Self Feeding in Young Children

self feeding in young children

Have you been spoon-feeding your toddler long enough and wondering when do babies start self-feeding? Don’t worry your little one will be sending you cues galore. Just be a bit patient and attentive. Find here a brief on all that goes on with this intriguing milestone.

Self-feeding is an essential development milestone craved by parents raising toddlers. It’s an important part of social and personal development. Along with giving an 18-months-old a sense of autonomy and independence, it helps them become more manageable. Yes, self-feeding relieves parents, but only when they are convinced that their kid has had enough to eat. Take a look at the right things that aid this development process.

Toddler Self Feeding Developmental Milestones

1. Knowing That He is Ready

When do babies start self-feeding is one of the many questions new parents always want to know the answer to. Usually, toddlers are ready to self-feed around the 8th to 12th month. Is your child reaching for the food on your plate? Are his eyes fixed on your dinner utensil? Then your child is ready to test food on his own!

2. How Does He Eat?

Messy, of course! It’s normal for your 18-month-old self-feeding baby to spill food. In fact, children remain messy eaters until three years of age. In the beginning, they use their fingers to feel the food and put it in their cute mouths, dropping most of it on the way. Here, you need to invest in baby-friendly utensils found in speciality stores, both online and offline. Also, take care that your toddler is comfortably seated during mealtimes to avoid choking.

3. What Should Your Toddler Eat?

It’s best to begin self-feeding in toddlers with small and soft foods. Well-cooked pasta, mashed vegetables, and scrambled eggs are some right foods to start with. If you want to try out thicker foods like porridge, pudding, or custards get your toddler self-feeding with a spoon. It’s good to avoid grapes and peanuts and other foods that might cause choking in kids.

4. Benefits of This Skill

Self-feeding in toddlers is an important milestone in their social and personal development process. Since they have the independence to control their feeding, they develop a better sense of hunger and fullness. This eases parents’ anxiety in trying to figure out if their babies are full or still hungry. Self-feeding is also a toddlers’ way of improving his motor skills and muscle strength, thereby helping his growth trajectory.

5. What Does it Lead to?

A few months into self-feeding, between 12 to 18months, toddlers learn to refuse certain foods as they start developing a sense of taste. Their chewing and swallowing abilities also enhance considerably. Above 2years, they can easily use napkins to wipe off the mouth and hands. Just make sure to have self-feeding utensils handy and then you can sit along with your kid and enjoy meal times with them.

Self-feeding is an important milestone for parents and children. Even though the table (and probably the house, too) gets messy, encouraging them in this first step of their autonomy is essential to help them learn and go on their own.