I'll just add a bit about my own experience. I think it's a bit different in the U.S. (I'm assuming that's where you're from) in that people do tend to start earlier, whereas the recommendations here are from 6 months. But in my experience, starting on solids actually means you feed them more rather than less, so if your DH is hoping to cut down on some work by starting solids early, I would caution that you'll actually be making more work for yourself sooner. They often don't cut down on milk feeds until they are taking a significant amount of food and calories from solids, which usually happens by about 8-10 months. A little bit of baby rice means you'll be feeding solid meals however many times a day you chose to offer it, plus all your usual milk feeds. In our case, my daughter started to decrease the amounts per feed she had maybe around 8 months, but only dropped a bottle at 9 months (the overnight one) and then dropped a daytime one by 10/11 months. So you're potentially looking at quite a few months of doing both solid meals and bottles until you hit the point when you'll be doing less work. That said, my now 3 year old still eats 3 solid meals a day, plus 2 snacks, plus a cup of milk before bedtime, which works out to be still feeding her 6 times in a 12 hour period. That's about as many feeds as she had during the day at 6 months, just that now I have to prepare or cook them instead of just making a bottle (which frankly is easier!). So I guess the reason I say that is just to caution your DH against thinking that starting on solids makes for less work. It's definitely more and especially up to about a year when they still have lots of milk feeds too.
Beyond that, if you do decide to start earlier, it's baby rice or pureed fruit or veg. I'd just go with the fruit or veg. It's cheaper and you likely make it or eat it every day anyway, so you can just puree up a bit of something you already have to offer instead of buying an expensive pre-made food. But whatever you decide to offer, it should be on a spoon, not in a bottle. It's a very old school thing to put baby rice in bottles to thicken the milk, but it can be a choking hazard, so I'd stick to spoonfeeding if you want to go for it.
As for when they're ready, it should be when they can sit up safely in a high chair without slumping over or backwards, which can be a choking hazard. We did baby-led weaning which is self feeding and finger foods (like normal food like you or I would eat, no purees or mash) and for that, they're ready when they can also bring food to their mouths themselves and have an interest in trying it, which is usually around the latter part of 5 months to 7 months. Hope that helps.
My baby started on solids at 4 months, buy only tiny tastes. She is 5 1/2 months now and is only just properly eating. I'd say she has properly started consuming food in the past week.
We do mainly purée vegetables - start off with one, our first was carrot as I was making carrots for our dinner that night. I bought a baby blender as it is easier to use for small quantities. I blended them in a little water. The first few tastes she wasn't that bothered, then she started to lick a bit off the spoon each feed. Freezing things in ice cube trays is a good idea as they eat so little at first.
My wee one now eats loads, she has a baby bowl almost full twice per day. She doesn't have any baby rice, I'm more interested in giving her vegetables as it is more about letting then get a variety of tastes. Never put anything other than milk in a bottle!
I second that feeding is so much more work than milk. All her clothes now need pre washed in stain remover, or she needs stripped before feeding. She is quite independent and likes to help hold the spoon, unfortunately she grabs the food end and gets it everywhere! She stuck her hand in the bowl and then flicked food everywhere. Its super messy, there was food on my ceiling.
We have now started doing blw also and she loves it.
I agree with mindutopia. I felt like I was stuck in the house for quite a while when we started weaning because I still had all her milk feeds to do, then I had to squeeze solids in between. It was nothing but eat eat eat.
At 4months LO is best able to get all her nutrition from milk (whether breast or formula) and will struggle to get her nutrition from solids which is why she'll still need the same amount of milk feeds with milk on top. Some babies do love their solids early and eat lots of baby rice, but when this means they reduce their milk intake it can cause weight loss. So IMO it's just not worth it.
DS2 is 8 months and on 3 meals and 4 bottles in 24 hours, this is our roughy day:
10/10:30 - 8oz milk
12/12:30 - lunch
2/2:30 - 8oz milk (tho over the last few days he's had between 3-6oz so I'm hoping we can drop this one soon)
4:30/5 - evening meal
6/6:30 - 8oz milk
3-5am - 8oz milk
As you can see it's either milk or food every 2 hours and he's eating a decent amount of food, he has a mixture of our own food and pouches. Weaning certainly does not reduce feeds or make life easier! We get through at least 2 full changes of clothes a day and they need a hell of a lot of washing to get clean!
My wee one is a total grubber, she has a 7-8oz bottle for breakfast, then at lunch she usually has 6oz plus half a jar to a jar of baby food (or an equivalent amount of homemade puree) then at dinner she will get the rest of her lunch plus some finger foods which she just plays with mostly, plus a 6oz bottle. At night she takes a 7/8oz bottle.
She sleeps well through the night but her sleep hasn't changed since introducing solids. We need to feed her wearing just a nappy and even then her whole highchair needs washed between uses.
Your wee one will probably have a strong tongue thrust reflex at 4 months. It makes feeding so much harder and messier!
Food is so much more enjoyable for all of us now that she "gets" it and if she hadn't had issues with milk (she is intolerant but no-one listened to us until she point blank refused it for two days so we had to wean her)
If you're not comfortable with it, don't do it. Enjoy her being teeny for a little while longer until you feel she's ready. Weaning doesn't make anything easier and it's not completely necessary yet.
When we started, which was about 20 weeks when my son could sit properly and didn't spit things out of his mouth, we knew he was ready.
We started with baby porridge in the morning and developed from there over the weeks with pureed fruit and veg. Then added in finger foods.
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