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Feeding Baby Solids

As Baby L. approaches 6 months of age, I'm starting to research "solid"-food feeding. And I'm totally overwhelmed and intimidated. And probably really over-thinking the whole issue. 

I'm a very methodical, step-by-step person. Give me explicitly-spelled-out instructions (which is why I love baking more than cooking). Tell me, at six months, you need to do A, B, and C. Then at seven months, do X, Y, then Z. 

I've chosen to follow the American Academy of Pediatric's breastfeeding panel's recommendation to breastfeed Baby L. for six months, then introduce purees (The AAP's nutrition panel recommends starting purees between 4 and 6 months of age). 

I have three books on feeding solids (focusing on making your own baby food at home) and all give guidelines and feeding schedules based off of starting purees at 4 months. I also see recommendations to start with a teaspoon or so of the "first food" (the books usually recommend cereal but one mentions avocado, banana or sweet potato) and gradually working up to 4 tablespoons as a "serving." How long is "gradually"? Two weeks? A month? Two months? I'm also supposed to give him water. How much? When? In a bottle? 

When can I offer chunkier textures? 

When can I offer flavor combos? 

How many "meals" a day should he be eating a 6 months? At 7 months? At 8 months? etc. 

Do I send purees with him to daycare? How much? 

And I probably have a million more questions that I haven't even thought of yet. 

So, if you are a parent and have gone through this before, please leave any and all nuggets of advice you have for me. Also, I understand that there is another method of baby feeding (baby-led weaning) but we've opted not to go that route. 

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