When is your baby ready to use a spoon?
Introduction of a spoon and cup drinking are big steps for a baby. Giving your baby his or her first taste of semi-solid baby food is a major milestone. Here’s what you need to know before your baby takes that first bite.
When to Introduce a Spoon
Introduction of the spoon is recommended as the 2nd half of the first year (approximately 6 months of age). Introducing a spoon is a gradual process. Babies and infants may still be taking some bottle feedings/ breast feedings, but we should supplement these feedings with stage 1 puree baby food using a spoon.
Signs That Your Baby is Ready to Begin Spoon Feeding
Parents and caregivers should observe the child and look for developmental and social signs that the infant is ready to begin spoon feedings.
- Child can sit up with little to no support
- Child can hold head up without being wobbly
- Child can open their mouth for a spoon & accept food off of it, rather than pushing it away with their tongue
- The biggest sign your baby is ready for solids presented on a spoon is that they are showing interest in what other family members are eating.
At approximately 6 months of age, stage 1 foods can be introduced. Some key things to keep in mind are:
- Make sure the food consistency is very thin. The food needs to be smooth with zero chunks and include only ONE ingredient.
- Start with single ingredient foods. Single ingredient foods are best in order to introduce your baby to one new food at a time.
- There’s a wide selection of store bought foods available or foods can be made at home.
- Some good examples of foods to start with are bananas, sweet potatoes, and carrots. \
- Avoid textures that have too much liquid, like soups.
- Avoid slippery foods, like sliced peaches.
- Choose a spoon with a flat bowl.
If your child is between 9 to 14 months of age and is demonstrating difficulty accepting solids from a spoon, it is important to seek a feeding evaluation by a certified Speech-Language Pathologist. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the critical period for acceptance of solids is reported to be between 6-9 months of age. If an infant is demonstrating difficulty past 9 months of age, it does not mean they won’t make progress; however, it is an indicator achievement of solid feedings will take longer and be in smaller steps.
If you have questions or concerns regarding your child’s feeding skills, call us at 318-396-1969 and speak to one of our Speech-Language Pathologists.
Copyright © 2020 Melanie Massey Physical Therapy