I am in complete agreement with what everyone has been saying. I just wanted to add some more information and resources on the topic.
The most natural method of introducing solids is called baby-led weaning or baby-led solids.
Here is some information on that.
Guidelines for implementing a baby-led approach to the introduction of solid food
Weaning food introduction schedule for babies older than six months
A Baby Led Start to Solids
Baby Led Weaning Blog and Community (A MUST)
Baby-Led Weaning Yahoo Group (Great Support)
A Natural Age of Weaning
Weston A. Price Guidlines
With this last one I would not recommend meats till at least 1 year of age if you are cooking them and a lot older if using raw meats in your diet, and grains and legumes till closer to 2 years of age. The enzyme to digest grains and legumes is not active till 28 months of age. However, it is still beneficial to start them on grains and legumes before the 28 months of age. Thus, 2 years of age is recommended. Grains are also potential allergens so you want to make sure the digestive tract is matured and their normal diet well established. If you are doing a raw diet then some of the recommendations here are not going to apply like meat and eggs. Those are not things you would want to give raw to a young child.
Raw Milk - http://www.westonaprice.org/children/rawmilk.html
Keep breastfeeding, giving raw milk formula, liver based formula, fortified commercial formula, or giving raw milk till your child is WELL estabilished on fruits and veggies. If giving formula I'd recommend alternating between the raw milk based and the liver based formulas so that your child is getting a variety of nutrients.
Please see this thread for more information on the formula options.
Some of the best foods to start with are:
Lemons (excellent digestive boost for anyone, especially just before eating a meal)
Pureed apples (basically all natural homemade applesauce )
Introduce one food at a time, wait 3 - 5 days before introducing another new food so that any potential allergies can present and be caught. Wait till your child is eating about 5 different types of foods before you start mixing foods at meals, example: feeding a bit of avocado and banana, or any other combination. Don't season at all, even with sea salt, till about 9 months or so. Then you can start seasoning with sea salt or himalayan salt.
The best way to transition from breastfeeding or formula to solids is in the first year of life always offer breastmilk or formula first, then follow with the solid foods. Be sure to give them water to wash their mouths out after eating solids, you don't want the food and sugars sitting on the tooth enamel. If breastfeeding is still dominate there is no need for lots of water. If formula feeding you do want to go ahead and start pushing a bit more water into the diet.
After the first year of life you would want to offer food first, then follow with breastfeeding or formula. Always offer water throughout the day at this point.
This method can be altered if you decide you wish to wean before 12 months of age, then simply start offering solid foods first, then follow with breastmilk. This will fill them up with something other than breastmilk making it easier to transition fully to solids and reduce the amount of breastfeeding. The other method would be to offer solid foods, then one of the formulas mentioned above, then follow with breastfeeding. Do this till they are entirely on solids and formula and not breastfeeding. I do not recommend this later method if you are wishing to breastfeed for 12 months or longer. There is not a nutritional need for it. The only reason for replacing breastfeeding with formula is to ensure that they are getting the nutrients they need still, since their solid foods diet is still very limited in variety.
The baby-led weaning/solids approach applies the exact same even if you have a late solid food starter. You don't rush foods, you still introduce them one at a time, you just have a larger variety of foods to choose from when introducing a new food.
The trick is not to force solids on your child but to continue to offer the foods once you have notices signs of interest, which usually occur around 6 to 7 months of age. When they are ready they will eat. Till then they will play with it, get familiar with food and textures, and eating utinsils if you give them age appropriate utinsils.
I really wouldn't recommend starting any type of solids prior to 6 months as research has shown, time and time again, that it can potentially lead to digestive issues later on in life, leaky gut, IBS, Crohn's disease, diabetes, food allergies and sensitivities, etc. It is best to start solids around or after 6 months of age. The reason for this is that babies are naturally born with a leaky gut that closes on its own around 6 months of age. When solid foods, cereals, even formulas (pretty much anything other than breastmilk which was made for baby) enters the digestive tract is can directly enter the blood stream leading to a host of immune system and digestive system issues.
These are just some general guidelines for anyone interested in healthy raw and natural approach to the introduction of solid foods.
I hope that this information is found helpful.
I would be more than happy to assist anyone if further assistance is felt needed. Just pm me or email me and I will work with you. I am a holistic lifestyle consultant and holistic parenting coach and this is one of the most common areas that I work with parents on.
Peace and Blessings,