Very exciting, but bittersweet. My little teeny baby is growing up!
At 5 months he isn't going off to college or anything yet, but still... Also, at 5 months, he's going for the gusto a little earlier than usually recommended by pediatricians, so if you are out there reading this, be sure you check with yours, and check the million checklists that are out there to see if you think your kid is ready.
So far we started with about two weeks worth of rice cereal. My first thought was that it didn't sound very nutritious, but the Pediatrician assured me that it was really for more of the practice, but also that it was fortified with iron, which babies are in need of at this age, particularly if they are breastfed (ours is).
We started with a tablespoon once a day, to two, then three tablespoons once a day, and then we added a second meal at two tablespoons, then three. (Quick aside: we saw food being recommended in increments of tablespoons, but I wasn't sure if this meant the flakes or the mixed product. The hubby and I decided "they" meant flakes) of organic brown rice cereal. We went with this brand of cereal because it was organic, and because it came in a resealable bag, which was a good call by the husband. This stuff is pretty inexpensive, even organic, so we decided just to purchase this. If you make it yourself by pulverizing rice into a powder, it still requires cooking. So between the labor and the cost, I figured purchasing was the best route.
Don't let the packaging fool you: we didn't find that adding rice to his diet affected his sleep whatsoever, so if you are thinking of starting early so your little one will sleep longer, I would still say check with your doc first.
After getting to two meals a day, we started a third: breakfast. And this time it was with a "real" food. That we made ourselves!!
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1/4 c water
Place cubes and water into a microwave (and baby!) safe container, and nuke until soft. It took us about 4 1-minute intervals. Puree until smooth (we used a stick blender or Magic bullet). Add water (or formula/breast milk) to the consistency that makes sense for your baby. I think I initially made this too thick and will add a little more liquid with his next meal.
A website for reference: WholesomeBabyFood by Momtastic (this link points to food suggestions for -6 month olds).