~ 6 to 12 months
now your baby is eating solid food and is learning what to do with
food and how to actually swallow it. Pureed foods will be followed
by chunkier ones and small pieces of finger food. Eventually your
baby will be sharing most items in your family's diet. Your pediatrician
will supervise the introduction of each type and amount of food depending
on your baby's growth and nutritional needs.
Your baby will begin to feed himself. Have two spoons ready at mealtime--one
for your baby to enjoy eating with and one for you to actually get
the food to his mouth. A large supply of sponges and a sense of humor
also come in handy!
As soon your pediatrician gives you the go ahead, feel free to introduce
finger foods--small pieces of food that he can pick up and get into
his mouth on his own. This gives him a wonderful experience developing
his coordination and a great triumph of independence and success.
baby has his own appetite and stomach. It's impossible to know how
hungry another person is. Respect his decision to stop eating, when
he is ready. If you have concerns about the amount he eats, talk with
to introduce foods one at a time to assess any allergic reactions
and to give your baby an opportunity to get used to a new flavor and
Wait a while and then try foods your baby rejected another time. He
may come to like them the second time around.
your baby becomes stable sitting up and can sustain an upright position,
you will be ready to move him to a high chair. Always, always, always
use the seat belt provided on your high chair to keep him safe.
Your baby's high chair can help him gradually become part of the family
dinner hour. You might feed him first and then give him some finger
foods on his tray to occupy him while you have your dinner.
forget to include your baby in the dinnertime conversation! Mealtimes
are wonderful for talking about what's happening, and helping your
baby learn the names of his food and utensils. Your time in the kitchen
together helps his language development.