3 Simple Products for Helping Baby Learn to Eat
1. Find your seat!
Whether it be feeding purees or that first crunchy bite of apple, safe swallowing is directly related to being properly positioned in a feeding chair. The Graco™ Blossum 4-in-1 seating system can be used as a high chair, as an infant feeding booster, as a toddler booster or as a youth chair for kids up to 60 lbs.
Once your child is sitting up independently, be sure to position them upright, with a slight forward tilt to their hipbones (not slumped backward) and feet flat on a footrest. The Blossum system has an adjustable footrest for growing kids, just for this purpose.
Note: When using the booster seat with preschoolers, be sure to position the backrest so your child’s knees fold at a 90 degree angle and now, add your own footrest. A sturdy stool under foot does the trick and keeps kids from wiggling at the table. Another favorite is the Keekaroo Chair at Keekaroo.com, which holds up to 250 lbs. and provides excellent positioning for children approximately 9 months and up plus has a variety of seating accessories to fit every need.
2. Gimme’ Somethin’ to CHEW!
While teethers in the baby aisle are terrific, feeding therapists know a secret place to find some of the best chewies: ARK Therapeutic Services. Ark’s Grabber® is a smooth or textured P-shaped chewy appropriate for an infant who has mastered holding a toy and mouthing it.
Babies explore the world via their hands and their mouths. Textured mouth toys teach them that they can tolerate all types of textures before they progress through smooth purees, then chopped purees and even more solid foods. F
or children with special needs, your child’s therapist will demonstrate how to progress through the softest to the chewiest Grabber® to help build oral motor strength for chewing.
This little dipper teaches the first step to spoon feeding: dipping! The short handle and flat dipper-tip creates the perfect “first” utensil – easy to grab and simple to maneuver into the mouth. Once your child masters dipping, try graduating to the spoon.
In my next post, we’ll chat about your toddler and discover tools for learning how to scoop with a spoon and more!