As you begin your feeding journey with your baby, it’s important to know that there are spoon milestones for six-month-olds that are critical to their overall feeding development. Knowing these milestones will encourage you to provide your little one with a baby-led spoon they control and avoid feeding your baby with a spoon you control. 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. So, here are some milestones to discover with your little one:
- 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 since 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.
- Playing with a Spoon
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 a Spoon
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 because it’s a critical time for oral motor development. Let them manipulate and gum the spoon from every angle during this stage. And if you use the Tiny Spoon that I designed, you don’t have to worry about your baby hurting their developing teeth or gums (as opposed to 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. Phew!
- Banging a Spoon
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 spoon-feeding stage helps babies 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 with a Spoon
The following two stages in spoon-feeding are dipping and scooping. These milestones can developmentally happen anywhere between 9 to 12 months of age. You can learn more about these milestones for older babies in the ezpz blog post I wrote.
The Tiny Spoon is also included in a gift set called the First Foods Set that comes in the primary colors coral, blue, lime, and grey, as well as the pastel colors blush, sage, and pewter. There are also two limited edition colors, which are sienna and indigo. So let’s get your baby dipping AND scooping those first foods in style! Don’t forget to send me pics of your baby holding and using the Tiny Spoon. Get featured on my social and chosen for giveaways by using the hashtag: #MsDawnSLP in your pics! Happy Feeding!