Feeding Milestones for Baby: Spoon Feeding (at 6 months)
By Dawn Winkelmann, M.S, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist & Feeding Specialist for ezpz
Starting solids is a glorious time for you and baby. Introducing a spoon as early as 6 months of age can help baby learn to self-feed and gain critical oral motor and fine motor skills. Here is a list of spoon-feeding milestones to explore with your 6-month-old baby.
6-month-old Spoon Milestones: As with all developmental milestones, ages are approximate and vary with each child. Some may begin weeks earlier and others a few months later. But, generally, a six-month-old baby is starting to learn the skills toward baby-led feeding independence, which includes spoon-feeding. Here are some milestones to discover:
- Holding an Object/Spoon: Developmentally, a 4-6-month-old infant should be able to bring their hands to their mouth while holding an object or spoon. The ezpz Tiny Spoon is the perfect product to help baby reach this first spoon-feeding milestone, as it has a short, fat, round handle that is easy to hold on to! The non-slip grip also makes feeding movements to the mouth more effective and helps baby’s fine motor development.
- Play: Baby thinks mealtime is also fun time (and, developmentally, this is true!). At 6 months of age, baby should want to explore and play with a spoon. Place the Tiny Spoon on the highchair tray or table. The sensory bumps on the bottom of the spoon keep it stable. Next, engage with your baby, talk about the Tiny Spoon and provide multiple opportunities for baby to manipulate this new object.
- Mouthing: Baby should want to hold and mouth the spoon at this age. During this mouthing time, baby will eventually try turning the spoon upside down to put the handle into their mouth. This is completely normal, and baby should be allowed to do this, as it is a critical time for oral motor development. Let baby manipulate and gum the spoon from every angle during this stage. And if you use our Tiny Spoon, you don’t have to worry about your baby hurting their developing teeth or gums (like with hard plastic or metal spoons), because the Tiny Spoon is 100% food grade (soft) silicone! Also, it’s free of yucky toxins like BPA, BPS, PVC, phthalates, lead and latex. Whew!
- Banging: As annoying as this sounds, banging is an important step in the baby-led spoon-feeding process. Babies should want to grab and bang the spoon. This stage in spoon-feeding helps baby refine their visual motor skills (hand-eye coordination), which is important for dipping and scooping. Banging also gives baby a variety of sensory experiences, such as how the spoon touches other objects (e.g., the table, tray, a puree or a slice of sweet potato).
- Dipping + Scooping: The next two stages in spoon-feeding are dipping and scooping. These milestones can developmentally happen anywhere between 6 to 12 months of age. You can learn more about this stage in Part Two of this series.
The Tiny Spoon comes in the ezpz core color line (coral, blue, lime and grey) and our Nordic collection (blush, sage, pewter) so you can match your spoon with your other ezpz products! Let’s get baby dipping AND scooping those solids in style! Don’t forget to send us pics of your baby holding and using the Tiny Spoon. Get our attention by using our hashtags: #ezpzfun #tinyspoon.
Dawn Winkelmann (M.S, CCC-SLP) is ezpz’s Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Feeding Specialist. She has 26 years of experience teaching parents and medical professionals how to start babies on solids safely and encourage toddlers to overcome picky eating. In addition, “Ms. Dawn” is the designer of our award-winning Tiny Cup & Tiny Spoon (for infants) and the Mini Cup + Straw Training System & Mini Utensils (for toddlers).