Important Developmental Milestones
2-4 months: sucking reflex integrates; feeding becomes voluntary and infant has control
4-6 months: introduction of smooth purees by spoon; munching observed
7 months: feeds self a cracker or other dissolvable solid
8 months: accepts textured purees and mashed table foods
9 months: holds and bangs a spoon; independent with finger-feeding; drinks from a straw
10-12 months: transitions to coarsely chopped and/or whole table foods such as cereal bars, avocado slices, etc.

Feeding Guidelines

  • Offer solid food consistently; 1-2x/day to start and 3x/day by 8-9 months old

  • Offer food 30-60 minutes before or after the breast or bottle; the first several weeks are about the experience, not about intake

  • Encourage your infant to explore food with her hands and mouth while you offer the spoon or pieces of food

  • Be attentive and patient during meals

  • Model enjoyment of your own food

  • Reassure your infant if she gags; know the difference between gagging and choking

  • Follow her cues closely; offer food until she lets you know she is done and do not push her to eat more​​

Common Challenges
  • Bottle refusal by breastfed infants

  • Gagging/vomiting with purees

  • Refusals, disinterest or crying at meals

  • Texture aversions

  • Spitting out food/tongue thrust

  • Food allergies/sensitivitie

  • Refusal to self-feed

Help with Feeding
Support for infants & toddlers

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Disclaimer: This information is not to replace professional support that may be available to you/your

child through local speech pathologists or occupational therapists with expertise in feeding.  

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This reusable drink box is a great tool to help your child understand the oral motor movements needed for expressing liquid. With a gentle squeeze, you can start the liquid up through the straw when your baby closes her lips on the hard straw end; often with a few, tiny squeezes your child will learn what to do to move the liquid herself. PLEASE do not squirt liquid into your baby's mouth when she is not ready!

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