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Thread: Let baby feed herself?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    9

    Default Let baby feed herself?

    My daughter is now 7 1/2 months, and has been on solids since about 6 months. I read in a baby book that if I let her feed herself, she'd have a better relationship to food in the future, never eat past being full, feel more in control of her own body instead of passive and controlled, etc. Not to mention that she would learn to use a spoon faster than if I always feed her.

    So I did try to let her feed herself as much as possible, but now that it has been over a month, I often don't have the patience to let her, as it takes 10 times as long, and the majority of the food ends up elsewhere.

    What do you moms think? Should I try to contine to let her feed herself? She LOVES to, and she really did get a bit better using a spoon, but still most of the food ends up on her, and even with a bib it means tons more laundry, change of outfits, practically hosing her down after each meal.

    I want her to grow up having a good relationship with food (my parents were in the clean your plate club, very controlling about food, and my sister and I are both overweight). I don't want her to feel like she has no control over what she eats, and I want her to learn to notice when she is full and stop eating on her own, so am not sure how to promote that while still possibly letting me have some control over the feeding process. She only eats the pureed soft foods at present like cereals and jars of organic veggies, no lumps.

    Any thoughts? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    miles from nowhere
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    11,108

    Default Re: Let baby feed herself?

    It is definitely good for them to let them feed themselves. I know it can be messy, but they have so much fun with it and it really lets them explore food- tastes, textures, smells, etc.

    I highly recommend giving her non-pureed foods. By 7 1/2 months, she should be able to deal pretty well with things like steamed veggies, fruit, cheese, dry cereals like cheerios, low sodium lunchmeat, bread or toast, pasta. Feed her during your own dinner time, that way she can take whatever time she needs and she will make that connection that mealtimes can be a social events.

    We pretty much feed our daughter (and have sine about 7-8 months) whatever we are having for dinner. I just don't add any salt while cooking and if I'm using a pasta sauce or something I will take out some veggies for her before I add the sauce. It makes my mealtimes a lot easier because I'm not trying to feed her and me at the same time.

    If you know you don't have time to clean up a big mess, give her things that she can't get too messy eating. I usually give some slices of cheese, a little bit of turkey lunchmeat, fruit (raisins or apple- something not too gooey), and half a piece of bread for lunch so we don't have to do mid-day baths.

    Good luck, it really can be fun and not too difficult!
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,955

    Default Re: Let baby feed herself?

    Baby-led solids is a great way to go, despite the mess. We had no choice in going the BLS way- DD would not take food off a spoon!

    The mess can be irritating. Believe me, I know! Put down a tarp under the high chair- I've found that the vinyl tablecloths made for picnics are great- and let your baby play. If you don't want to do an extra load of laundry, get her naked before meals. Alternately, offer foods that don't create a lot of mess- like cheerios, soft boiled veggie chunks, boiled chicken, noodles, etc.

    Don't be worried if she takes a long time to eat a little, or if she doesn't seem to be eating much solid food. Breastmilk is sufficient food for 1 year! Up to that age, solids are only for practicing new motor skills and experiencing new tastes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: Let baby feed herself?

    I also recommend the soft flexible plastic bibs with arms for the mess...I think ours is a Kushies from Toys R Us. She almost never gets food on her clothes...the face and floor are different though

    DD1-Nursed 12/06-9/08
    DD2-Nursed 12/08 - 10/10

    DS - Successful VBA2C May 5/11 and

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    580

    Default Re: Let baby feed herself?

    Quote Originally Posted by NorasMommy View Post
    By 7 1/2 months, she should be able to deal pretty well with things like steamed veggies, !
    What if he doesn't have any teeth yet? He turnd 7 mos in a few days and I swear, he will just teeth until he is in college! And, do you give steamed broccoli? I always worry about the tops being choking hazards.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Let baby feed herself?

    She should be able to feed herself now. It's a great time for her to experiment and have fun with food. My DS is 9 months old and has been feeding himself since the beginning. I don't feed him anymore with the exception of yogurt once in awhile.

    They do get really messy, but that's what's fun about it!

    I really like that DS is in control of how much he wants to eat. Some days he eats way less that he'd probably eat if I fed him, and other days he eats way more than I'd feed him.

    good luck!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    4,029

    Default Re: Let baby feed herself?

    Quote Originally Posted by JAB View Post
    What if he doesn't have any teeth yet? He turnd 7 mos in a few days and I swear, he will just teeth until he is in college! And, do you give steamed broccoli? I always worry about the tops being choking hazards.
    I'd start small. Start with stuff that dissolves easily, like cheerios, Gerber puffs, or the like. As your LO gets more used to chewing, then introduce chewier foods. Your LO does not have to have teeth to make things work....they're pretty good at gumming foods, believe it or not.

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