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Thread: Please help! Getting very disheartened.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Please help! Getting very disheartened.

    My son has been having solids since about 6 months. He used to take them ok from me but now whenever I put him in his high chair for lunch or tea, he gets upset and when I try and feed him he takes a couple of mouthfulls and then just wants to make a mess and chuck his food all over the place. If I give him finger foods he will eat a small amount and then throw it onto the floor. I know that mess is all part of learning and I understand this but whenever my mother in law comes over, he eats all of his food with no trouble at all and never makes a fuss! He also eats his breakfast for his daddy with no trouble!

    could it be that because I let him have his own spoon and let him try and feed himself that he now won't let me fed him?

    My dh usually just feeds him with a spoon and lo doesnt ever try and grab the spoon or want to make a mess.

    I don't understand this behaviour and it is really starting to stress me out. I dread mealtimes. Please help!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Please help! Getting very disheartened.

    You don't say how old you baby is, but it sounds like normal older infant/toddler behavior to me.

    If your child is sitting on his own, has a pincer grasp (can pick up small items with the thumb and first finger), no longer has the tongue-thrust reflex (I'm guessing this is long gone by now), then there is really no need to feed him with a spoon. Yes, mealtimes will be fairly messy, but just putting food on his tray (whether you provide a utensil or not is up to you) and letting him eat what he wants is all that's really necessary. Some days/times he'll eat "a lot" and sometimes he won't. We've discussed in our local group how most of our children seem to live on breastmilk and air between the ages of 18-30 months or so.

    Your baby's table manners (or lack thereof) are not a reflection of your mothering. They will come with time. Right now food is *supposed* to be played with. He probably won't be allowed to play with his food when he's five, so he's taking the opportunity now.

    I highly recommend the book My Child Won't Eat! by Carlos Gonzales, MD if you are concerned about your child's eating habits. Lots of good info and ideas, and an appendix that shows how infant feeding recommendations have changed over time-- for example, at one time pediatricians didn't think children should have much besides breastmilk until they were 2-3 *years* old-- their delicate systems couldn't handle solid food until then!

    If there is a particular time of day when your child doesn't seem hungry for solids and you just can't handle the mess, then don't offer them at that time. No sense making more work and hassle for yourself. Set him somewhere safe to play and enjoy a cup of tea yourself!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Please help! Getting very disheartened.

    This is usually just a phase that passes, gradually, slowly.

    My daughter is 19 months and occasionally still likes to throw food--usually when she is cranky. We went through this v. same stage. The worst of it lasted until DD was about 15 months.

    Personally, i think it is important to let them have the fork and spoon and make the mess. They are learning important lessons this way.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Re: Please help! Getting very disheartened.

    You've just described our feeding experiences with dd (10.5 months). We've done a mix of self feeding and spoon feeding. Basically she self feeds except for oatmeal and yogurt. If we hand her the spoon she can get it to her mouth and sometimes she can spoon what she wants out of the bowl.

    She's learned several signs recently, except for "finished." Her way of saying finished (or don't even bother starting) is to slap the spoon out of my hand and shout at me.

    When's she had enough of whatever she feeding herself she just holds her hand over the side of the highchair and drops it.

    And her newest trick is that when you tell her "no, don't do that", her lower lip starts to quiver. It's so sad.

    Thank goodness for the dog!

    I wouldn't mind just handing her the spoon and food, but she's on antibiotics and I really need her to eat either the yogurt or the oatmeal/probiotics.

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