It's been a month and a half since I've been trying to feed her things, but she decided she was ready only well after crossing the six month mark.
I started by trying to feed her mashed bananas, which a lot of people including my doctor recommended. She rejected it completely, screwing her face up like it was the worst taste ever and wailing as if I were trying to poison her. I gave up that fruit pretty early on, but after a few consistent tries.
After that, it was a long journey of trying many different things to start her to eat and to get along without me for a few hours.
... boiled and mashed apples.
...boiled and mashed apples with a bit of jaggery, as suggested by Rohini.
...Nestum with expressed breast milk.
... cereal made more runny than usual, as suggested by Sue.
...boiled and mashed Lauki.
...a special homemade rice cereal, as suggested by a neighbour.
...Dal ka soup, as suggested by Cee Kay.
...using the sippy cup to feed her expressed milk, as suggested by Parul.
... expressed milk with a cup and spoon, as suggested by Sur.
...trying to feed her when she had nursed first for a bit, as suggested by Sur.
...trying to feed her when she had not nursed for a while, as suggested by Rohini.
...warming her food, as suggested by Mona.
...mashed potatoes, as suggested by Sue.
...adding a tiny bit of salt to her food, as suggested by Sue.
...a bit of good old Khichdi, as suggested by everyone.
I'm sure there was other stuff which I am now forgetting.
But two days back, when I ran out of everything, including patience to prepare anything even remotely complicated, I mashed a banana and held it hopelessly, listlessly out, under her nose.
And that's when she sniffed it suspiciously, stuck her little tongue out and tasted it and then proceeded to calmly devour the whole thing. I watched in amazement as she finished, smacked her lips and looked at me expectantly for more.
Her entire aspect was that of a person who is saying 'Now THIS is more like it, this is what I was waiting her. Why didn't you think of this earlier, Mama?'
WHATEVER! Now I know I'm going to go prematurely grey.
Anyway, so the thing is that now she seems to be a little more open to eating a few things, including Khichdi, the Homemade rice cereal, Carrots and Apple. But the Banana continues to be her favourite.
I hope to expand her repertoire but this is yet another lesson that worrying doesn't help, my baby is pretty much going to decide when she wants to progress from one thing to another, at her own pace.
Thanks a ton to you all for your suggestions. Sur and Sue have been really helpful on the phone. Mona, Parul and Cee Kay have been giving me tips on email.And Rohini was kind enough come over with Ayaan with special feeding spoons. All of you, really, and anyone whose name is escaping me at the moment due to temporary amnesia.You guys are awesome.
Soon I shall be able to go to work and leave her behind and know that she will not starve without me. Oh, Joy.
Yes, and also, she sits now. No one told me you're supposed to make a baby sit and let her get used to it. I was watching her quite keenly all this while, waiting for her to get up on her own. I was quite interested to see whether she would think of it herself and how she would manage it.
Is there anything else I should know about her next move? Will she start crawling on her own or am I supposed to crawl in front of her so that she tries to copy me? These books are all hopelessly inadequate. Not that I'm in any hurry to have her crawl, mind you - it's quite tough managing her squirms and wiggles nowadays.
Here's a picture of her sitting and watching her father playing my guitar. Pretending to play. He knows only one tune - that Kya Zamaana tha tune from that old reincarnation movie of Anil Kapoor's - Lamhe! Well, he knows only one line from that song. And he always gets it wrong. It drives me crazy.
But she didn't seem to mind. The perfect audience.
Edited to add: As per Stuti, the hero and movie are Rishi Kapoor and Karz, respectively. I stand corrected. And NO, it was not a test.