When my older daughter, Olivia, got the all-clear to start solids, we treated it like a big event (because, let's face it, it doesn't take much to thrill new parents). At 4 months old, she was still too wobbly for a high chair, so I held her on my lap, snapped on her crisp new bib, and ceremoniously presented a spoonful of rice cereal while my husband hovered nearby with the camera. Olivia clearly didn't share our excitement over this significant moment. Instead of swallowing, she let the cereal dribble out of her mouth and into that netherworld of infant neck folds.
Giving your baby "real" food is a parenting rite of passage. When to start, what to serve, and how often -- it seems so complicated after months of no-brainer breast milk or formula. But it doesn't have to be.
Christina Frank, a mom of two, writes on health and psychology for many magazines.