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Anti - spoon daughter - is this common? Please help, I'm soooo tired...

(13 Posts)
Bigmerlin Wed 09-Mar-05 12:53:59

Hello everyone
My 7 month daughter took to purees really well at 5 1/2 months. Suddenly, last Wed, she started to refuse anything off a spoon, even her absolute favourites. She will only eat things she can pick up and feed herself with. So I've been giving her rice cakes, pitta and toast etc dipped in the purees, but getting really concerned about the amount of carbs compared to veg and fruit she's getting. I tried giving her pieces of fruit, veg etc, but they are too slippy for her to get in her mouth! I'm getting really stressed and worn out since she's getting up 5 times in the night for milk, because she won't drink much milk during the day. The HV just told me to put her food in front of her, and if she won't eat it, take it away and that's it for that meal. She also told me to leave her screaming at night and not feed her... And I've just embarrassed myself at work by bursting into tears...

So..did anyone else's child go off spoon? What can I feed her now? Will she go back onto spoons? Please help.

Fran1 Wed 09-Mar-05 13:10:14

Yes yes yes!!

Wanting to be independent - thats what it is - except they can't quite manage - result frustration from all parts!

Been there and got through it. I think many babies do this.

I agree with your hv to put plate in front of her, let her pick what she wants, offer a dessert as well (fruit/yogurt etc) even if she hasn't eaten main meal. But then thats it, I wouldn't go keep offering more food.

Do you sit and eat your meal at the same time? I think this is really important, both at sit at the table together, and make it an enjoyable occasion with her being able to watch you eat too. I used to give dd whatever i was eating, chopped up. I used to put a mat under her chair, and let her play with the food as well as eat it, cos i think if you start telling them off for making a mess, they get in a strop and then definitely won' eat. ( the mess making does stop! my dd is now 2 and can't bear to have any crumbs fall of her plate, she picks them all up and asks me to get the bits that land on the floor. lol)

Brocolli was a fave of my dd's, i left it in small tree shapes so they were easy for her to pick up.

She will go back onto spoons once she is able to do it herself. Still give her spoons at meal times so she can experiment with them.

And don't fret about the amount she eats - a child will not starve themselves.

nailpolish Wed 09-Mar-05 13:10:27

my dd did that, she was on finger food only for ages. i used to spread fruit and veg puree on toast, i was worried like you. now my dd loves fruit and veg especially. just give her the slippy food, she will have fun with it, and dont worry, they get fed up of that and interested in spoons later. if you try to spoon feed her, give her a spoon too to play with.

good luck x

MunchedTooManyMarsLady Wed 09-Mar-05 13:16:00

My DTs did that for a while before they were competent with finger foods. I don't think that you are doing anything wrong giving purees etc on rice cakes, toast as suggested etc. Try roasted veg chips and baked fruit slices. All will be well try not to stress out. DT1 went through a fruit puree only phase recently, she's back on track now

californiagirl Wed 09-Mar-05 19:47:11

Mine eventually went back onto spoons, sort of (if you let her touch the spoon it's game over because she must then hold it herself). Try some less slippy fruit and veg. Frozen green beans, still frozen, v. good for teething. Biggish apple chunks to gnaw on. Broccoli trees (although mine won't eat them). Try rolling slippery fruit and veg in crumbs, to make it easier to pick up. But honestly, a little while of having a high-carb diet isn't going to do her any harm. It's not like she's getting no fruit and veg.

Ignore the advice about leaving her screaming at night. You might want to encourage her to take more milk during the day (feeding in a dark, quiet, room maybe?) and you might want to space out feeds some (mine was doing 4 times around then and aside from getting her on an every-2-hours I'm-not-kidding no-you-may-not-have-every-30-mins-as-morning-approaches schedule, I just left it alone for a couple of months, especially as she's at nursery and has never taken much milk there).

TracyK Wed 09-Mar-05 19:50:53

agree with all - ds hated spoons - esp when teething. Let them feed themselves wth fingers and also you pop bits in with your fingers too.
eggy bread is always a fav and little tiny squares of sandwiches. It does pass - I used to stress out too.

hewlettsdaughter Wed 09-Mar-05 19:52:52

There's a book on finger food that you can get I think - see here (I've seen it recommended on mumsnet but not seen it myself).

muminlondon Wed 09-Mar-05 20:16:42

I've bought that book and there are some nice ideas. My dd refused to be spoon fed from about 10 months. I went down the puree on toast route for a while, then just had to give her big lumps of cooked veg.,cheese, fish flakes, meatballs, bread, oven chips, etc. to feed herself with (more than 2-3 different things on her plate would confuse her so I'd give her a protein course, veg. course, fruit course and carbohydrate snacks!). After a couple of months I found that the novelty wore off a bit and she let me sneak in spoons of spag bol, as long as she had her own spoon, but till about 16 months she could only cope with yoghurt and weetabix herself. 7 months is a lot younger and the range of possible food is much more limited, so my sympathies, but at that stage it could still be a phase. Just make sure she has plastic spoons and forks of her own to play with and try and sneak in the spoons when she's at her hungriest.

ionesmum Wed 09-Mar-05 20:27:38

This is a normal developemental stage - it's a sign your dd is growing up! My dd1 did the same thing and dd2 wened late so has bypassed puree altogether! The finger foods sound great, and you can always puree fruit and use it as a spread on the toast or rice cakes. So I agree with your hv there...

However, I don't think your hv is right that you should leave your dd screaming at night esp if you are not happy. If you need a drink at night, you have one, don't you? You have to do what you feel is right.

slim22 Wed 09-Mar-05 20:32:01

I think 7 months is a bit early to just let her self feed. She'll just play with her food and not eat enough thus night waking feeling hungry.
Why not feed her soup in a bottle at teatime, then milk at bedtime?
This is a french method. I am aware UK method is very much oriented on spoon feeding only, but this worked wonders when DS was teething (or ill) and not accepting any food for evening meal.
Good luck.

Bigmerlin Wed 16-Mar-05 12:20:47

Just to say thanks for your replies, very reassuring. The cookbook looks excellent, I've ordered one. I managed to get dd to eat all her tea last night , and she only got me up once, [she was getting up 5 times a night at one stage] so things are looking up.

handlemecarefully Wed 16-Mar-05 12:22:51

We've totally had this problem with ds.

You would be surprised what they can eat with their fingers if you don't mind the mess. My 11 month old ds eats cottage pie with his hands (so he is getting protein etc)

MrsDoolittle Wed 16-Mar-05 12:28:55

Now I do mind the mess, so I just feed her!! She is 11 months old. Personally, I wouldn't worry about it - she is still little. I think the hv is being unfair! poor mite

HMC - I don't think you are the only one!

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