Development-based Milestones

The Gerber Nutrition Journey is a unique milestone-based plan with guidance on developmentally appropriate feeding choices. In line with the CDC developmental milestones and the Dietary Guidelines for feeding infants and children, the Gerber Nutrition Journey recommends starting with breastfeeding because breastmilk is the ideal food for babies. Once baby is ready, Gerber can provide guidance on developmentally-appropriate feeding choices.

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Sitter Development

Gross Motor

Baby sitting straight up on his own
  • Sits independently
  • Truncal stability

Fine Motor

Baby grasping a toy with his hands
  • Primitive squeeze / Palmar grasp
  • Begins to rake (with fingers) food toward self
  • Uses fingers to draw things closer

Oral Motor

Baby looking at spoon of food infront of face
  • Develops tongue wave and lip close
  • Begins chewing movements using up and down movement of jaw (“munching”)
  • Uses upper lip to help clear food off of spoon
  • Able to keep thicker purees in mouth
  • Can drink from a cup held by feeder
  • Eruption of first tooth

Sitter Nutrition

Eating skills

  • Learns to keep thick purees in mouth
  • Uses upper lip to help clear food off the spoon and move into the mouth
  • Can drink from a cup held by feeder
Baby using upper lip to help clear food off spoon.

Feeding Tips

Breastmilk or formula will still be an important source of nutrition for baby, but it is important to offer combinations of infant cereal grains, as well as fruit, veggie, and meat baby foods now. Be sure a spoon is always used to feed cereal or baby food.

Variety is important - exposing babies to different flavors may make them more accepting of new foods in the future.

For more tips see our Starting Solid Foods articles.

Keep in mind

It can take up to 10 tries with a new food before baby decides to give it a go.

Arrow in a circle going around text saying Up to 10 tries.

Iron still plays a key role in growth and development. Watch the educational research webinar on Iron Deficiency.

Hunger Cues

  • Leans toward food or spoon
  • Reaches for spoon or food when hungry
  • Shows excitement when food is presented

I'm hungry!

Baby with rosy cheeks crying.

Cries or fusses

Baby smiling holding arm out towards something.

Shows excitement when food is presented

Baby opening mouth wide and leaning toward spoon with food.

Opens mouth wide and leans toward spoon

Fullness Cues

  • Slows down in eating when full
  • Clenches mouth shut or pushes food away when full
  • Leans back and moves head away from offered food
  • May try to knock spoon out of parent’s hand

I'm full!

Baby turning attention away from spoon being held infront of their mouth.

Turns head from nipple or spoon

Baby turning away from food sitting at table.

Leans away from and may push away food

Baby clenching eyes and mouth shut while spoon with food is being held infront of their face.

Clenches mouth shut

Baby distracted and looking away from spoon infront of their mouth.

Gets distracted easily and looks elsewhere

Products for Sitter

Infant Cereal

Developmentally appropriate textures that meet a growing infants' needs with essential nutrients like iron for brain and cognitive development, B vitamins, vitamin E, C, Zinc and Calcium.

Gerber Infant Cereal products showing three varieties: Rice, Grain and Grow oatmeal banana, and Powerblend Probiotic oatmeal

Baby Foods

Made from wholesome vegetables, fruits, whole grains, meats, legumes and more in developmentally appropriate textures and a wide variety of tastes.

Gerber baby food products for Banana puree, Fruit and Yogurt strawberry banana, and Organic Veggiepower sweet potato.

Edible Teethers

Gerber is the only brand with a full line of edible teethers with a variety of shapes and textures – including the breakthrough Soothe ‘n’ Chew® Teething Stick.

Gerber Edible Teethers products in three varieties: Soothe ‘n’ Chew®, Teething Wafers, and Teething Wheels.