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9mo suddenly just wants to feed himself!

(20 Posts)
AnaGon Thu 09-Feb-17 10:33:13

we started weaning early due to reflux and my son's been quite an adventurous eater. been offering him finger foods (pasta, bread, french beans, carrots) whilst I spoon feed him for a while now. he loves it!
but all of a sudden, he refused me spoon-feeding him, he just wants to do it all himself! our 10minute supper stretches to 1hour. and after sleeping through the night before (we have also been starting sleep training), last night he wakes up every 3 hours demanding milk.
he can put food into his mouth, most of it goes back out again. he lets go of the food onto the floor if he can't bite it (only 2 bottom teeth so far). i have a mini-mountain of chewed on food on his lap and on the floor.
I am planning to take away his finger food for a while and then will try offering him finger food only after I spoon feed him
Anybody had the same issues? any more ideas please in case none of my plan works?

RatOnnaStick Thu 09-Feb-17 10:43:24

Nooo. Don't take away the finger food! That's how he's learning to feed himself. He's telling you in no uncertain terms that he wants control over how the food goes in. You should take the hint and let him get stuck into whatever is on his tray. Load up a spoon and give it to him and he can try that too. As long as he's having enough milk to provide nutrition it really doesn't matter.

Uglycoyote Thu 09-Feb-17 10:49:18

My DD started refusing the spoon at about 10 months. She was already having some finger foods, so I just upped the amount and left her to it. I just trusted that that was what she was ready for.

AnaGon Thu 09-Feb-17 13:58:43

milk had always been a problem. he never drinks enough. so weaning was a lot of help. they need to be sleeping through the night at this stage too for their development. so i am still a bit unsure how to go about the night feeds.
at lunch he took about 1/3 of his usual meal via spoon before I put out the tray for him to help himself. yes he complained! so seems like i have no choice anyway but to let him get on it and feed himself.
thanks for the input! i have a bit more to think about but will not hold off the finger food.

ZZZZ1111 Thu 09-Feb-17 15:39:52

It's not the case that they need to be sleeping through the night at this stage for their development. Where did you hear that from? Developmentally, it is completely normal to wake through the night at this age (and older too).

The recent wakenings may not even be related to the change in his eating.

As others have said, it's great and developmentally healthy that he wants to be independent and practise feeding himself, so I would let him get on with it! Babies know what they are doing?

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 09-Feb-17 18:14:13

I was wondering where the OP has heard that from too ZZZZ. According to these surveys on infant sleep, waking in the night is perfectly common oduring the first year with one in eight waking 3 times a night or more.

What you are experiencing could have very little to do with his food anyway, have you read up on the 9 month sleep regression?. It could be a huge factor.

Also, is he getting enough formula? It's really important that he gets his 20floz a day, it's not that important that he eats really. I know you've said it's difficult to get him to have milk feeds, have you tried finger foods roughly an hour after a milk feed?

My daughter was a complete spoon refuser from the beginning so at least you've had a few weeks of spoon feeding smile

Are you after some suggestions on things you can give him? My biggest tip is to get some long sleeved bibs. It's going to get messy! grin

Heirhelp Thu 09-Feb-17 18:16:18

Excellent. He is showing that he wants to do it himself and be independent. Buy a tidy tot bib. My DD does blw, it is messier but it means you do t have to do anything and it keeps them occupied when you eat out.

Heirhelp Thu 09-Feb-17 18:17:59

Agree with others that it normal for babies and adults to wake up during the night. As long as he get a good amount of sleep in total he will be fine.

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 10-Feb-17 14:10:32

How are you getting on today @AnaGon?

FartnissEverbeans Fri 10-Feb-17 20:24:42

I'm sorry, I don't understand! I've never had a child this age so I'm just reading for interest, but... this child sounds hungry because he can't feed himself properly yet, partly because he doesn't have enough teeth, and the OP is being recommended to just go along with this? In spite of the mess, the broken sleep and the hunger?

I mean it's great that he wants to be independent when he's so small but I've yet to meet a healthy adult who was unable to feed themselves so I'm pretty sure this is a skill he's going to pick up even if his mum spoon feeds him for a few more months.

Am I missing something? Because this advice sounds like complete madness to me confused

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 11-Feb-17 13:20:51

Have you read the link on the 9 month sleep regression? Also, can you quote where someone has suggested she leaves her baby hungry?

