Red Flags – Questions for Parents (Arvedson, J., 2017)

  1. Are there signs of airway/respiratory problems? (illness, coughing, congestion, etc.)
  2. How long does it take to feed your child?
  3. Has your child lost weight or failed to gain weight?
  4. Does your child experience GI retching or vomiting?
  5. Are mealtimes stressful for child and/or caregiver(s)?

Developmental Feeding Milestones (adapted from Swigert, N., 1998, 2010; McCarthy, J., 2006)

Birth-2 Months

  • Nipple feeding via breast or bottle (nutritive suckling)
  • Hand to mouth movements begin

2-4 Months

  • Hands on bottle during feeding

4-6 Months

  • Spoon-feeding and cup drinking introduced
  • Holds bottle with both hands

6-9 Months

  • More upright posture during feeds
  • Increased lip closure around spoons, cups
  • Purees and semi-solids introduced via spoon
  • Progression to self-feeding of “muchable” and “meltable” finger foods
  • Vertical (munching) chewing pattern develops

9-12 Months

  • Rotary (circular) chewing pattern develops, vertical pattern fades
  • Progresses to more diverse food tastes and textures
  • Assists with spoon feeding, increased finger feeding of soft foods

12-18 Months

  • Independently holds cup with both hands
  • Self-feeds with spoon
  • Holds and tips bottles independently

18-24 Months

  • Primarily self-feeding
  • Chews foods consisting of a variety of tastes and textures
  • Uses forks and spoons
  • Refines skills for independent self-feeding