It turns out that Oliver was ready for solids sooner than we expected. Particularly in the last couple of weeks, he has been showing a lot of interest in our food, and while he hasn’t completely mastered the skill of sitting unsupported, he can sit quite upright with minimal support (such as that provided by his highchair). He now has two teeth, with a third that appears ready to emerge any day. He can reach for and grasp items of interest, and can release his grasp on one item in order to pick up another.
While we had, on a couple of occasions, given him slices of apple or pear to taste/suck, this was our first time formally introducing solids in a meal setting.
We were very fortunate to find a secondhand Tripp Trapp highchair (complete with baby set) on Craigslist for an excellent price. I guess it was meant to be, because I had been unsuccessfully looking for a nice wooden chair for weeks before this one came up for sale. Oliver sat comfortably in the chair — without any fussing — for the entire meal!
We gave him one strip of ribeye steak, a broccoli floret and a cauliflower floret, along with a small amount of water in a bottle. He absolutely LOVED the steak, and sucked on it contentedly for more than 10 minutes, until it was cold and devoid of any juices. Much to our surprise, he also enjoyed the broccoli and cauliflower (though he had a little bit of trouble handling the cauliflower because the stem wasn’t long enough). We helped him to drink water before and after the food, and we helped to move his food back in front of him whenever he (inadvertently) knocked it out of reach. Otherwise, we left the process up to Oliver, and he didn’t disappoint.
Was it messy? Yes. There was an inordinate amount of drool (see — J isn’t the only one who drools over a good ribeye steak ;)), and Oliver repeatedly smeared things back and forth across the table. Some food fell on the floor. We learned that the cats like ribeye too. But the whole mess — including Oliver himself — took only a couple of minutes to clean at the end of the meal.
All in all, the experience was a success!