Most babies, from about 6 months on, love to try to feed themselves. Your baby will want to learn to use a spoon, feeding himself the way he sees you eat. He may even try to grab the spoon out of your hand as you feed him. If he does, let him have his own spoon to hold and imitate you—or bang the table.
Don’t expect perfection—or clean mealtimes—for awhile. Feeding oneself is a learned skill; and babies love to experiment with the utensils they’re given.
You can also let your baby try a cup of water once in a while; 6 months is a good time to start learning to drink this way. Put in just a sip, because the first thing she’ll do is turn the cup upside down and bang it on the table.
Between 12 and 24 months, stop using bottles altogether. At that age, a young child may be skipping healthy meals (with iron and other nutrients she needs) in favor of the bottle she’s used to, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
A covered sippy cup will prevent spills and is convenient to bring along when you and baby are out of the house. Sippy cups don’t teach the same skill as a regular cup, though, because they allow a baby to drink by sucking.
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