Feeding Skills & Accessories Ver en Español

baby being fed in high chair

So many exciting feeding milestones! Offer developmentally appropriate accessories to introduce your baby to this delicious new world.

Newborn to Three Months

Your baby relies solely on breast milk and/or formula during the first few months.

Source: "Nutrition Supervision." Bright Futures.

Great Gear

It's all about bottles and/or breastfeeding accessories, such as nursing pads and covers, at home and on the go.

Sources:
"Nursing Supplies." HealthyChildren.org. November 21, 2015.
"Breastfeeding FAQs: Out and About." KidsHealth. February 2015.

Four to Seven Months

Somewhere in this range, your baby likely shows readiness to try solid foods, such as single-grain cereals and pureed fruits and veggies. Signs include holding the head up for long periods of time and sitting well, and an opened mouth when seeing food. Birth weight should have at least doubled, too.

Sources:
"Nutrition Supervision." Bright Futures.
"Feeding Infants." USDA. December 2001.
"Starting Solid Foods." HealthyChildren.org. March 8, 2017.
"Bite-Sized Milestones: Signs of Solid Food Readiness." HealthyChildren.org. November 21, 2015.

Great Gear

Bowls
Serving jarred foods in bowls, rather than double-dipping the spoon, is safest; plus, you can save those jarred leftovers in the fridge for up to three days. Tip: Suction-bottom bowls can help prevent mealtime messes.

Sources:
"Nutrition Supervision." Bright Futures.
"Infant Food and Feeding." American Academy of Pediatrics. 2017.
"Baby Food and Infant Formula." Foodsafety.gov. 2017.
"Do's and Don'ts for Baby's First Foods." Eatright.org. October 2016.

Spoons
Small, soft spoons with long handles easily scrape the bottom of the baby food jar and are easy on your baby's tender gums.

Sources:
"Nutrition Supervision." Bright Futures.
"Baby Food and Infant Formula." Foodsafety.gov. 2017.

Cups
Small sippy cups are great for preventing spills, and the two-handled version may be easier for your baby to hold. Experiment with spout-free cups, too—lidded or lid-free versions.

Sources:
"Baby Food and Infant Formula." Foodsafety.gov. 2017.
"Stopping the Bottle." KidsHealth. January 2016.
"From baby bottle to cup." American Dental Association. March 2004.
"Discontinuing the Bottle." HealthyChildren.org. November 21, 2015.

Mesh Feeders
Lock soft foods in a little net with a ringed handle so your baby can try feeding solo.

Eight to Twelve Months

Your baby's eating skills sure are coming along! Super-smooth purees may have given way to coarser blends and mashed-up table foods. And chances are that pincer grip is getting better, opening up the world of finger-feeding at snack and mealtime.

Sources:
"Finger Foods for Babies." KidsHealth. November 2014.
"Developmental Milestones: 12 Months." HealthyChildren.org. June 1, 2009.
"Baby Food and Infant Formula." Foodsafety.gov. 2017.

Great Gear

Spoons & Forks
Easy-to-grip handles make independent eating practice that much easier.

Bowls
Those sloping sides are still helpful as your baby works on self-feeding skills. Covered versions let you take all kinds of finger foods to go.

Source: "Starting Solid Foods." HealthyChildren.org. March 8, 2017.

Cups
Opt for cups that hold a greater volume as your baby drinks more, though tight-fitting covers are still a good idea. Consider trying out more advanced cups, such as those with straws or without handles.

Sources:
"Baby Food and Infant Formula." Foodsafety.gov. 2017.
"Step Away from the Sippy Cup!" The Asha Leader Blog. January 9, 2014.

One Year and Older

Welcome to the table, tiny diner! Parents, your options now are chiefly limited by your baby's moods and taste buds. (Though continue to watch for choking hazards, as well as too-hot and spicy foods.) Follow your child's cues and talk with your doctor as you explore all the many healthy, tasty options.

Sources:
"Feeding Your 1- to 2-Year-Old." KidsHealth. September 2014.
"Discontinuing the Bottle." HealthyChildren.org. November 21, 2015.
"Feeding & Nutrition Tips: Your 1-Year-Old." HealthyChildren. December 29, 2016.

Great Gear

Utensils
Your increasingly confident eater may appreciate child-size versions of adult eating tools.

Cups
While open cups are great at home, try spill-proof lidded versions on the go.

Source: "Feeding & Nutrition Tips: Your 1-Year-Old." HealthyChildren. December 29, 2016.

This content is provided for general information purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or a guarantee of prevention, improvement, or treatment of specific conditions. Always consult with your healthcare provider about your specific medical questions or concerns.