I believe many mothers are in the following situation when it comes to their babies' complementary food.
On the one hand, they envy other babies who can do it by themselves and finish a bowl of complementary food neatly, cleanly and quickly. At the same time, they complain about their own babies, how they can not use the spoon properly, and eat the food everywhere, and also pat off the baby's hand is ready to reach for the spoon ...... However, the baby can use the utensils to eat their own complementary food is not a skill that can be learned perfectly immediately. Whose baby who can eat independently has not experienced being covered in complementary food!
So, in the matter of eating, eating spoon, should be returned to the baby, so that the baby can master the skills of independent eating more quickly.
When should I give the spoon to my baby?
For babies within 3 months of age, the main role of the spoon is only to feed water and medicine, due to the limited grasping ability, you can not expect the baby to take it by themselves, small, will not hurt the baby's small mouth is good. This stage is recommended to use silicone soft-headed spoon.
4-6 months old babies gradually start to add supplementary food, the role of small spoons is to feed rice flour, rice paste, fruit puree, vegetable puree and so on. At this time, babies start to be curious about the world and are eager to try foods other than breast milk. With the development of hand-eye coordination and fine motor, they also start to know how to explore the world with their little hands. Therefore, from the first mouthful of complementary food, we can try to give the spoon to the baby, even if the baby does not know how to use it yet. In order for the baby to be able to use the spoon in the future, the baby should have some sense of the spoon at this time, and it is recommended to choose a baby spoon that is easy to grasp, has a soft texture, can be sterilized at high temperature, and has a rounded edge without burrs or sharpness. Feeding complementary foods while using actions and words to guide the baby how to use the "toy" in the baby's hand is the first step to independent feeding.
Babies aged 6-10 months are already teething and will have some gnawing behavior, so at this stage, choosing a spoon for babies needs to be safe and bite resistant, in addition to the texture. In addition, parents should choose a cute shape that can attract the baby to grasp, and the right size for the baby to use. At the same time, it is best to choose a spoon with a handle that is easy to grip, and a spoon with a curved handle is better for babies to grip.
From 10-15 months old, your baby's hand movements will become more flexible and baby will try to imitate adults by using a spoon to put food in his/her mouth. At this time, you can change the spoon and choose a fork with a stainless steel head.
How to let your baby touch the spoon?
In the process of learning to eat, the mother's guidance plays a very important role and can also lay a solid foundation for the baby to develop good eating habits.
At this stage, your baby may not be able to accurately get all the complementary food from the spoon into his mouth, but this is precisely the process of learning and practicing.
If a mother is worried that her baby will not have enough to eat, she may want to prepare an extra spoon and have her baby eat on her own while her mother feeds her at the same time. This will not only ensure that the baby eats, but can also play a role in demonstrating guidance.
Perhaps mothers will find that every time they eat complementary food, their babies will always reach out to grab the food, but often this "messy" behavior will be stopped by the mother, or even reproach. However, mothers know that you are stopping your baby's little hands from exploring and learning.
The food can be pinched to stimulate the baby's various sensory functions, to recognize food in addition to the mouth to identify the taste, there are eyes and hands to feel the shape, color and texture of food. Through the process of constantly squeezing food into the mouth with your hands, you will slowly practice hand-eye coordination and eventually achieve the goal of getting all the food into your mouth accurately every time.
Often the more common reason mothers discourage their babies from eating complementary foods on their own is the problem of neatness and cleaning up afterwards. Moms can do their best to make cleaning up afterwards less difficult by dressing baby in easy-to-clean clothes, bringing along a small bib for complementary feeding, and even putting a mat or disposable tablecloth on the floor. This makes it easier for the mother to stay relaxed and happy with her baby.
Let’s listen to what a mother has to say:
"My baby was able to eat complementary foods with a spoon on her own by the time she was about a year old, and I no longer had to be around to feed her, and she didn't want me to feed her anymore. I have always respected my baby's independent exploration behavior, from the first time she grabbed my spoon at six months, I have constantly encouraged her to eat complementary food with a spoon on her own, and I have never stopped her from using her hands to pound food in various ways, although my family members have always accused me of getting dirty and developing bad habits by feeding my child this way. But I know, this is the baby is learning, as long as it is for her development, a little dirty and messy, what does it matter? This can all be solved, but impede her learning to eat but will cause all kinds of adverse effects, do not love to eat a lot of babies also because of too much intervention of guardians."
So, it needs to be stressed that this process, mothers may face dirty and messy, but this is all the baby in the process of trying to grow up, the mother only need to do to maintain a relaxed and happy mood, provide diverse and nutritious food choices for the baby, as for how much and what to eat, just leave it to the baby's own decision, and respect the baby's choice at the same time always pay attention to the baby's hunger and satiety signals can be.
Let's see what another mother who has successfully helped her baby use a spoon has to say.
"First of all, the baby began to add complementary foods at the beginning, it is necessary to start sitting inside the dining chair, to develop the habit of eating to sit properly there, one is in the dining chair area, so better to clean, the second is to avoid the embarrassment of chasing after feeding later. Secondly, to prepare a good baby easy to clean bib, or summer ready to eat a meal on the bath to change a clothes ready, anyway, last year my baby a few months is to eat a complementary food once a bath, a change of clothes but at the same time in these processes, but also eat a lot of rice and vegetables, at least when I eat, he can also be good to sit there and eat just fine. Especially when going out to eat even if there is no dining chair, sitting on the adult's chair, adults to help him carry the bowl can also eat very well by themselves."
Finally, I hope that your baby can also successfully use the spoon and eat well on their own.