By 11 months, you and your baby will have had lots of practice around managing mealtimes.
Helpful Tips for Feeding Your Eleven Month Old
If your baby is refusing to eat, try feeding them in a new environment. In warmer weather, move their highchair outside onto the grass. Distraction can be a good motivator when it comes to eating, and sometimes the smallest changes result in the biggest outcomes.
Keep things as simple as possible, and avoid making your 11 month old baby special meals. There is no need for them to have any food other than what you’re eating, as long as it’s healthy. Keep small portions of food aside for them before adding salt, sugar and additives to suit your own tastes.
Expect some days when your 11 month old seems less interested in what you are offering, and always speak and check with a qualified nurse or healthcare professional for advice and guidance if you are ever concerned about your baby's feeding.
Teething, especially, can cause discomfort and chewing foods with textures can create extra sensitivity. Try offering cooler foods with smoother textures such as yoghurt, pureed fruit and cereals. Follow your baby’s lead around what they want to eat and what disinterests them.
Make a point of offering your baby a new food every couple of days. Try buying a variety of new types of fruits and vegetables which you may not have tried to add variety to meal time. Sometimes, you just can't assume baby will say no, even if they haven't tried it before. In fact, they could even change their mind and accept a food another time when they previously rejected it.
Should I Continue Breastfeeding My 11 Month Old?
Keep on keeping on with breastfeeding your 11 month old baby, though try to limit the number of breastfeeds to around 3-4 within 24 hours to encourage meals eating. From a nutritional perspective, your baby’s main food source at 11 months needs to be solid foods.
Aim to breastfeed after their meals, but don’t be too concerned if they still want the occasional ‘snack’ feed at the breast. Separation anxiety can peak at this age, and many babies seek reassurance and comfort from breastfeeding as much as to satisfy their hunger.
Breastfeeding can provide a calm oasis and opportunity to sit quietly. At these moments you’ll be reminded that although your 11 month old may seem to have grown quickly, they are not so big after all. Make the most of these special feeding times.
Should I Continue Bottle Feeding My 11 Month Old?
If you’re not breastfeeding, cow’s milk based formula (or goats milk for those babies who prefer something easy to digest), is the best source of nutrition for your 11 month old baby. They can have straight goat milk in cereal and cooked foods. However, their main milk drink still needs to be formula.
Offer your baby breakfast before their first formula bottle of the day, otherwise they may not want to eat so well. At 11 months, babies often want to finish their day with a bottle. A bath after an early dinner, into pyjamas, then a story and a cuddle and bottle works for most.
Try stopping all overnight bottles if your baby is still waking for them.
What Foods Should I Be Offering My 11 Month Old?
For breakfast, wheat, rice and oat based cereals will provide your baby with important nutrients and kilojoules to fuel their day. Make a point of offering some fresh fruit as well at breakfast. Be mindful that toast alone for breakfast is not enough for a growing baby. Toast is fine when it’s given as well as cereal, but insufficient on its own.
Choose foods which bear the greatest resemblance to their original form.
Always read the nutritional labels on packaging and be suspicious if:
- There are too many ingredients listed, or anything artificial
- You can’t identify or pronounce an item
- There are numbers listed
Tips for Feeding Your 11 Month Old
- This is the age when your baby will be interested in sucking from a sipper or straw cup. Keep one handy at mealtimes, and offer some cooled boiled water to help with chewing and swallowing.
- Do include your baby with other people at meal times. Children learn how to be social from their interactions with others, and benefit from hours of exposure to differences.
- Always supervise your baby’s mealtimes and stay close while your baby is eating.
- Celebrate your baby’s messiness. Babies need to see, smell, touch and squeeze food to fully appreciate it.
Always speak and check with a qualified nurse or healthcare professional for advice and guidance on your eleven month old baby’s individual feeding needs.