Heirhelp Sat 11-Feb-17 13:32:22

Yes Fart you are missing baby led weaning and that is is common for babies this age to still make for milk. The baby is getting enough food, milk and sleep but just on his schedule not the OPs

ZombieApocalips Sat 11-Feb-17 14:24:42

Finger foods now stops the possibility of the child not wanting to move to chunkier textures later.
Self feeding chunky finger foods makes the tongue stronger which in turn helps speech development.
It's messy and time consuming now but practice makes perfect and they get better. Little babies are far less stubborn than toddlers so if the child is keen, I'd go with the flow and let him self feed.

BumWad Sat 11-Feb-17 14:25:44

DS did this too. I would shove a few spoons in when he was faffing about with his finger food so I knew he had a decent feed.

All normal smile

Starlight2345 Sat 11-Feb-17 14:29:28

My DS did this at about the same age..He is now 9 so vague memories...However he had lots of finger foods, pasta, vegetable fingers. , bits of meat you can pick up,. After a couple of months he started eating yogurts and other foods..

To let you know he has a great appetite and eats a very varied diet with a knife and fork

FartnissEverbeans Sat 11-Feb-17 14:54:19

JiltedJohnsJulie She says "last night he wakes up every 3 hours demanding milk." Which sounds to me like he's waking up hungry? Maybe not. I'm not suggesting that the OP is being somehow remiss in her care of the baby, she sounds like an excellent mum and I hope it didn't sound like I was judging her parenting as I'm in no position to do that! But surely a child suddenly waking up for food in the night suggests that he might want more food during the day?

I'm sure it's not outside the range of normal but why wouldn't OP want to improve the situation if possible (and if it's as easy as doing a bit of spoonfeeding for a while)?

I had never even heard of BLW until I started thinking about weaning my own baby; I looked into it and there just doesn't seem to be any evidence? I hate to be anecdotal, but I know for a fact that myself and my siblings were weaned onto purees and we're all quite able to eat chunky food! We have normal levels of hand eye coordination too, and we can all talk confused So exactly what are the benefits? And do they outweigh the negatives, like mess and waste and (potentially, if that's the case with OP) night wakings?

I'm new to all this but it just sounds like madness.

Of course I would never judge people for their choices and if parents are happy to expend the effort and feel happy with how it's going then more power to them, I'm sure loads of brilliant parents do it. I just thought it was odd advice to give the OP - basically put up with it, and do nothing!

CornishYarg Sat 11-Feb-17 17:06:36

But Fart, the OP says her baby refuses to be spoonfed so what choice is there really? DS was the same; unless I fancied pinning him down and forcefeeding him, I had to leave him to it! So people are simply trying to reassure the OP that her son will be fine feeding himself. The decision about how to feed him has already been made by the baby himself!

FartnissEverbeans Sat 11-Feb-17 17:23:40

Oh I'm not disputing that he'll be fine, CornishYang. Maybe I'm losing the plot here!

Sorry OP if I was really unhelpful flowers Maybe I need to rtft!

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 11-Feb-17 17:35:52

Fart as others have said, the baby seems to be very clear that he wants to self feed. Yes the OP can try to offer the spoon, if that what she wants to do. Maybe like someone has suggested, she may like to try while he's distracted like in the bath, if that's what she chooses.

But like I said, there is a classic sleep regression at 9 months so even if baby was having his full 20floz of formula and 3 meals a day, there is no guarantee of him not having a sleep regression as they are usually linked to developmental leaps and not food intake.

OP have you tried the spoon again? Will he take it? smile

littledinaco Sat 11-Feb-17 17:51:25

I definitely wouldn't take his finger food away. He's telling you he wants to be on control of what he eats which can be great for self regulation.

Babies don't need to teeth to chew either.

I wouldn't worry about his food being connected to his sleep, like pp says it's most likely to be developmental. He doesn't need to be sleeping through either, it's normal to wake up at that age so I wouldn't worry.

It's great he wants to feed himself, the more practice he gets, the quicker he will get the hang of it. It makes me really uncomfortable when you see someone trying to spoon feed a baby who is clearly saying they don't want it (don't mean you are doing this op).
It sounds like you are doing great, I would just carry on as you are.

Remember many people do blw weaning so baby is never spoon fed.
I think the best thing you can do it not worry over how much they eat otherwise you're going to be stressing yourself out at mealtimes for years to come. Some days they eat loads, others not much. It's your job to provide heathy food but up to them how much they eat.

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