How to help your baby feed him/herself
After introducing solids in their food, now it’s time for your babies to start feed themselves.
Month after month babies gets stronger and stronger and are learning to coordinate their movements. They need time indeed to master the gestures that are necessary to feed themselves – seems so natural to us but are actually complex and require great eye-hand coordination. Each kid evolves at his own pace, but on average, a baby can hold their spoon around 10 months, drink in a baby cup around 1 year, and feed themselves around 18 – 24 months of age.
Babies can also let you know that they want to feed themselves earlier than that! If they try to grab the spoon when you feed them, if they take the food with their fingers, if they don’t want to eat or refuse you bringing the spoon into their mouths: it might be a sign that they want to feed themselves. So it’s time to trust them, accompany them and … protect the surroundings!
Here are just a few ideas to help babies gain some autonomy during meal time:
- Take two spoons: one for them and one for you. Between two baby attempts to bring the food up their mouth, feed them with your spoon! You will save time without frustrating your baby.
- Put the food in a bowl with a handle that your baby can grab
- Give them specially designed baby cutlery, easy to grab for small hands
- Comfortably place baby at an appropriate height, either in a high chair or on a baby booster so that they can eat with the rest of the family
- Relax and be patient: there will be food a bit everywhere around, water will be spilled, your 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 their clothes with a waterproof smock that is easy to wash
- Encourage and congratulate your baby !