Teach Your Baby to Spoon-feedingPsychologists affirm that it is a mother, who determines an age when her child begins to eat with a spoon independently, as all matters of upbringing fall on her shoulders. Some babies could eat with a spoon even before 1 year old, whereas a baby of a too anxious mother could not eat by himself even at 2 years old. The result depends on the fact when parents allow their child to try eating at the table. And the earlier this happens, the better result will be for child.

Parental task is to support their baby’s pleasure while eating. A majority of children show a wish to eat with a spoon at 9-11 months, and, if parents encourage such independence of children, then, by 1,5 years the most persistent ones will be able to “wield a spoon” perfectly without any help.

Training for independent spoon-feeding begins at 6 months already, when a child tries to eat by himself, holding a cookie or cracker in his hand. Then at 8 months, when a baby can already sit confidently, you can seat him at the table in a children’s seat and give him a spoon. If you do not do this in time, then sometimes you can see a baby snatching a spoon from a mother’s hand by himself, as he feels a necessity to learn eating by himself. A mother can miss this opportunity in time or treat it as whims during a meal. However, if such thing happens during next spoon-feeding, it is better to give this spoon to a baby, and take another one for yourself. The main is to keep a baby’s pleasure while the process of eating.

Some useful advices

Before each spoon-feeding fulfill a ritual of hands washing. Firstly, like any other adult member of a family, a baby also needs to wash his hands before having a meal. Secondly, this will dispose a baby to the process of eating.

It is better to buy unbreakable crockery with bright colored pictures for your baby. Put your baby’s food in a special plate. On no account put all food at once on the table, as you may distract your baby’s attention and he will begin requiring only what he wants.

Be ready that your baby will smear food firstly, after you give him a spoon, and then he will begin flapping the table and plate with a spoon. So, put a small apron on your baby for sure, and cover the floor with a bog oil-cloth.

If a baby throws a spoon on the floor, trying to eat with his hands – do not rail at him. Probably, he wants to eat by himself, but a “mate-spoon” seems to be a “wrecker” for him – it fails to bring food to the mouth, or throws food down the floor, or smears the food on the walls… Of course, in such case, it is easier to have a meal without a spoon. And in several days, your baby will try “taming” his disobedient spoon, looking at his father.

A child quickly discovers that it is not enough yet just to pick up a spoon. He will need several weeks more to learn scooping food and other several weeks to bring food to his mouth, not overturning a spoon. It is clear that a baby gets tired of this difficult work, so he begins playing with food. In such case you should put away everything from table, leaving just several bits of meat on a plate, so that he will have something to experiment with.

Even if a child tries hard to eat with a spoon, he will dirty himself and everything around all the same. If you nip all such impulses in the bud, then he will not be able to learn anything for a long. So it is better to provide yourself with unbreakable crockery, patience and sense of humor – and you will be glad seeing your baby’s new skills and abilities every day. Moreover, his intellectual development will be much more successful, if you do not constrain it with endless prohibitions.

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