Home > Health & Wellness > Health Library > Down Syndrome: Helping Your Child Eat Independently
Down syndrome can learn to eat by themselves with your
help and encouragement. Eating independently is a developmental milestone that
involves the use of small muscles (fine motor skills), large muscles (gross
motor skills), and hand-eye coordination.
Before teaching your child self-feeding skills, look for signs of
readiness, such as the child's reaching for food. Your child may also like to
play with food and try to put it in his or her mouth.
Use these tips to help your child learn to eat
Down syndrome often affects the muscles in the mouth, causing the
tongue to stick out. This may interfere with feeding, including breast-feeding,
bottle-feeding, and eating solid food. Most children overcome these types of
problems, although they will likely master eating skills at a later age than
If you have problems feeding your baby or don't think he or she is
getting enough nutrition to grow properly, talk with a
registered dietitian who works with children who have
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - PediatricsSpecialist Medical ReviewerLouis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
Current as ofSeptember 9, 2014
Current as of:
September 9, 2014
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
I want to...
1111 Duff Avenue Ames, Iowa 50010
515-239-2011 Email us
Anywhere in Iowa 800-524-6877