Self Feeding Spoon
We all know how hard it is to feed our babies, but now there are new tools that can make this experience a little less stressful. A self-feeding spoon will help your child learn what foods they like and hopefully avoid some of the bad habits seen in children who do not receive enough direct positive attention from parents or caregivers at an early age.
I’m sure you’ve been wondering when teaching solids would be okay? What signs should we look out for before promoting independent feeding as opposed to just using breastfeeding exclusively until mature enough otherwise known as “toilet training”? Well my friend these questions don’t need any answers because I am going to share them with you.
How can you teach your children to eat on their own?
How do you begin now that you know your child is ready to begin self-feeding and you know which foods to begin with? Here are a few things to think about.
Provide lots of practice opportunities for your infant.
The more opportunities to practice using different utensils and their hands, the faster they will learn and master self-feeding.
Initially, encourage hand feeding.
Before introducing feeding utensils, encourage your infant to move the food toward their mouth with their own hands. Starting with a yoghurt pouch or a few bits of food on your baby’s highchair tray is perfect. Encourage them to use a pincer grip to grab, feel, and play with it. Babies may appear to be making a huge mess and eating nothing, yet this is how they learn.
Teach and encourage your youngster to use utensils as well.
It is never too early to begin teaching your child how to use cutlery! Kids need to become used to using utensils like baby spoons at meals. Eating in front of your children can also help. You might even see your child try to imitate your actions by sinking their spoon into the meal and bringing it to their lips.
Another possibility is to pre-load the spoon with food before handing it to them. This will assist the child in practising balancing the food on the spoon as it approaches their mouth. Overall, allow yourself and your child lots of practice time with both tools.
Keep a close check on your youngster throughout meals.
You need to be close by and oversee your baby while they explore self-feeding. This is for the safety of both of you, as well as a new experience that she’ll have with exploring food on her own terms in order not only to ensure comfort but also to learn about what’s going inside them! If we weren’t there every step along this journey would surely miss something important – like maybe all those yummy flavours?
Be prepared for a massive mess.
When young babies can touch and examine new foods while feeding themselves from a suction bowl, things can become a little messy. And that’s OK! Don’t be concerned, and be prepared for mayhem. Wear a baby bib, lay a towel on the floor if you’re concerned about food spills, or strip your baby down to a nappy! Also, have baby wipes and washcloths on hand. You might need to wash your baby after each meal. This is, once again, standard. A messy meal is still a triumph since it shows that your baby was trying to self-feed. They get better at managing the various foods and make less of a mess with time. This is all part of the learning experience.
Eat dinner together as a family.
One of the most effective ways to teach a young child to self-feed is to have them observe the rest of the family eat. Babies are always learning new things and picking up on copied behaviours. Babies like witnessing their parents and siblings as they use their utensils and eat their meals. They get confidence from your example and believe they can do it as well! If you feed your baby at a different time than the rest of the family, they will miss out on imitating your utensil and food motions, as well as other good mealtime behaviours.
Be kind to yourself.
Infants are very skilled at self-feeding, but it’s important to be patient and give them enough time. When you rush through the process or make quick decisions about meal times with your child they may become anxious because their hunger cue doesn’t always work out as planned (they can take too long deciding whether something is “enough”). This makes eating difficult for both children AND adults!
The best way I have found that helps my toddler eat better? is patience–setbacks don’t matter; let him explore healthy options without helping/interfering until he shows signs of being full.
This is an exciting time in your baby’s life. Remember that self-feeding is a skill that takes time to learn. If your baby cannot self-feed enough foods to keep them full during mealtime, which is common at first, alternate offering purees and finger foods to keep them satisfied. My Luxeve is a great place to shop for the greatest self-feeding spoon!
Have you seen our other shopping platforms? Check out Etsy, MyDeal, Catch, Ebay, Amazon and Kogan. How about some of our informative videos, swaddles, night lights, plates, and teethers? Shop online today!