As far as I know, that's how they act when they're ready to taste! Doctors say no solids til after six mos., but my girl started getting curious around 4 mos, too, so I'd late her taste a little, especially the really bland, easy to digest stuff, like potatoes, carrots, yams, cereals, etc. I think you just have to listen to your intuition and go with what is natural for you and your little one; the docs really don't know everything (esp. when it comes to nursing babies, it seems!)
This is a fun time. I miss that age.
I fed mine from my plate; we did hardly any store-bought baby foods (only for emergencies). Don't give more than a tablespoon or so total (in tiny little "bites"), and then the breast at first, so that it's not too hard on her little tummy.
She might be starting to feel the "family dinner" atmosphere and want to take part, which is wonderful. My girl always wanted to nurse at dinner time. I think the smells and commotion associated with eating make them hungry, too. I'm sure you've experienced it, but you get really good at eating w/ one hand! If someone will cut your food for you, then you should all be able to sit down and eat at the same time . . .
Sounds like you have a great family gig happening!
[ send green star]
something else I forgot to mention October 24, 2005 1:27 PM
If you want to be able to eat w/out the little one latched on, you can nurse her first, before dinner time, then let her sit w/ the family and experiment with food or just sit and "talk" with everyone. That way, she won't be hungry, and the food that she eats will be for tasting and experiencing, not really for actual nutrition.
You do this the opposite when you're ready for them to start on solids for real: give the solid food first, fill them up til they've had enough, then let them nurse afterward to "top off" their dinner! I think it's good to let them have a little taste at meals so they get involved, but keep nursing as the primary source of nutrition.