Your Sitter is probably ready to try a greater variety and combination of foods. His motor skills are improving as he learns to mash food and use his tongue more efficiently for swallowing. He’s probably progressing in other areas, too, which help him become a more experienced eater.
Here’s what he may be doing now:
- Sits independently.
- Rakes food toward himself, then moving it to his mouth.
- Uses both hands to independently hold a bottle.
- Drinks from a cup with your help.
- Uses his upper lip to remove food from the spoon.
- Moves food from the front to the back of his mouth.
Bringing in variety
Your baby may be ready to try new flavors and ingredient combinations that can help him develop healthy eating habits. The Sitter Milestone is an important time to introduce pureed meats, if you haven’t already, especially for breastfed babies.
Meats contain offer readily available sources of Iron and Zinc that your baby needs beginning around the middle of the first year. Infant cereals also have Iron and Zinc and should be considered an important part of his diet.
Baby’s becoming more responsive
Your child is becoming more responsive to sights, sounds and the feel of things in his world. While he’s working to build up his eating skills, give him the time and opportunity to practice.
- Sit him in a high chair for feedings when he can sit well independently (usually around 6 months). Be sure to use the safety strap and never leave him unattended.
- Let him play with the spoon (even if he doesn’t eat with it yet) to encourage fine motor skill development. Choose spoons with large, easy-to-grip handles that are soft or coated.
- Touching, smelling and playing with new foods are normal behaviors for this stage and part of his learning process.
- Offer a food more than once to expose him to the new flavor and texture. Before he accepts a new food, he may spit it out several times. But remember, it may take up to ten tries before he decides he likes it.
- Try to have family meals with your baby. Research has shown that frequent family meals are good for his development.
How was the information in this article?