Jacob reached a major milestone this weekend: he started eating solid food. Because this was to be a big step, we decided to do some research first.
We talked to the pediatrician, who said we could start thinking about it (this was at three-month visit). She recommended waiting until he hit the four-month mark.
Next we called our expert parental reference, my friend who has triplets. If anyone would have good advice about this, it would be she. She advised us, among other things, not to wait until Jake was too hungry, as he'd get frustrated easily.
So what did we, first-time, know-nothing-parents do? We broke both rules. When Jacob was three months and three weeks old, we mixed some cereal, put a "feed me, I'm hungry!" wailing Jake into his new booster chair, and videotaped a fiasco of a first solid meal. Jacob cried all the way through it, and got so worked up he was perspiring (yes, we discovered, babies do perspire) by the time we gave up and offered him milk.
What did we learn from this little experience? First, there's always tomorrow. We tried it again the next day and since then, have had much more success. Second, babies' short-term memory is terrible, so chances are, unless this event is traumatic every time, baby will forget the saga and be open to giving it another go. And third and most important, when the mom of triplets gives you advice, HEED IT. Chances are pretty good that she knows what she's talking about.
Happily, Jacob is taking to cereal quite well. We're confident that the scream fest was a one-time occurrence, and when he's ready to dine out, he won't have to be confined to a table for one.