Building baby self feeding and eating skills

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  • Capable of sitting independently.
  • Building baby motor skills, he picks up and holds small objects in his hands.
  • Showing excitement when he sees food, and often reaching for the spoon are important baby motor skills.
  • Spoon-feeding provides experience coordinating lips, tongue and cheeks for eating.
  • Advancing baby motor skills and hand-eye coordination build his independence.
  • More variety in the diet exposes baby to new flavors and textures.

Your baby's motor skills

At about six months, your baby is sitting in a high chair with pretty good control over his head and body. He’s developing his grasp, and able to pick up and hold small objects in his hand. As he’s being fed, your baby will show excitement when he sees food and will often try grabbing for the spoon. Building his baby motos skills gives him a greater sense of independence.

Learning how to eat with his lips

His eating skills are also making big strides. Spoon-feeding allows him to practice coordinating his lips, tongue and cheeks so he can eat. Moving his lips may sound simple, but it’s an important self feeding skill your baby needs to eat cereal and baby food. Figuring out how to close his lips around the spoon then using them to clear food off the utensil is a big job. With his lips and jaw working hard, drinking from a cup held by Mom is also a new experience for him. As he's developing these important self feeding skills and learning baby motor skills, you’ll also see him starting to move his jaw up and down. This is called “mashing,” and it’s his first step toward learning how to chew.



Variety is important
While your baby’s main source of nutrition is still breastmilk or infant formula at this stage, your Sitter may be ready for combinations of grain, fruit, vegetable, and meat baby foods. Offering variety is important when he's building his baby motor skills because it exposes him to different flavors that will hopefully make him more accepting of new foods in the future. The groundwork for healthy eating habits is being laid down now as he learns about new foods and flavors.

Did you know?

Mashing is a term used to describe your baby’s beginning up and down jaw movement.

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