Monday, May 04, 2009

More Mommy Advice Needed

I'm hoping that all you great friends who commented last time I asked for Mommy advice might throw in a suggestion this time too! (By the way, thanks for all the suggestions about E's bedtime bottle - we've been keeping pictures in frames on the table in his room, and we look at those every night while he eats his bottle. Not only does it keep him focused, but he's also seeing his family's faces and hearing their names every day! Win-win!)

Now I'm asking for some suggestions about getting Elias to feed himself finger foods. I'm certain that he COULD if he wanted to - he can easily pick things up with his fingers, and he can put his hands in his mouth. He just won't feed himself when there's food in front of him. He'll pick up the food and play with it (and throw it on the floor - any suggestions for nipping that in the bud??), but he won't put it in his mouth. Anybody have any thoughts on things I can try to get him to do it? I looked around a bit online, and I pretty much found that he'll do it whenever he's ready. I've tried leaving him alone with the food in case he didn't do it just because I was there feeding him, but he just sat there and whined because nobody was feeding him. I've hung up the hat on making baby food, so I really want to get him on table foods by the time my stash of baby foods runs out, but it's not looking promising if he won't feed himself!

On the same note, any suggestions for how to start the process of him learning to spoon feed himself? I've still never even let him try it because I just don't want to deal with the mess. I probably just need to get over that, but can anybody give me any suggestions on how to make it easier? A certain food that stays on the spoon and won't stain? Should I just take his shirt off? What else?

Thanks to all my Mommy friends out there! :)

I just realized this would be my second post in a row without a picture of Elias in it, and that just can't be! So here's one I snapped yesterday of him playing with his books. He wants them ALL spread around him on the floor - I try to be sneaky and put some back while he's looking at another, but he notices and immediately pulls them back down!


Tracy S. said...

Elliott was pretty good about picking up foods. He is still mastering the fork and spoon.
Here are a few ideas, not sure how helpful they'll be:

* put out one at a time. some kids are overwhelmed by too much food.
* helping him put it into his mouth on his own and then cheering. Elliott really responds to cheering. He must be needy.
* Try very small, soft fruit pieces, like Mandarin oranges. The sweetness was enough to send Elliott into a self-feeding frenzy.
I think that with anything, it will come with time. It took Elliott a long time to master his sippy cup, but now he is fine with it.

KarenD said...

I lucked out on this because they started giving Ian Cherrios at the church, so he started finger food feeding before I even realized he was ready. But, here are my thoughts for what it's worth...

Make sure said finger food is something E really likes. Tracy's cheering suggestion is not bad either, something to make him feel like this is a fun, new thing. Maybe even try a NEW snack, something like fruit or a lightly sweetened cereal... because the sweetness is a good motivator.

We had a big problem with throwing food at first, and Ian still does it if it's something new or something he doesn't like. Whenever he throws, we tell him "no!" and after a few times, we tell him he's done, and we get him out of his high chair. Of course, then, he just missed out on a meal, so we'll try again an hour or two later and by then he's hungry enough to eat and not throw.

On his own spoon feeding, I'm not extremely brave in this area either. We've found the suction cup bowls to be handy so he doesn't dump the bowl/food over. A cheapy plastic tablecloth under the highchair helps with spills. And applesauce is good for not staining, and it is usually thick enough to stay on the spoon. (We just buy Motts now, not baby food applesauce.) Oatmeal also works well. You can also try stabbing some soft fruit pieces with a fork and seeing if he'll take "finger foods" that way.

Hey, won't Elias be one year old this month? CRAZY, huh?

Kristy said...

I was pretty lucky too that Price was a good finger food eater from the beginning. Once he figured out he could do it himself he didn't want my help anymore. I agree with what the other moms have said though, try the cheering and the new food. Price LOVES mandrin oranges and strawberries. They are bright too so they get his attention. But like everyone else has said, I'm sure he'll start when he's ready but I know its driving you crazy! As far as the spoon, we still aren't pros at it but he can get the food into his mouth now. He is actually WAY better with a fork (obviously a kids fork) than with his spoon. Probably bc I am like you and don't give him many opportunities with the spoon bc of the mess. Anyway, applesause was what we tried first and he did really well, I mean just expect it to get messy but Price loved it. I did take his shirt off and use a bib. He got most of it in his mouth but was still pretty dirty! I hope this helps some. Miss you so much friend. I can't believe how big E is now!

Katie said...

I'm having trouble with Carina in this area, too, so you're not alone! I'll be stalking any suggestions. She'll feed herself anything with a cracker-like texture (including mulch!), but that's it. Her first finger food was Cheerios. I didn't really do anything to get her to eat it. Just put it in front of her and let her do the rest.

As for spoon-feeding...Eli's still a little young to have this down well. I put a shower curtain liner underneath C's chair to cut down on mess. You can try letting him feed himself with a spoon with just tiny, tiny bits of food on there. C will sometimes do it, but usually won't. (I do grown-up applesauce, too, but I make sure it's the "no sugar added" kind.)

And as for the mess on the floor--we're totally there, too! Hang in there another month or so...Eli may start to get interested in how to put things back. That's C's newest trick, although she still likes to take things out better. :)

Andrew's Mommy said...

I found that I could give Andrew puffs or something on the tray while he was waiting for me to work on dinner for the rest of us. He just gradually got it. I would go over, take one myself and eat it, and then say "MMMMM!" and he would do it too. Then again, I think he'd eat the high chair if it was edible!

Mickey is a "neat freak" and really REALLY RREEAALLLLYY hates big messes. I had to make him let Andrew just try it out and to just clean everything up afterwards. We often change outfits after eating, or if it's possible, I just let him eat shirtless. :)

I had to hold the spoon or fork WITH Andrew for awhile, helping him get the food on there. He still eats a lot with his fingers, but generally has a spoon or fork in his other hand for backup. It has gotten better each month with that, but we don't have to clean nearly as much anymore. Also, we eat with shirts on much more now, too! Haha!

Hope all is well! I can't believe that Elias is almost a year old!!!!


KarenD said...

The previous comment reminded me... yes, eating E's snack and saying "mmmmmm," might help or even letting him feed the food to you! Ian loves giving me a bite and then taking his own. (But you do spread germs this way, and I've picked up a cold or two from Ian by eating after him.)