Self-feeding for children aged 6 months to 4+ years

Self-feeding for children aged 6 months to 4+ years

31 May, 2020

Self-feeding: part 2

Last week we discussed the first 4 months of your baby’s feeding development. This period focuses on reflex behaviour and developing oral motor control so that by 6 months babies can tolerate a mixed diet of fluids and solids.
From 6 months to 4 years old, babies and children develop the skills to successfully eat independently. At first this will be with your help, then by your baby using their fingers, and then moving to successfully manage a spoon and fork by 4 years. To successfully become an independent self-feeder, the development of gross and fine motor skills must happen as well as knowledge of the senses and being comfortable with different foods.
 
Deb’s key takeaways:
6-9 months
feeding1
9-12 months
feeding2
12-18 months
feeding3
18-24 months
feeding4
2-3 years
feeding5
Why self-feeding is an important milestone
Top tips for beginning to finger feed
Tips for using a spoon
Tips for using a cup
How to handle your baby’s mess and food play
Tips for play to help children with self-feeding
 
After the first few months of your baby’s life, their feeding changes from being fed to self-feeding. They move from being totally dependent to being independent feeders at meal time. It’s great to watch them enjoying their freedom and interacting socially with your family and their friends!
If you have any concerns about your child’s self-feeding, contact your GP, paediatrician, or therapist.
Keep safe, happy, and well.
Deb
By Kristy Allison
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