Self Feeding:
When to get started and why it's important

When should we start to encourage self feeding?

When you start to encourage your baby to self feed varies if you chose to start solids the traditional pureed route, or went with baby led weaning. However, most infants are ready for finger foods by 8 months old either way. At this point, they’re able to start feeding themselves with a spoon, too. This is messy – but they need the practice! They’ll get the hang of it around a year and a half. So regardless if you chose BLW or puree, this blog is for you!

How can you support your child in developing these new skills? 

Tip 1: It’s OK to play and explore

Let them play with their food and utensils. Infants use all of their senses to learn, so while it may look like a big messy playtime to us, they’re figuring everything out in their own way!

Tip 2: Don’t take over

Be present and encouraging, but allow your child to advance as their ready. 

Tip 3: Your kid leads the way

Allow your child to choose how much and how fast to eat. This might mean mealtimes for your family will need some restructuring to allow your baby time to explore and experiment with self-feeding. 

This also means, you must respect your kid’s food choices and hesitation with new foods. This is unfamiliar territory – maybe they love puree peas, but seeing peas on the plate might make them stop and proceed with caution. Don’t push! 

Tip 4: Romaine calm & remember your role

All kids will learn at their own pace. Don’t worry if your child isn’t quickly and tidily clearing their plate at each meal. 

As a parent, your role in this stage of development for your child is to provide a variety of healthy foods for them to eat, to be present for safety and encouragement, to role model a positive relationship with food and eating, and to give your child space to learn and grow.

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