Spoon-feeding is begun at 4 to 6 months of age. By a year of age, most children want to try to feed themselves with a spoon. By fifteen months of age, most children can use a spoon independently and the parent is no longer needed in the feeding process. Here's how to start:
- First: Be sure to place food on the middle of the tongue. If you place it in front, your child will probably push it at you. Some infants get off to a better start if you place the spoon between their lips and let them suck off the food.
- Second: Some children constantly bat at the spoon or try to get a grip on it during feedings. These children need to be distracted with finger foods (such as Cheerios) or by having a spoon of their own to play with.
- Third: If your child previously liked spoon-feeding, and now clamps his mouth shut when the spoon approaches, he's probably not hungry or someone has tried to force him to eat more than he wants. Only spoon-feed your child when he is hungry. If he turns his head away more than once, mealtime should be over. By the way, kids are kind of messy. You'll need a big bib, a big dog, or a bath.
If you have other questions about spoon-feeding, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages