Feeding and Swallowing Milestones: 18 to 24 Months

Key milestones in feeding and swallowing for toddlers 18 to 24 months.

Feeding and Swallowing Milestones: 18 to 24 Months

Feeding and Swallowing Milestones: 18 to 24 Months

As parents navigate the transition from babyhood to toddler years, understanding the feeding and swallowing milestones for 18 to 24 months old children becomes vital. This developmental stage is not just about what children eat, but also about how they eat and developing autonomy during mealtime.

Key Milestones for Toddlers (18-24 Months) in Feeding and Swallowing

  • Self-feeding skills: Your toddler is likely to become more independent, showing proficiency in self-feeding using both utensils and their fingers.
  • Drinking independently: Transitioning from bottles to cups is a significant milestone, with toddlers now managing to drink from a small cup with little to no spilling.
  • Advancing chewing skills: Watch for your child’s ability to chew food effectively using both sides of their mouth, indicating readiness for a wider range of food textures.

Feeding Habits and Textures for Toddlers (18-24 Months)

Your child should now be comfortable with mixed consistencies in food, and it's essential to provide opportunities to chew more challenging textures, always ensuring that foods are cut into safe, manageable pieces.

Supporting Your Toddler's Feeding Journey

To promote a positive feeding experience:

  • Understand and respect hunger and fullness cues to foster healthy eating habits.
  • Offer a variety of foods, presenting new options alongside well-loved favorites.
  • Create engaging and playful mealtime experiences to encourage exploration of new textures and tastes.
  • Include your child in meal preparation to build interest and excitement about new foods.

If concerns arise about your child's feeding and swallowing development, it's crucial to seek professional advice early. For a comprehensive list of milestones and expert guidance, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) offers valuable resources, which you can access through their detailed overview of feeding and swallowing milestones for children aged 18 to 24 months.