Real Meals with Sophia
Your baby is holding their head up independently and sitting up upright with some support, propping up on their elbows while lying on their tummy, no longer sticking out their tongue when something is put in their mouth, and is at least 4 months old. It’s time. It’s time to start introducing real meals. Real Meals with Sophia follows the milestones of our very own Feeding Therapist, OT, and Lactation Counselor, Bianca Lane’s daughter, Sophia as she travels down the road of real meals.
When starting the real meal process, it is important to remember a few things:
- All babies develop at different rates
- The decision to introduce foods should be a mutual one between caregivers and your pediatrician
- Concerns regarding your child’s development should be brought to the attention of your pediatrician
- Goal of initial food introduction is for exploration, not calorie intake
- Pace should be determined by child and not forced
- Common cues to watch for before presenting spoon: open eyes, leaning forward, opening mouth, reach for food
- Keep flavors simple
- Don’t presume your child has a specific taste preference, offer a wide variety of tastes
- Frequent reintroductions of flavors are important to establish variety in repertoire
Straw drinking can be introduced at 9-10 months and most babies will be independent before 2 years:
- Intial introduction should be using a standard straw with a caregivers finger blocking one end so a small amount of liquid stays in straw.
- The opposite end is placed in baby’s mouth.
- Wait for lip closure on straw before releasing water into baby’s mouth.
Other cups to follow up this strategy are the Rubbermaid Juice Box Cup or the Honey Bear Straw Cup.
- Don’t forget to praise your child enthusiastically when they start to get it!
- It is easier for babies to be introduced to EITHER an open cup or a straw, not both at once.
- Each method requires a different set of oral motor skills and motor planning and should be practiced repeatedly until success is achieved before introducing another method.
This series will follow Sophia’s journey of Real Meals from introduction to adventurous eater; giving tips, tricks and ideas to get your little one on the right path. To continue driving down Sophia’s Real Meal Milestone’s with us, check back on our Facebook monthly for updates!
Click below for other chapters!
Real Meals with Sophia: Chapter 12
Real Meals with Sophia: Chapter 11
Real Meals with Sophia: Chapter 10
Real Meals with Sophia: Chapter 9
Real Meals with Sophia: Chapter 8
Real Meals with Sophia: Chapter 7
Real Meals with Sophia: Chapter 6
Real Meals with Sophia: Chapter 5
Real Meals with Sophia: Chapter 4
Real Meals with Sophia: Chapter 3
Real Meals with Sophia: Chapter 2
Real Meals with Sophia: Chapter 1