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Any advice on encouraging use of cutlery?

(5 Posts)
skinnymuffin Fri 12-Aug-11 13:27:29

My ds1 is 18 months old now. I think I've fallen into a trap by always sitting with him to eat (only place for highchair is in lounge/diner, not much else to do in there while he's eating, wish I had a kitchen diner but that's another thread...) Anyway I've always helped him with spoon/fork and now he just isn't interested in doing it himself. Think he just expects me to feed him which is fair enough, I've brought that on myself.

So my question is, how do I now help him understand he has to do it himself? I've thought of leaving him to it (he doesn't eat), letting him get really hungry (seems cruel) so he has more incentive, praising him for picking up the spoon (am doing this). Any other ideas?

Bigglewinkle Fri 12-Aug-11 13:54:26

Make a game of it, get him to feed you the yoghurt... My DS loved that!
Also eat with him at every opportunity, then he can learn by example. And finally don't be too hard on yourself sometimes it takes babies longer than others to be interested in feeding themselves, so keep doing what you're doing.

skinnymuffin Fri 12-Aug-11 14:05:43

Eating together in order to set a good example was supposed to be the nice part of having the highchair around the dining table in the lounge bigglewinkle, I really agree with the theory there. I suppose the reality has been that I have interferred too much and controlled (very typical of me sadly) and ended up in this situation. Also I eat fast so have finished 20 mins before him, during which I find it almost impossible not to post food in his mouth while he watches tv or plays with a toy, just to get it over with.

I realise reading this I sound absolutely awful! How did this happen? blush

Thanks for the game idea, I will try that!

AngelDog Fri 12-Aug-11 14:25:01

I don't think you've caused the problem - they have to want to do it themselves. Friends who've always spoon fed their babies have children who have refused to be fed and wanted to feed themselves with cutlery.

My 18 m.o. is only just showing an interest in dipping cutlery into his food, although he's not actually using it yet. We did BLW though so we've never fed him, just made cutlery available.

I did start giving him a pre-loaded spoon for porridge in the mornings, and now he often asks me to put some porridge on it for him hmm. He is experimenting with dipping the spoon in himself too though (mainly handle down!)

DS and I eat together, and if I finish before him, I get up & do the washing up, tidy the kitchen or sort the laundry out.

skinnymuffin Fri 12-Aug-11 14:47:08

My parents drummed it into me that you don't leave the table until everyone has finished so I sort of feel guilty if I bugger off and load the dishwasher half way through - think I just need to get over that one!! Although he does whinge if I disappear, I have to say when I come back in the room he has sometimes eaten something (not sure how!) so that is probably telling me to back right off... God I find it frustrating!

Thanks for your post Angel it has made me feel better. Am very impressed your dc requests a porridge-laden spoon! My ds doesn't talk much, he's more of a pointer at the moment smile

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