As a parent, teaching your baby to self-feed is an important milestone in their development. While it can be a messy and sometimes frustrating process, there are steps you can take to encourage your little one to embrace this new skill.
One helpful tactic is using suction bowls to keep their food securely in place, giving them the freedom to explore and enjoy their meal without it ending up all over the floor. Additionally, selecting the proper utensils and introducing baby-friendly treats can make the experience more enjoyable for you and your baby.
Keep reading to learn more tips! Through these four suggestions, you can support your baby’s self-feeding journey and take pride in their growing independence.
Tip #1: Know the Benefits of Self-Feeding for Your Baby
It is usual for parents to want to provide everything for their babies. During meal times, they will be more than willing to be the ones to feed their child. Check out these self-feeding benefits for babies to encourage you to give your baby more independence when eating.
Develops Motor Development
When your baby tries to pick up their food, utensils, or sippy cups, they develop their motor skills. The pincer grasp they’ll be able to master is an introduction to the more complex tasks they’ll need to do as they grow up, like holding crayons and pencils to write and draw.
Develops Their Brains
Your baby will also discover different textures when they hold different kinds of food. Their sense of touch, sight, and smell will be stimulated as they hold various baby food. Their sense of taste will be stimulated with tastes and consistencies of different dishes. All these contribute to their brain development.
When you let your babies feed themselves, you can skip the stressful moments of forcing them to eat the meal you prepared, and they can pick and nibble on the treats they like. Once you’ve determined what they like, you’ll know what you can prepare for the next meal. They’ll surely eat more when you prepare their favorite dishes.
Learning by Mimicking
Babies learn by copying, and you’ll be surprised how hard they try to mimic how you eat, like how you hold utensils or spoon food into your mouth. While they won’t master it the first time, as you continue letting them use their hands and utensils, they’ll get better and better.
Tip #2: Understand That Baby Self-Feeding Has Benefits for You, Too
Aside from seeing your baby reach one milestone after the next and gaining confidence from what they do, there are also advantages on your end when you let your baby self-feed.
For example, you can forget about feeding your little one first and missing your lunch schedule because when your baby self-feeds, you can eat at the same time. You can prepare their meal, and let them sit on their high chair. Then, you can eat together. Eating together helps develop your little one’s knowledge and eating habits.
Tip #3: Get Ready With Suction Bowls and Self-Feeding Essentials
After knowing the benefits of independent eating, you will be more motivated to fill your kitchen cabinets with complete baby mealtime supplies. From the best suction bowls for a baby to a baby high chair, here are the essentials to have.
We all know that babies haven’t developed their motor skills yet, so they are likely to make a mess when they eat. Silicone bowls with good suction are way better than regular bowls as they stay in place. Just attach them on a smooth surface, and they won’t move. You may still have something to clean after but it won’t be as bad as using bowls without suction cups. Make sure to pick bowls with bright colors to entice your baby to use them.
Non-Toxic Stainless Steel Baby Bowls
Aside from cleanliness, you undoubtedly think of your baby’s safety. The truth is there are still products containing chemicals harmful to babies. Still, by being more careful and investing only in items made of non-toxic medical-grade silicone or, better yet, stainless steel, you can ensure your baby’s safety. You will be sure that what your baby uses is BPA- and phthalate-free.
Baby Spoons and Forks
Spoons and forks for babies come in different designs. Some can be bent at a particular angle to help babies scoop and eat easily. These utensils are perfectly sized for a baby’s hands. They also have choke barriers to prevent babies from pushing the utensils too far inside their mouths. There are utensils made of bamboo and organic sources, too, for your baby’s safety.
Sippy cups are an excellent way for your baby to transition from bottles to glasses. You can choose sippy cups with food grade silicone straws, so your baby can still suck as they used to when using bottles.
As they get used to sippy cups, you can introduce non-spill cups mimicking regular glasses. Eventually, your little one will learn to use a regular glass. Using sippy cups with vibrant colors and designs is a way to excite your little one to consume liquids.
Fruit Feeder Pacifiers
Meanwhile, you can make snack time comfortable and less messy when you use a fruit feeder pacifier. Just add some mashed or frozen fruits and vegetables inside for your baby to munch on. The food grade silicone nipple can double as teethers to ease your little one’s pains in this stage. Attach the fruit feeder to a pacifier clip to avoid it from falling and for your baby to have it anywhere they go.
A Baby High Chair
Get a sturdy, comfortable, and multipurpose high chair which your baby can use as mealtime space, nap time spot, and more. This ensures that your baby sits safely while they enjoy their meals. Pick chairs with easy cleaning detachable trays, so you can repurpose the high chair into a toddler chair when your baby grows.
Tip #4: Fill Baby Bowls and Baby Plates with Mealtime Treats
Who can resist a bowl or a baby plate filled with food pleasing to the eyes and the palate? Prepare sumptuous and healthy meals using these ingredients, as they benefit your baby’s body.
The Best Fruits and Vegetables for Babies
Fruits and vegetables are filled with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that boost babies’ immune systems and promote holistic body and mind development. So, add some steamed veggies like carrots, pumpkin, broccoli, spinach, and beans— top choices for veggies. Apples, pears, bananas, avocados, and peaches are some of the best fruits you can include.
Protein and Carbohydrates
Load your baby with protein and carbohydrates, too. Carbohydrates from rice, bread, pasta, and root crops give them the energy to run and explore, while proteins from fish, chicken, and different meat boost their immune system and repair muscles and bones.
Avoid Food-Causing Allergies
While there are foods you should serve regularly and in significant amounts, there are also those you should avoid. Be careful when giving peanuts, eggs, shellfish, fish, and dairy products. These are common causes of allergies in babies. Be sure to check how their body reacts when you feed them. Rashes, shortness of breath, vomiting, and diarrhea are some signs that your baby cannot tolerate the food you give.
Ashtonbee’s Suction Bowls for Babies and More!
Encouraging your baby to self-feed is a crucial step towards their development, and it can be a fun learning experience for you and your little one. By using baby bowls with suction cups, selecting the proper utensils, and introducing baby-friendly treats, you can create a positive and stimulating environment for your baby to explore their food while also developing their motor skills, sense of taste and texture, and independence.
Additionally, self-feeding can be beneficial for parents, allowing you to eat together with your baby and get creative with meal preparations. With the right tools and ingredients, you can support your baby’s self-feeding journey and watch them achieve new milestones with pride.
Ashtonbee offers the mealtime supplies you need. We have the best suction bowls for babies that are BPA-free, dishwasher-safe, have an easy storage design, and reliable suction when attached on a smooth surface. Be sure to check out our feeding products now to complete your baby’s self-feeding supplies.