Something New Eating from a Spoon

Learning to eat the first solid food—usually iron-fortified cereal—from a spoon is a big transition in infant feeding. It's a step toward independence. And it encourages chewing and swallowing skills.

Spoon feeding has challenges. It's messier. At first, more food may end up on the bib and face than in the mouth. Try this to make the transition pleasant:

  • Relax. This is a new eating adventure for both of you! Pick a time when your baby is relaxed and not ravenously hungry. Smile, and talk as you feed your baby. Your soothing voice will make new food experiences more pleasant—and talking helps with language development, too.
  • Of course, wash your hands first. And keep baby food safe and clean.
  • Use a small spoon with a long handle—and just a little bit of food on the tip of the spoon.
  • Start with a teaspoon or two of food. Then work up to one to two tablespoons, two to three times a day.
  • Let your baby set the pace for feeding. Don't try to go faster or slower.
  • Seat your baby straight or propped upright, facing forward. This makes swallowing easier and helps prevent choking.
  • Introduce new foods at the start of the meal. Once satisfied, your baby may be less willing to try a new taste. If he or she refuses a new food, that's okay; try it again in a few days or weeks.
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