It's so exciting to watch your little one reach their milestones. Being able to cope with lumps and beyond is a really big step because it means freedom!! You don't even realise until one day you just don't have to worry about packing your babies food for the day. You just grab the diaper bag and go. You can go to a cafe and just order half an avocado and spoon feed it to your baby. Buy a sandwich and a banana, anything you want. Things become much more simple. All of that 'once a month mama' nonsense is over! No more cooking, pureing, storing in ice cube trays, finding those little containers with their lids, who knows where they get too! It's over. Just like that....your baby now eats lumps. This opens up a wonderful new world of tastes and textures, and your baby will love snacking off your plate as well.
We first weaned from milk at 4 months of age and introduced pure foods. Pick up a good organic rice cereal and start with this AFTER the first milk feed of the day. We then introduced one new food every few days. A good place to start is with the sweet veggies, pumpkin being a winner with most bubs. Sweet potato is a good one, carrot too. We find babies need a few days of trying just one new food to get to know it and enjoy it before ruling it out. Once we had the approval of pumpkin we then introduced another new food, at lunch time, and after you have a few foods that pass the test you can then mix a couple together. The one thing to remember is never introduce a new food right before nap time in case your baby has an allergic reaction.
Once we had pures down and wanted to introduce lumps we first began with mashed foods. This didn't work for our boy. He just gagged and coughed and spluttered. This technique may work well for lots of bubs but it didn't for us. Someone suggested couscous and now I tell everyone! I used to cook couscous and keep it in the fridge and just add a few teaspoons to his favorite pure. He could feel the lumps on his tongue but he didn't have to 'chew' them, they just went down with the pure. Gradually we added a bit more couscous and then went to roughly mashed foods.
Once your baby has a good grasp of lumps......it's on to finger foods!
Bonus tip: Don't make your textured foods too dry. Sometimes they just want it a bit runnier, so you can loosen your mashed foods, with some breast milk (or formula milk or rice milk). Breast milk is he best as not only does your baby get the added vitamins and minerals but breast milk also contains stem cells!