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2 1/2 year old daughter will not feed herself

(29 Posts)
happytobemam Wed 25-Feb-09 17:18:56

My daughter is now over 2 1/2 and I still can't get her to self-feed.
She is not a fussy eater as if I feed her she will eat everything. If I don't feed her she eats next to nothing!!
She does not have a lot of snacks between meals and I hate it when every meal becomes a battle ground.
Any ideas of what to do or anyone else's experiences would be appreciated

Othersideofthechannel Wed 25-Feb-09 17:21:37

Do you have a baby?
DS experimented with cutlery but wanted to be spoon fed because he saw me spoon feed the baby yoghurts etc.
I was he would do it when he was ready and he did.

Othersideofthechannel Wed 25-Feb-09 17:22:31

Occasionally I would suggest you do one spoon I do the other but if he said no I would just get on and feed him provided he was opening his mouth.

scrooged Wed 25-Feb-09 17:26:07

I don't think she'd starve if you left the plate infront of her and left her to get on with it. If she misses a meal or two then she'll know that you are not willing to feed her the next time so she'll do it herself. Give her the plate and say "dd's a big girl now. dd do this, not mummy" and walk off.

scrooged Wed 25-Feb-09 17:26:46

She won't do things herself if you do them for her. Sorry.

happytobemam Wed 25-Feb-09 18:04:52

Thanks for the replies,
the way I see it is I either just continue doing it for her and not worrying about it, or do as scrooged suggested. I think I will try to just give her her plate, leave her to it and then take it away after a set amount of time. It's just a shame as she will eat everything if I do it, otherwise she just doesn't seem to be interested in her food. Ske will be starting preschool in September and what worries me is that at lunchtime, she just wont eat because noone will do it for her. I have to do something as I can't have it that every meal is a battle ground!


Othersideofthechannel Wed 25-Feb-09 18:45:09

Yes, I can see pre-school would make this an issue.
DS didn't eat meals away from me and his baby sister until he was 4 and by then he'd grown out of being spoonfed (except when exhausted.

StirlingTheStrong Wed 25-Feb-09 19:48:01

I'm with Scrooged - She knows you will sit and feed her so that is why she wont do it herself.

She wont starve herself. Don't make a fuss, just put her plate in front of her, when everyone else has finished, ask her if she has finished and then remove the plate.

After a day or two she will be feeding herself - just don't give in!!

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Wed 25-Feb-09 19:51:25

My DD is 2.4 and is exactly the same, if I put her plate in front of her she tends to throw it around, it IS annoying!!!

scrooged Wed 25-Feb-09 19:53:29

Hey, if she throws it put it in the bin. She'll stop this.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Wed 25-Feb-09 19:55:58

I know, I just got into bad habits as she used to have trouble gaining weight, now she is quite solid so I know i don't need to worry smile

I have given her a bit of extra time as she has a motor delay and didn't walk until 2, but I think she could use a spoon now, given that she is starting to try to draw shapes and letters hmm grin

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Wed 25-Feb-09 19:56:48

(also I tried with chocolate mousse one day and she managed to spoon feed herself strangely well wink)

scrooged Wed 25-Feb-09 19:59:27

lol! I don't do the pandering mum thing. Life's too darn short. My mum does this with my brothers, they are both still living with her. She does all the cleaning/cooking/washing/ironing for them. She even makes them cups of tea. One's 27, the other's 24! This would be hell for me. I made sure ds could do things for himself!

Surfermum Wed 25-Feb-09 20:05:38

DD was like this. I can't really remember when she started eating the whole meal herself, I think it was before she started school but at that age I was still helping her.

It wasn't a battle though, I used to leave her to it and then help her if she hadn't eaten enough. Some days she would do it, some days she wouldn't, but I just never made an issue of it.

I remember at the time wondering whether I was making a rod for my own back, but I didn't and just chilling about it worked for us. I think they just get to the stage when they want to be "big" girls and do things for themselves.

nannyL Wed 25-Feb-09 21:43:16

my charge did this a year ago when he was 2.5

basically we decided that we would give him food and he could eitehr eat it himself or starve...

within 3 days he was feeding himself wink and has fed himself without a fuss ever since (though now he is perfectly fine at self feeding, if time is marching on i help stick a few mouthfuls on his fork at the end (for him to pick up and put in his mouth himself.... (in the beginning i wouldnt have done that))

LGoodLife Thu 26-Feb-09 14:33:02

I didn't make a fuss whether it was fingers or spoon till quite late - as long as the food went in. Make chatter about anything except whats being eaten.

happytobemam Thu 26-Feb-09 17:29:41

Well, it's been two days of giving her her meals and then taking them away without a fuss wether they have been eaten or not after a set amount of time. Yesterday she ate hardly anything, today she ate her breakfast willingly but then has hardly eaten the rest of the day. I'm not enjoying this!!!

nannyL Thu 26-Feb-09 18:47:09

our 3rd day was the real break through! smile

good luck

and remember hungry children WILL eat and will not starve themselves to death!

LGoodLife Thu 26-Feb-09 20:37:57

Keep going, don't give in, your life will be easier in the long run!

EllieG Thu 26-Feb-09 20:46:07

When do children start to properly feed themselves then? I know BLW babies do from the off but I didn't do that- my 10 month old can do a bit of finger food but is rather limited. When should I start getting her to feed herself more?

happytobemam Sun 01-Mar-09 10:11:11

Well, it's now been 4-5 days with no real improvement. She will eat a very small amount of food and then just stops. I'd have hoped to see some real improvement by now. This is so hard, not to get upset or cross. I know that in theory a small child will not starve themselves, but when you're watching your own child barely eating, it's very difficult and upsetting. I don't know if I'm doing the right thing or not!!

Belgianchocolates Sun 01-Mar-09 10:15:55

Hmm, I'm trying to think, but I'm sure my dd was doing a mixture of feeding herself and being fed at that age. She'd generally start of a meal by herself and then get tired and we'd help her finish it off. That was only the evening meal though, breakfast and lunch she did unassisted (provided it was cut in bitesized portions). I'm sure it's only been for the last half year or so that she consistantly eats her evening meal by herself and she's 5 now.

GossipMonger Sun 01-Mar-09 10:19:13

I am going to try all these things from today with my <<whispers>> 4.3yr old! blush

Belgianchocolates Sun 01-Mar-09 10:54:45

Dont worry gossipmonger I'm pretty sure my dd was sorted when she started full time school (at 4.8y). The 1st few weeks she came home starving (unusual for her), but I suppose she soon learnt that at school she's got to do things herself if she's hungry!
I always say that you don't ever see teenagers being spoonfed by their mums, so I'm pretty relaxed about that sort of things!

Othersideofthechannel Sun 01-Mar-09 15:33:08

EllieG, I would say on average they are able to scoop with spoon and stab with fork sometime between 1 and 2 depending on their fine motor skills.
So a 2 year old is perfectly capable of eating a plate of cut up food. But they would usually rather be doing something else than sit at table and eat.

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