Feeding Milestones

Feeding Milestones by Age

Feeding Stage for Babies Video  Watch the video to learn more about feeding stages for babies from Penfield Children's Center. More milestones are listed in a simpler format below for your convenience. 

 

Birth-3 months

Self-feeding: 

  • Brings hands to mouth

  • Semi-reclined during feeding

  • Watches caregivers’ while feeding

Texture and Oral-Motor Skills:

  • Liquids

  • Suckling, sucking – tongue moves in and out

  • No bite or chew

 

3-6 months

Self-feeding: 

  • Holds onto objects and puts in mouth

  • Puts hands on bottle

  • Increased head and neck control, sits with support 

Texture and Oral-Motor Skills:

  • Puts hands on bottle

  • Easily accepts new textures and tastes

  • Eats pureeds and then moves to mashed foods

 

6-9 months

Self-feeding: 

  • Starts to hold baby safe finger foods and bring to mouth

  • Begins to try to feed from spoon

  • Attempts to hold bottle alone

Texture and Oral-Motor Skills:

  • Sucks on crackers

  • Munching begins (jaw moves up and down)

  • Some tongue movements side to side

  • Cup/straw drinking begins

 

9-12 months

Self-feeding: 

  • Finger feeds with success using more fine grasps (e.g. picking up foods with index finger and thumb or "pincer grasp")

  • Controlled bite on easily chewed, soft foods

  • Drinks from closed cup

  • Tries to hold spoon 

Texture and Oral-Motor Skills:

  • Side to side tongue movements

  • Munches up and down with diagonal movement

  • Mashed foods with harder lumpy pieces

 

12-24 months

Self-feeding: 

  • Dips spoon in food and brings to mouth, but spills

  • Able to scoop food and bring to mouth

  • Hold cup with both hands 

Texture and Oral-Motor Skills:

  • May begin to experience “food jag” or rejection of new foods

  • Begin rotary chewing (jaw moves in circular motion)

 

24-36 months

Self-feeding: 

  • Eats most regular foods

  • Regular drinking pattern using open cup

  • Starts to use a small fork

Texture and Oral-Motor Skills:

  • Eats a wide variety of different textures and tastes

 

References:

InfantandToddlerForum.org. (2014). Developmental Stages in Infant and Toddler Feeding. [PDF File]. 

McCarthy, J. (2006). Feeding Infants and Toddlers: Strategies for Safe, Stress-free Mealtimes. Mosaic Childhood Project, Inc.