Month 7, Week 3
Once your baby is a pro at eating soft mashed foods, they may be ready to move on to finger foods around 8 months. They have the dexterity to pick the food up and release it or mash it, and will become more efficient and independent as they master the pincer grip around 9 months. At that point they'll be able to use their thumb and forefinger to pick up the small chunks of food.
Your baby may grab at everything on your plate, but follow these guidelines for healthy and safe feedings.
- Start with menu items like pieces of soft cheese; small pieces of pasta or bread; finely chopped soft vegetables; and fruits like bananas, avocado, and ripe peaches or nectarines. These foods should require minimal chewing, as your baby may not yet have teeth. Do NOT let them have hot dogs, raw vegetables, nuts, meats, hard candy, or sticky textures such as nut butters that have increased choking risks at this stage.
- Introduce new foods one at a time in case there are any concers about allergies.
- Chop all foods into soft, bite-sized pieces, 1/2 inch or smaller.
- Watch out for choking hazards: Avoid round, firm foods like carrots, grapes, and hot dogs and skip anything like raw veggies and peanuts. Raisins and popcorn are dangerous for babies.
- Keep up your formula or breastfeeding schedule, but as your baby eats more solids, they’ll naturally start to take less milk. Your baby needs to start eating more solids and drinking less milk for the nutritional value at this stage.
Your Baby's Development This Week
Your baby is getting stronger and may even be moving around, whether they are sliding around on their belly in reverse, scooting on their behind, or actually crawling forward. If you haven’t childproofed your house already, don’t wait any longer!
You may notice these growing signs of motor development:
- Your baby is probably now able to sit on their own for several minutes, without using their hands for support and they may be able to get up into a sitting position all by themselves.
- While you offer them support, they should be able to bounce up and down, and possibly even pull up to a stand.
- Their little hands are increasingly agile -- they are getting better at passing a toy back and forth from one to the other.
You might wonder about:
- Their vision. Your baby should be able to see nearly as far as an adult by now and can track moving objects with their eyes.
- Stranger anxiety. You’re not imagining it: They may fear new people and situations. So give them time to warm up and reassure them if they are upset.
- What they can understand. Your baby might comprehend more than you realize, so it’s important to keep talking to them about everything you’re doing and try to be consistent about the words you use for familiar objects.
Month 7 Week 3 Tips
- If food allergies run in the family, talk to your pediatrician about introducing highly allergenic foods like peanuts and eggs.
- Fried foods are not good choices for babies. If you offer them at all, do so rarely.
- Avoid feeding your baby juice unless it is fresh-squeezed.
- By now, your baby’s diet should include grains, fruits, vegetables, and meats, and they should be eating two to three meals a day.
- In addition to rice, barley, or oat cereal, you can introduce grain products your baby can grab, such as toast, crackers, and dry cereal. Avoid any colorful, sugary cereals.
- Sit baby in their high-chair for feeding time. If they eat finger foods while crawling around, they are more likely to choke.
- You’re not done with breast feeding or bottle feeding. Your baby is starting the transition, but breast milk and formula are still key.
- Pureeing or mashing vegetables may make them easier for your baby to eat when they are first transitioning from a liquid diet to solids.