A baby needs focus to eat, so start a routine where you wash his hands, soothe him, and then sit him down to eat. And maintain the calmness. Turn off the TV and any loud music. "This will help your baby become conscious of eating and learn to recognize when he's full," says Marilyn Tanner, RD, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.
It will take time for your baby to feel comfortable with the new sensations that go along with eating -- the feel of a spoon in his mouth and the tastes and textures of different foods. "I reassure parents that you might get grimaces and horrible faces," says Laura Jana, MD, co-author of Food Fights. "My daughter used to shriek when I put a spoonful of food in her mouth. But she wanted more."
And get used to messes! Baby will likely fling food everywhere. This is common and doesn't necessarily indicate a dislike. "Getting food into his mouth takes coordination and practice for the baby," Tanner says.