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My 11mo DD is refusing to feed herself - a passing phase?

(10 Posts)
theborrower Fri 22-Jul-11 19:24:04

My DD is coming up for 1. She has always been very good at feeding herself with a (pre-loaded) spoon (from the very beginning, in fact - she wouldn't let us spoon feed her if we dared!) but lately she has been point blank refusing to hold the spoon and just opens up her mouth and expects us to feed her. If she does take it, she flings it away straight away in (what looks like) a mini tantrum!

She started nursery about a month and a half ago, and to be honest, it has kinda coincided with her starting there. We did tell them that to offer the spoon and let her feed herself, and they said that they did, but I'm thinking that either they maybe don't now (and understandable, I guess, if you've got several babies to feed) or DD has seen other kids getting spoon fed and thinks "Great, I want to do that". Admittedly, I haven't asked recently if they spoon feed her or not.

She'll still eat with her hands (sandwiches, fruit etc) but she recoils from the spoon!

Is it a passing phase?
Any tips on getting her back to self feeding?
Or should I just chill out??

ILoveUMama Sat 23-Jul-11 08:17:07

You could start by offering her the spoon and ignoring the temper tantrum reacting to it shows her you will give her attention (even negative) when she acts that was and reinforces the bad behavior. If she doesn't eat with it all the time prase her when she does to inforce the good behavior.

Also definatly talk to the nursery staff taking care of her and make sure they are following your rule of letting her eat with a spoon herself. You are paying them to take care of your sweet baby so they need to do their job.

I work at a preschool and what the parents say is what we do. If they want to patty train before we generally start we make sure to do everything to make it happen. Don't worry about your DD not eating either because if she gets hungry enough she will eat if they do not spoon feed her she may eat with her hands instead of the spoon, but again it is all about the training to use the spoon and the nursery being on the same page to inforce it.

Eventually she will see all the other children eating with spoons and want to do that too so it will pass.

RitaMorgan Sat 23-Jul-11 14:02:58

My 11 month old has gone through phases of only feeding himself with his fingers, only wanting to be spoonfed, and only wanting to feed himself with a spoon. For a while he refused to eat anything unless I blended it up and fed him with a spoon hmm - he was about 9 months at the time and had been feeding himself since 5 months, never had purees!

It makes little difference to me so I just let him go with his preference at the time.

RitaMorgan Sat 23-Jul-11 14:04:34

He generally wants to feed himself with a pre-loaded spoon at the moment, but if it's something he loves (macaroni cheese for example) he shovels it in as fast as he can with his hands grin

theborrower Sat 23-Jul-11 23:52:46

Thanks for your responses.

We do try to ignore/pay less attention to the chucking of spoons and cups, perhaps a 'NO!', and generally a 'well done! good girl!' when she eats well. We'll keep up with that - we're trying to be more self aware about the 'no' business, because I think you're right, ILoveYouMama, we should try hard not to give her (negative) attention.

RitaMorgan - ok, will try to chill out. I tell myself, as long as she's eating something!!!

today she eat all her weetabix and banana (spoon fed, of course) and eat some pitta breads with humous, tomato and strawberries (before deciding to chuck it all - but she did eat some!), and then a spoon fed chicken curry and fruit.

ILoveUMama Sun 24-Jul-11 06:45:44

Yea for her eating! Did you try and let her eat the food with a spoon herself before you spoon fed it to her? even if she just chucks it in the floor if you give it to her to hold she will figure it out faster then if you never give one to her. Also do you eat in front of her? Our children learn from watching us and if she sees mummy eating witha spoon she will want to do what mummy does. That meal sounds delicious by the way. Your baby eats better than I do smile

theborrower Sun 24-Jul-11 19:19:40

I offered her the spoon, and she recoiled, and when I offered it again she grabbed it and chucked it, like her wee tantrum. Maybe I should offer it again much more until she takes it?

On days that I'm off / DH is off (4 out of 7), we eat breakfast together (often toast which she takes off my plate, so we can eat at the same time), and same with lunches as I do want us to eat together as much as possible. Maybe I need to have more spoon meals myself then. But we don't have dinner together - she goes to bed pretty early, and what with getting in from work/nursery/ or just the bath and bed routine, we don't have time to cook for ourselves until she's all tucked up in bed.

RitaMorgan Sun 24-Jul-11 19:43:36

She's not going to still want to be spoon fed when she's 3, does it matter really if she wants to be spoon fed at 11 months? Obviously if it's important to you then persist, but I don't see the harm in indulging her!

theborrower Mon 25-Jul-11 19:06:30

Ok, fair point - but she was just so good at it before! confused smile

theborrower Sat 30-Jul-11 21:28:50

Just a wee update - we asked how she was at nursery saying that she didn't feed herself at home anymore, and the nursery said that they did try and offer her the spoon, and she did take it for a while initially, but she is apparently so easily distracted at feeding time that they spoon feed her most of the times just so she will eat (apparently they even have to face her chair the other way sometimes because she is too busy looking at everyone else!).

So, not brilliant, but at least she is eating. We offer her the spoon at every meal, but if she looks like she's getting stressed, we just spoon feed. Hopefully she'll pick it up again at some point!

Will try and chill out a bit more now wink

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