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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One more tool to use for toothbrushing and self-feeding at meals.  This rubber, textured brush comes with a guard to prevent your baby from gagging herself.  The round head dipped in smooth purees can help your baby learn to tolerate textured purees as it safely introduces lumps in puree to help desensitize your baby's mouth.

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