure!