When to Start Self-Feeding
By about 9 to 12 months of age, your baby will demonstrate signs that they are ready to become independent feeders. Initially, babies will “rake” food into their hands and bring it to their mouths but gradually, they develop the “pincer grasp” allowing them to pick up small objects between their thumb and forefinger. When your little one reaches this major milestone, encourage finger foods and let them explore.
Start with foods that they can gum or will easily dissolve in their mouths such as diced pasta, small pieces of well-cooked vegetables, pea-sized bites of soft meat or small, unsweetened cereal puffs. Scatter 4 or 5 pieces of food within their reach and add more as your baby eats them to prevent them from stuffing too much food in at once or a mess ending up on the floor.
Remember throughout this new experience that your patience is key. Understand that it will take time for your baby to self-feed and learn how to chew and swallow different foods. Share this special time with them by following their cues and abilities. Be guided by what your baby can do, not by expectations based on how old they are. During mealtime, it is especially important to respect their wishes and to never force feed them. Babies are good at regulating the amount of food they should have and will go through phases of wanting to eat more or less. Focus on providing healthy, nutritious food and instilling model eating habits.
The process of self-feeding is certainly a messy time that can drive moms crazy. We want to help moms develop a “don’t sweat it” attitude with our 100% certified organic cotton coated baby bib. Our water-proof, stain resistant, super easy to clean bib features a catch-all front pocket to avoid spills and dribbles to the floor. Rejoice in mealtime with your little ones!