The difference between the first time around and the second:
With Kate at 6+ months I brought up the highchair and started preparing little bits of food for her. (Though she didn’t really start eating regular meals until about 8 months.)
Ember is now 7 months old, I have yet to bring up the highchair at all but once in a while I’ll put her in Kate’s booster seat or on my lap to try bites of whatever I’m eating, be it banana, squash or potato salad.
Poor Ember doesn’t seem to understand the whole eating thing. She’s just recently started watching me inquisitively when I’m eating. The first few times I offered tastes of food (baby food that time) caused such a reaction – and it was NOT a good one. I generally don’t put food in their mouths but Ember was just clueless so I touched the spoon to her lips a little bit. She threw herself backwards and gagged in an exceedingly comical manner. I admit it: I laughed hard. She did not seem at all interested in trying any more food at that point until while on vacation Den gave her a tiny little taste of ice cream. I shot him a disapproving mom look but it seemed to have changed Ember’s mind about at least trying things in her mouth. Prior to that she really didn’t put anything in her mouth but her hands – no toys, no teethers, nothing. I think she has a strong gag reflex; like I mentioned previously she even gags at pacifiers and bottle nipples. Now I’ve noticed her mouthing some toys (and other things like wrapping paper, whoops). Now when I hold out my fork or spoon she actually opens her mouth and leans forward to eat it…. and then of course shudders, makes a horrible face, and spits it all out. At no point has anything actually been swallowed. She’s making progress, though! And she’s developing very good control with pushing things out of her mouth, heh.
If this had been Kate I may have worried about it but with Ember I just offer a taste, wipe her chin and shrug. She’ll figure it out eventually. Right now I kind of appreciate not having to deal with feeding her.