Between 12 and 18 months, your baby will start to show an interest in looking after themselves and wanting to feed themselves with a spoon or fork. You will already have been feeding them with a spoon since weaning, and they will have observed adults feeding themselves with cutlery, so it is a logical step for them to try feeding themselves with a spoon. Another clue that the time is right is if your baby is feeding themselves with their hands.
At first, this is going to be messy! You can buy large easy clean mats to place on the floor under high chairs and this might be a sensible idea if they are eating in a carpeted area.
Feeding yourself with a spoon introduces all sorts of challenges; picking food off the plate with the utensil, keeping the plate still while scooping, rather than chasing it around their tray, learning where their mouth is and how long the spoon is! All of this requires learning. It will come relatively quickly, but offer encouragement and more than a little help. This is an important milestone for your baby and is an early step towards a life of independence.
Parents are being warned about the dangers of giving medicine to babies and children using a teaspoon rather than a medicine spoon or syringe. Research has found that teaspoons vary in capacity which means that children are not getting the correct dose.
Some spoons were only 2.5ml and others were as large as 7.3ml. So, it was hit or miss whether the right amount was being administered. Parents should use the correct graded medicine spoons or syringes that are provided in the medicine boxes and they should always measure the correct amount according to the child's age.
In the study, carried out in Greece, approximately 70 teaspoons were measured and 25 tablespoons all of which were found in households. Some were twice as big as they should have been which means a potential overdose!
The experts also noted that not only was an overdose a possibility, it also meant that some children were not getting enough medicine. They recommend we never use teaspoons or tablespoons to administer medicine to children as the variation is too great.
Because children are smaller, they are also more susceptible to overdoses as the amount they are allowed to have is measured by their body weight and age.
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