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Normal Self Feeding for Infants And Young Children

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A General Guide to Normal Self-Feeding


  1. Babies of a few weeks often rest a hand on their bottle or the breast while being fed, and hold a bottle with both hands at about five to six months.  Gradually the hands are brought in front of the infant’s face and he begins to look at them.At about two weeks and sometimes even earlier, babies start to put the fingers of one hand in their mouths.  This is followed by both hands and a sucking sound and vigorous movement.
  2. At 6 months, when babies can reach out and grasp, they will suck on a toy, but quickly drop it.
  3. At about 9 months, babies take a finger or a pacifier to their mouth in a deliberate way as if to eat, and will drop it only when they have had enough or attention is distracted.
  4. Some babies, at about 8 or 9 months, will guide their mother’s hand when she is feeding them with a spoon, for now they understand that the spoon and the food go together.  Some babies never bother to help, or do so only if food is urgently desired.  Others at this stage will guide a cup to their mouth.
  5. Between 9 and 12 months, a child puts their hands into their food, squeezing it.  At this time also, children will often snatch at the spoon when being fed, but will only use it to bang on the table, or plunge it into the food.
  6. At about 15 months, toddlers have the ability to grasp the spoon with a whole hand grasp and feed himself for short periods, but in a clumsy way.  Finding difficulty in getting the food on to the spoon, toddlers use their other hand to push the food on, dropping food and turning the spoon over to get the food off.
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