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Baby will not self-feed

(15 Posts)
GoBigOrange Sun 12-Jun-16 03:45:18

We started offering food to DS at 6 months old (he is now coming up for 11 months) and although he was interested in the various food items on his high chair tray he just inspected them, mushed them around, massaged them into his hair and threw them on the floor untasted.

So after a month of this, as he wasn't eating anything at all we decided to spoon feed him some things so he would realise this stuff we were giving him was meant for eating. He took to spoon feeding like a duck to water and gobbled virtually everything offered to him. But only if it came from a spoon.

I sat him down today with a bowl of risotto for his lunch and as I spooned bites of it into his mouth I let him plunge his hands in and mush it around in hopes that he might decide to cut out the middle man (me and the spoon) and shovel a few handfuls in. But no, he just played with it and smeared it everywhere and roared at me when I wasn't fast enough to give him the next bite - even though he had half the contents of the bowl smeared all over his hands.

He puts every other blooming thing he encounters in his mouth (toys, chair legs, DH's smelly old slipper, the cat's tail...) but not food! Never food.

How do I get him to start feeding himself? Or is this one of those 'it will it just click one day and he'll start shoveling it in by the fistful' things?

NerrSnerr Sun 12-Jun-16 03:50:34

My daughter didn't feed herself until after 1. She barely even had a rice cake. After starting nursery age 1?she quickly picked it up. She's now nearly 2 and can eat fine by herself but when tired she asks to be fed.

PeaceLoveAndDiscoBiscuits Sun 12-Jun-16 04:12:37

Does he watch you eat? It sounds stupid but it occurred to me at some point that DS had never seen us eat at the table because we always had our main meal after he was in bed.
Have you tried giving him the loaded spoon to put into his own mouth? He'll naturally progress from that to spooning it up himself. All babies work at different paces, though. My DS is 18mo and still getting the hang of cutlery. He prefers it when I spoon it up for him, but if I leave him alone to figure it out, he will get on with it.

GoBigOrange Mon 13-Jun-16 01:32:11

Thank you both for replying.

We tend to have dinner early at 5:00, so DS can eat with us, so he does get to see us eating - and usually we have the same food as he is having.

I have sat us down together with one bowl between us and done one spoonful for me and one for him. I have demonstrated picking up food with my fingers and eating it in hopes that he might copy, but he just glares at me and waits for me to feed him. I hadn't tried loading the spoon for him, but tried that with his breakfast scrambled eggs today (which he loves) and he just gave me a WTF look and then banged the spoon on the table a few times sending the eggs flying before busily gnawing the handle end of the spoon! Will keep trying it though, and maybe it will click one day.

I'm glad to hear that feeding himself might be something he will simply pick up within the next few months though!

icklekid Mon 13-Jun-16 01:35:45

Yes I would have 2 spoons one for you to feed him with and one loaded for him to try. Ds can self feed both finger food and use a fork/spoon (nearly 2) but quite often doesn't unless we load for him. They will get there. Try not to make too big a deal of it and with foods he really likes eg. Fruit or small bit of biscuit?

PeaceLoveAndDiscoBiscuits Mon 13-Jun-16 12:47:51

Give him a yoghurt and a spoon and strip him off, and leave him to it. This is best done directly before bath time grin

RiverTam Mon 13-Jun-16 12:54:09

I know that MN is BLW central and that spoon feeding is the work of the devil but he's not even a year old yet! It's fine, he'll get there in his own time. DD simply one day removed the spoon from me and started feeding herself (though it was by no means 100% of the time). But she certainly wasn't under 1.

SoupDragon Mon 13-Jun-16 12:56:12

He will get there.

DD refused to feed herself but was delighted to be offered food on a spoon. This is what she wanted.

She still learnt to feed herself smile I guess it would have been some time between 12 and 18 months - she's 10 now and I really can't remember.

VocationalGoat Mon 13-Jun-16 12:59:16

What peace love said! Strip DC off before the Big Mess. My kids all took to self-feeding very early...great! But the problem is, they took to it... just not so 'neatly'. So even when they self feed, there's still this enormous mess from getting fed up of the spoon and just shovelling fists full of food in their mouths like chipmunks storing up for winter. Remember when Marlon Brando stuffed cotton wads into his cheeks for his Don Corleone role? That's what mine are/were like.

With or without a spoon/self-feeding, it's a messy business. I found those soft spoons by Tommy tippee- the heat sensor ones- were much nicer on the palate. Maybe, if you're on steel spoons, they're not so comfy which can deter kids from self- feeding, initially. I found softer spoons more helpful.

VocationalGoat Mon 13-Jun-16 13:01:34

To clarify... My youngest especially liked the colours of the Tommy tippee spoons. I would give him 3 with his meal to hold, throw, shovel food in the mouth with independently. They definitely made him more interested in self-feeding with a spoon.

PeaceLoveAndDiscoBiscuits Mon 13-Jun-16 14:10:38

Yes to the Tommee Tippee spoons. They're easier for wee hands to grip too. I also really rate the Munchkin fork and spoon set.

RiverTam Mon 13-Jun-16 14:28:48

The best spoons for self feeding I had were these curved spoons from Boots. Normal spoons are very hard for babies to eat from, they tend to try to eat off the side which obviously doesn't work very well!

bonzo77 Mon 13-Jun-16 14:33:06

If just keep spoon feeding him, give him a loaded (or not) spoon and / or finger foods when you think of it. They get there eventually. I spoon fed my oldest til About 3, still do occasionally (he's 6), the middle one till around 2 (but still quite often if he's tired or we are rushing, he's 3.5) and the baby (9m) all the time. They've got (hopefully) many years to feed themselves, and will do it eventually.

GoBigOrange Tue 14-Jun-16 15:12:15

Thank you all for the help.

We have these spoons for him, which he seems content with. Though frankly I don't think he'd care if we fed him with a garden spade as long as the food landed in his mouth.

The curved cutlery looks as if it will be much easier for him to use (when he gets to that point) than the regular straight stuff, so I will definitely buy a set, thank you.

I took your advice and sat him down naked in the middle of the kitchen floor with a bowl of banana pudding (he hates yogurt) gave him two spoonfuls so he knew it was something delicious and then left him to it. After yelling indignantly at me, swirling his hands in the bowl, throwing the spoon away and flopping some of the pudding on the floor he bent forwards, stuck his face in and started merrily slurping the pudding directly from the bowl. I'm not entirely sure if this is progress or not grin but he enjoyed himself anyway which is the main thing.

I'm really glad I posted, because I was starting to feel like DS was the only baby his age not already wielding veggie sticks over a dish of hummus, so it was good to hear about other children older than him still being helped with their eating.

PeaceLoveAndDiscoBiscuits Tue 14-Jun-16 17:44:00

Hahaha that sounds like an excellent photo opportunity!
Don't sweat it. All babies develop at their own pace. He won't still be spoon fed at 18.

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