Getting baby to feed himself

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  1. My DS is 10 months. We've been working on thicker purees and finger foods since 9 months. We started solids at 6 mo., so have been going gradually.

    The problem that I'm having is that the only things he'll really pick up and feed to himself are the Gerber puffs (loves them) or Cheerios. I've tried a bunch of other things: bits of avocado, diced banana, diced chicken, little cooked pasta shells, diced cooked sweet potato, bits of toast, cheese). He'll eat all of them, but I have to put them in his mouth. He won't really pick them up himself and eat them -- maybe one or two pieces, but mostly he'll just push them around. He does it even with the things he likes; yesterday he ate probably 20 little pieces of banana with me feeding him, but picked up maybe one.

    It's a bit ironic, since everything else goes in his mouth. And he'll eat 20 or so of the Gerber puffs by himself, no problem. My plan is to just keep trying other finger foods once or twice a day and hoping he'll catch on eventually that if I'm putting it in his mouth, he might want to try it himself. Any other ideas?
  2. #2 Jan 16, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
    I remember mhy daughter being the same way. I just went along with it and eventually my daughter started wanting to feed herself. Now she won't even let us give her a bite. She has to do it herself. If we try to help her (to speed up the feeding process when we're in a hurry), it causes a mini tantrum.
  3. My DS was the same way, but I just gave him the food, right in front of him, and he eventually came around. There are still some things that he won't eat though. lol. He's picky. I would just keep trying and see what he likes and what he doesn't :yes: Good luck!!
  4. I guess I don't feel there's a need for him to pick it up if he doesn't want to. He might not like how it feels on his hands. Would you want to pick up food that is slimy on your fingers? If it's that you want to do other things while he eats, well, I don't think that's a good idea. Eating should be a social thing and something we do as a 'family", so plopping him in a chair to eat while you wash dishes is the same as your DH coming home from dinner and eating while you go to another room and do laundry... it just feels wrong.

    And also, count yourself lucky that he's eating a variety of foods somehow. Not all kids will eat! (more than a handful of foods period).
  5. Try to skip a feeding or 2 - eek, I know it sounds wrong, but its not like you are starving him to death. When he is REALLY hungry, he'll shove anything in his mouth. This is the best way to deal with 'picky eater' as well, in my experoence. I won't sweat too much about it though...he'll get there sooner or later!! Good luck!:heart:
  6. ^^I don't agree with this. He's eating, why force him to use his fingers if he doesn't want to? That just seems mean to me.
  7. He will eventually get it. I agree that maybe as he is eating you could have something too and be sitting next to him where he is in his chair and you are at the table. I would not put the tray on my daughters high chair and pull her up to the table where i would have her food. She liked to be around me or the family when it was dinner time. Will he hold a plastic fork? If he doesn't like how the food feels on his fingers there are plenty of plastic forks for little ones so that they don't stab themselves. Keep it up, he'll get it!
  8. Just sit it in front of him, he will pick it up when he really wants it. If you keep giving into him then you will be feeding him until he turns Does he hold his own bottle or he wants you to do that also? My girlfriends daughter is 13 months and because they never made her feed herself she refuses and even refuses to hold her own bottle (only child syndrome I think).
  9. No child will want to be fed until the are 10. The baby in question is 10 months old. It is normal for mom to feed the baby directly.

    I second the suggestion of the fork. My older son was very independent and wanted to use utensils like us "big people".

    My younger son likes finger foods, but still prefers we help him (we put it on the spoon, he uses the spoon then to feed himself) for things like rice. Of course, he's adept at using a fork for things that you can stab.
  10. thanks all. I'll just keep going like this.

    To clarify a couple things, the finger foods aren't the main meal, just a supplement to work on self-feeding. Also, I'm not just plopping him in the chair on his own at all. I would never do that, since I'm paranoid of choking and it's not my style.

    My concern is more that the stuff I'm reading and the pediatrician have both said I should be working on finger foods and teaching him to eat and we don't seem to be making a lot of progress. I kind of like hand feeding him stuff, but don't want to impair his motor development because I'm doing everything for him.

    He's great with what he'll eat, just a few things he doesn't like. He loves anything I'm eating, even stuff you'd think a baby would hate: chicken chile verde, smoked salmon, pumpernickel. I'm really glad, so definitely don't want to do anything to screw that up!
  11. Well, try some foods that are not 'wet' or sticky and see if he'll eat those - cheerios, dried fruit (those crispy ones). If he'll eat those, it's more that he doesn't want to touch 'icky' stuff. And, there are plenty of ways babies get good with manual dexterity... my ped has never mentioned trying to do what your ped is doing - a new one for me. But any time a baby zeros in on something and picks it up, he's learning to do it better and better. Let him pick up spoons or duplo blocks and stuff like that - it all works.
  12. I don't think it's mean, because again, you don't make him starve, just make sure his appetite is really good. My younger one doesn't really like veggies, so I feed it to him when he is really hungry (like after a long nap) and he eats them!!

    But in OP's case, I agree, it does not make much sense, because her son does eat variety of foods.
  13. One thing that worked well for me was to give my son a half peeled banana so he could hold it where the peel was and take bites. At that age, some babies don't like the squishiness of fruit and veggies, so they won't self-feed.

    If you give them a cracker (like a Ritz) or Cheerios, they gobble them up. Try to find finger foods that won't make him squeamish and I'm sure he'll be more receptive. Avocado, banana, etc. can be used w/utensils and cheese works really well if you cut it into a stick (I buy blocks of cheese and make sticks with a cheese cutter).

    I agree with the baby fork idea. My son loves his little forks and at 10 months would self-feed mac and cheese, peaches, pineapple, and all sorts of slimy stuff with the fork.