Feeding development and difficulties

About Feeding Development and Difficulties

  • During the first few weeks to months of life, feeding gradually changes from a reflexive to a learnt behaviour. Typical feeding development refers to a pattern and progression of feeding skills and behaviours that is accepted as normal for the age and developmental stage of a child. An understanding of typical feeding development is important to be able to identify and manage feeding difficulties.

    The content of this webpage has been revised into an eLearning Module intended for use by health professionals in Australia working with young children and their families e.g. Junior medical staff, maternal and child health nurses, nursing students, allied health students.

    The eLearning Module is designed to explain the features of typical feeding development at different ages and stages of early childhood. It explores the different domains of feeding development and the complex interplay between these components:

    • Medical
    • Nutrition
    • Feeding Skills (physical, oral motor, cognitive, sensory and motor, psychosocial)

    Both child and caregiver have important roles and division of responsibilities in supporting feeding development.

    To access the eLearning Module, click here

    A complementary eLearning Module on Feeding difficulties is currently in development.