When should a child use utensils to feed themselves?
Leigha Rinaldis asked, updated on August 4th, 2022; Topic:
when should i give my child a fork
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Most experts recommend introducing utensils between 10 and 12 months, as your almost-toddler starts to show signs that she's interested. A spoon should be first on your tot's tray, since it's easier to use. She'll have more success with a fork as her fine motor skills get a little sharper, starting around 15 months.
And, when should babies begin to self feed finger foods?
At around 12 months, most babies should be feeding themselves finger foods. It is around this stage that you can start to introduce a spoon. Now that your baby has gotten comfortable with finger feeding, you can take the next step on the self-feeding journey by introducing their first utensil, a spoon.
So, how do I teach my baby to feed himself with a spoon?
At the very least, what age should a child drink from an open cup?
We recommend that you start helping your child drink from an open cup around age 6 months old, especially if they're showing signs that they're ready to eat solid food.
When should I stop spoon feeding my baby?
When your baby can bring his or her hands and objects to the mouth (typically around 9 to 12 months), you can slowly decrease mashed/baby foods and offer more finger foods. A child will typically self-feed from 9 to 12 months, and will not use a fork or spoon until after 12 months of age.
Initially present the fork and spoon during feeding time and allow your toddler to choose. Also offer food that would be easier to eat with a fork. After some exposure to eating with a fork and some practicing you can start to offer the appropriate utensil for the food that you decide to serve to your child.
When will your toddler eat with a spoon? We look for toddlers to be feeding themselves with a spoon, completely independently by the age of 2. However, most kids are capable of learning much younger than that if they are given the opportunity. By one year of age, they can be proficiently and messily feeding themselves.
To encourage your baby to feed himself, try to eat as a family – or at least sit with him and have a light snack while he has a meal. This will give him a chance to see other people using cutlery and feeding themselves, and may inspire him to have a go and be just like Mummy/Daddy/his big brother.
Using an open cup or a free-flow cup without a valve will help your baby learn to sip and is better for your baby's teeth. It might be messy at first but be patient, your baby will gradually learn how to drink from an open cup. Once your baby is 1 year old, feeding from a bottle should be discouraged.
The First Years Take and Toss Spill-Proof Sippy Cups For a super affordable, on-the-go option, the First Years Take and Toss sippy cups fit the bill. These colorful, BPA-free plastic cups are suitable for kids 9 months old or over, and they feature a value-free design with spill-proof lids.
Most children become good at using spoons and forks to self-feed between 15 to 18 months, but that doesn't mean you need to wait until then to start exposing them to utensils. Just as your baby needed a lot of practice eating with their hands, they will also need many opportunities to attempt eating with utensils.
Some parents choose to introduce purées before letting their little one graduate to finger foods around 7 or 8 months, while other families opt for baby-led weaning (BLW) — a practice in which babies start feeding themselves soft, gummable foods when they first start sampling solids around the 6-month mark.
Your pediatrician can tell you for sure, but kids age 9 months and older typically are ready for foods like original Cheerios when: They have mastered the art of chewing. They can use the “pincer grasp” and can pick up small objects. They can sit up without support.
A combined approach that includes both finger foods for self-feeding and the spoon-feeding of purees is fine when babies are fed responsively, and there is no evidence that a combined approach is detrimental. A misconception about BLW is that purees should be avoided.
Babies' food attitudes are unlikely to be anything specifically to do with spoons, but rather positive feeding interactions. Giving purees within a mixed diet is unlikely to have a negative impact; what is important is variation, chance to explore and, most importantly, a laid-back parenting approach.
Remember, if they're uninterested or distracted, don't slip in the spoon while they're not looking. Guide the spoon toward the back corners of her mouth, not their top lip or hard palate. Pull the spoon straight out instead of scraping it against their lip. This lets your baby remove the food from the spoon themselves!
Dip baby's spoon in a smooth puree of your choosing. Introduce 1 food at a time for 3 days and monitor for reactions before introducing another food. One sign of readiness for Phase 2 is when your baby shows interest and pleasure in tasting and opens her mouth when the spoon is near.
One fun way you can help your child with the utensil to mouth concept early on is to playfully touch around your child's face and mouth (like cheeks or nose) with a spoonful of food. Often, your kid will turn toward the spoon and reach up to help grab it and then, they will try to bring the spoon into their mouth.
At 1 year, solid foods – including healthy snacks – are now your child's main source of energy and nutrition. He can take between three quarters to one cup of food three to four times a day, plus one to two snacks between meals. Continue breastfeeding as much as your child wants, until he is at least 2 years old.
In his book, Ferber suggests these intervals: First night: Leave for three minutes the first time, five minutes the second time, and 10 minutes for the third and all subsequent waiting periods. Second night: Leave for five minutes, then 10 minutes, then 12 minutes. Make the intervals longer on each subsequent night.
You can't spoil a baby. Contrary to popular myth, it's impossible for parents to hold or respond to a baby too much, child development experts say. Infants need constant attention to give them the foundation to grow emotionally, physically and intellectually.