We had been planning baby's first meal for a long time. Initially we thought it might come later, around Christmas or her 1st birthday, when all we knew about was the 'traditional' way of introducing solids.
Once we learned about Baby Led Weaning, we knew right away what the first family meal we would share would be. The first meal hubby ever cooked for me was a roast chicken dinner, and that would be the first dish he would cook for our girl.
After all the build up, I had to keep reminding him that it was possible she wouldn't eat anything. Some babies don't really self-feed much until 8 or even 10 months according to what we had read. He was fine with that, you only get one first meal, so we wanted to make it special either way.
The next step was a matter of when. There are certain markers for readiness when it comes to starting solids, not just with BLW. Baby had been sitting up independently since 5 months, so we had that covered. She had lost her tongue thrust reflex. All we were really waiting for was to reach the 6 month mark.
The meal was a huge success. She was right into it! They say that one of the signs of readiness is interest in food. She had been watching us intently during meal time for the past few weeks, she put all that observation to great use! She not only picked up the food and brought it to her mouth, she actually ate some of it! We also learned some useful info on how to prepare food for her in the future (finding the balance between soft to eat, but not too soft to squish as she picks it up).
We were apprehensive about baby's 6 month appointment, wondering what they would have to say about the fact that we had only started solids the day before not two months earlier, and that we were doing BLW. When asked about solids, I said that no, we hadn't started cereal, we were going stright to 'table food' - the MCHN suggested we look into BLW! I told her that's what we were doing, I was just used to people not understanding. We showed her some photos from the night before and she was thrilled. Just popped in the reminder of no honey under 1 and to make sure that everything else was prepared appropriately. She also reminded up to offer lots of iron rich foods, and to breastfeed before meals.
We could not have asked for a more positive experience for baby's first meal!