How to help baby feed himself
After introducing solids in his alimentation, now it’s time for baby to start feed himself.
Month after month baby gets stronger and stronger and learns to coordinate his movements. He needs time indeed to master the gestures that are necessary to feed himself –they seem so natural to us but are actually complex and require great eye-hand coordination. Each kid evolves at his own rhythm but on average, a baby can hold his spoon around 10 months, drink in a baby cup around 1 year and feed himself around 18 – 24 months.
Baby can also let you know that he wants to feed himself earlier than that! If he tries to grab the spoon when you feed him, if he takes the food with his fingers, if he doesn’t want to eat or refuse that you bring the spoon into his mouth: it might be a sign that he wants to feed himself. So it’s time
to trust him, accompany him and … protect the surroundings!
Here are just a few ideas to help baby gain some autonomy during meal time:
- Take two spoons: one for him and one for you. Between two baby attempts to bring the food to his mouth, feed him with your spoon. You will save time without frustrating him.
- Put the food in a bowl with a handle that baby can grab
- Give him specially designed baby cutlery, easy to grab for small hands
- Comfortably install baby at an appropriate height, either in a high chair or on a baby booster so that he can eat with the rest of the family
- Relax and be patient: there will be food a bit everywhere around baby, water will be spilled, baby will want to eat with his fingers, the meal will last for a long time… but this is all part of the game! Just protect baby’s clothes with a waterproof smock that is easy to wash
- Encourage and congratulate baby!