when to stop spoon feeding baby

when to stop spoon feeding baby

You’ve been looking forward to solid foods so you can finally feed your sweet baby little spoonful’s of something delicious, and recommendations vary when and how to start feeding your baby real food, and when to stop. Because children are so different and so are their needs, there are no real guidelines for how meals should go with young children. But, there are general routines you can follow to help your child learn to eat healthy. This is when you should stop spoon-feeding your child.

“Once a baby can support their head correctly and sit comfortably, at around 8 to 12 months, a baby should start using their thumb or index finger to feed,” Dr. Katia Friedman tells you.

By this time, your child should have developed hand-eye coordination and related skills (such as grasping utensils) to be able to eat properly. Obviously, development varies from child to child, but stopping spoon-feeding and allowing baby to try it on her own will help improve her skills. Practice makes a master. If your baby is reaching for his vegetables or if he focuses his eyes on his food, that’s a good sign that he’s ready to feed himself, Friedman notes.

when to stop spoon feeding baby

Spoon feeding

Spoon feeding is important during a baby’s development when they are not physically developed enough to eat solid foods, adds pediatric dentist Dr. Hyewon Lee, DMD, MPH. “But, parents should avoid saliva-sharing behaviors, such as sharing spoons and other utensils, because cavity-causing bacteria are passed from parent to child when this happens.”

Although studies have shown that sharing saliva with babies can reduce the chance of allergies later in life, the chance of cavities also increases. Although every baby is different, Lee notes, 10- to 12-month-old babies should eat mostly table food and handle their own spoons.

when to stop spoon feeding baby

Self-feeding skills

Self-feeding skills, like other natural developmental skills, need to be practiced. When your baby starts to self-feed, complete inaccuracy (and total mess) is to be expected. As he becomes more experienced using his hands and fingers, manipulating utensils, and drinking from a sippy cup, he will become more confident and efficient.

Having your baby sit with the family during mealtimes gives them great guidance on how adults eat, too. By watching you, they learn the process of how utensils are used and how to bring food to their mouths for chewing. Many families love to share part of the family meal with their babies to give them the opportunity to explore flavors and textures, and discover new sensations related to food.

A good way to start is to prepare some food for them on a spoon and help them bring it to their mouths while holding it. Practicing chopping larger fruits or vegetables with a fork is also a great learning activity. Harnessing her focus and determination at this age is a great idea, as you’re working with her will rather than against it.

when to stop spoon feeding baby

Let ‘s see some rules that will help us to teach him to hold the spoon correctly :

For children, learning to use cutlery and eat alone is an achievement that requires daily experimentation and the acquisition of specific motor skills. The tool that children naturally use for knowledge of the outside world is the mouth. Through the simple gesture of putting objects in their mouths and, consequently, also food, they learn and lay the foundations for developing their taste. Now let’s see how to teach the baby to use the spoon.

when to stop spoon feeding baby

Teaching children to eat independently

Teaching children to eat independently also increases their self- esteem, their capacity for independence and the attitude to relate to others at the table. One of the first utensils that they should learn to use is the spoon, since with it they will not hurt themselves and it will be easier for them to take, for example, their puree or a small handful of vegetables.

when to stop spoon feeding baby

How to teach the baby to use the spoon

With weaning , the child begins to experiment with new textures that he must also touch and then put in his mouth, so it will be completely normal to see how the baby tries to reach into his plate to take what we offer him.

In fact, between 6 and 10 months , it is completely normal for the baby to take food with its hands , throw it away, pass it over its face and only reach a small part of its mouth. However, he will also have noticed the spoon we use to feed him and will want to touch it with his own hands, perhaps even to throw it away.

when to stop spoon feeding baby

Between 10 and 15 months

Between 10 and 15 months, the baby will already be able to hold a spoon and it is then that he can begin to know how to pick up food, take it from the plate to his mouth and deposit it inside his mouth. She won’t be good at it yet but if she asks for the spoon we must let her try . Let’s not rush and see how it goes.

It will not be until 2 years of age , when the baby is already more than ready to eat only a good part of the food and hold not only the spoon but also the glass with one hand. Previously we will have already done some actions so that he learns to hold the spoon and eat alone, but it is during the 18 months when he will best learn the technique. 

Leave a Comment