My daughter is 10months, and has been eating solids since 4mths. Now she always tries to grab the spoon, or her cereal, and I am just wondering when I should let her try feed herself. I know it is inevitable that it will get messy...just wondering when I should let her try, and any tips so it might go O.K.

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Rob - posted on 07/25/2014

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With this case, If you have seen some signs like she wanted to eat on her own, I think that's the time to let her eat using utensils. Baby start using spoon when she is about 12 months and until now still practicing how to use it properly. Mealtimes are really messy, but if you have very good thing in hand like a bib. I think there's no dealing with a mess at all.

Jennifer - posted on 12/09/2008

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There is no harm in letting her try, and making a mess is just the begining, she is a child there will be messes, let her have her fun.

Nikki - posted on 12/08/2008

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It sounds like she's ready for it. My son started at 8 1/2 months, and was totally self feeding within 2 weeks. Get a big cloth, preferably with a waterproof type backing, and put it on the floor under the highchair, and either strip her down or get a full-sleeved bib. Easy to clean up any mess.

Christina - posted on 12/07/2008

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I have 3 kids, a singleton and twins. All 3 were completely feeding themselves by 1 year (other than me preparing the food by cutting it, etc.). When they grabbed for the spoon, I gave them their own. I have pictures of my daughters both covered in oatmeal in the circular outline of the bowl across their face and head from sticking their faces in them to get the last bits of oatmeal. It meant a bath in the sink after every meal at first, and then baby wipes on the hands, head, and face for a while, but it was so worth it to not have to shovel food in their faces for them! My cousin held onto the control of her son's food and at 18 months he sat like a baby bird with his mouth open and hated the idea of getting messy (and she complained about it like it was his fault!)

Kate - posted on 12/07/2008

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I babysit a little girl that just turned a year old and I've been letting her feed herself since probably right around the 10 month mark. I put her in the booster seat on the kitchen tiles, put her food on the tray, and let her go to town. She gets it in her hair, all over her face and chest (oh yeah, I highly recommend diaper only during self-feedings), and all over the floor, but she does get some in her mouth and seems to really enjoy it! I just wipe her down with a washcloth when she's done, or if she has a particularly messy day I give her a bath. I have only been giving her a spoon to try to eat with for about the past two weeks. Before that, I just let her use her hands.

Danielle - posted on 12/07/2008

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Kids will let you know when they are ready to do something and it sounds like she's giving you a really clear sign. Let her go! Having kids is about having messes. They need to experience the world and all of the textures and tastes that food has to offer.



I'd just strip my son down to his diaper and plan a bath immediately following his messy food times. It makes them pricelessly happy and cuts down on the frustration that mothers feel trying to make babies neat and clean all the time.



Just give in!!

[deleted account]

If it was me, I'd have already given her the spoon. It's going to be messy but she'll pick it up pretty quickly. It's hard for me to give a precise answer, though, because I let my kids feed themselves from the first time they get solid food. Usually they ignore the utensils and use their hands but I'd say my 19mo old has been proficient in the use of a spoon/fork for at least 6mo.

Maribel - posted on 12/05/2008

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I agree... help show her that you use the spoon to scoop her food and guide the spoon to her mouth. Eventually she'll understand it. Also, helpful tip on mess... go to the 99cent store or dollar store and buy a bunch of disposable tablecloths (the plastic ones). spread it out underneath her highchair, place chair in middle, and wahlah!... if she throws food on the floor, at least you can fold up the tablecloth and toss it instead of cleaning food off the kitchen floor! (Need to save money?...just reuse the tablecloth by cleaning it after each messy feeding). :P Good luck!

Tina - posted on 12/05/2008

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If she shows interest then you should let her fed herself. Yes, it can be messy but it's fun to watch! :-) My kids learned how to use spoons and forks at a very early age. And by the age of 1 1/2 they were experts at using them. :-)

Melissa - posted on 12/05/2008

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I found the least messy way to start my son feeding himself was to strip him down to the diaper,Put a plastic tablecloth under the highchair and let him at it.he just went at it till he was full,then all I had to do was bath him ,shake out the tablecloth and rinse it in the tub after he was done then hang it over the shower rod

Sarah - posted on 12/05/2008

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usually you can try to let them feed themselves as early as now. Since she's already grabbing for the spoon, you could try now, you will end up with a bit of a mess but if you hold the bowl for her while she holds the spoon, most of the mess should stay on the high chair, and then you'll have any easy clean up. Good luck

Emily - posted on 12/05/2008

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if she wants to give it a try go for it just be ready for a mess but i let my kids have a spoon when they eat since they started baby food and my son started feeding himself around 15 months

Jay - posted on 12/05/2008

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just let her give it a go my first child was like that she mad a big mess but not long after she was feed her self like a pro its good for them to make a bit of mess now and then

Stephanie - posted on 12/05/2008

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Kids are the best indicators as to when they are ready to try new things. Don't leave her alone while she's trying to feed herself but by all means go ahead and let her try. Yes it will be messy but some good pics can be taken of this :) As for the mess, I bought cheap tablecloths and would put one under my kids' highchair, that way any mess that would have been on the floor is on the tablecloth. Then either just shake it out after or throw it in the wash and a big part of cleanup is done.

Lynette - posted on 12/05/2008

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Wow! It's that time already. My son is 16 months old and I tried it with him and let me tell you...I can't stop laughing. He was so cute covering in cranberry sauce, turkey meat and macaroni & cheese. Ok, let's get serious...I would place him sitting in his hair chair in the kitchen, so that I won't have to clean as much. When he gets a hang of holding the spoon properly which all children will, he will be moved to the table with us. Be patient with your daughter, she will get a hang of it because they do well when they're hungry.

Cindy - posted on 12/05/2008

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Thanks for the great suggestions...she has been finger feeding dry snacks for quite a while, and is very good at it...I think I will let her try spoon feeding herself today before her bath...I have the rubbery bib with the pouch at the bottom to catch food... love it!...even though she is really neat when I feed her. Thanks again!

[deleted account]

Try letting her feed herself right before bath time in just her diaper. That way whatever mess she makes on herself will be easy to clean and you won't spend hours doing stain-removal.

User - posted on 12/05/2008

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one small trick i taught my children was to put their chim over the bowl...than alot of what goes down their chins lands right back in the bowl...also cheapie dollar store plastic table clothes can help for a quick clean up or maybe prevent a mess while out and about!!

Lauren - posted on 12/05/2008

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Id say if she wants to feed herself then let her! When James went on to solids at 6 months I always gave him something to feed himself at the same time, i.e. carrot sticks, peas, pear slices etc, so he has always been able to feed himself with his hands. However, he isnt interested in his spoon what so ever! Be prepared to be sweeping and wiping down your baby and your kitchen atleast 3 times a day! Its how they learn though, the messier the better as its more fun and theyl enjoy it more xxx

Ricarda - posted on 12/05/2008

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I used to strip my kids down to the diaper too and be ready for a bath as soon as they were done. I found that the plastic bibs that have a sort of bowl at the bottom were usefull because you can get the food from the bib back in their bowl and you don't waste as much food because 3 out of 4 spoons don't usually make it untill they get more practise

Kimberlee - posted on 12/05/2008

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Sounds like she is independent, you should let her try and do it. I would say help her at 1st and once she gets let go with it!

[deleted account]

Hey Cindy! I'm at that place myself with my 14 month old. She has been self-feeding fingerfoods for a while, but now we are on to the spoon. I like the idea about stripping them to their diaper. I would also love to find some of the full-sleeve bibs if anyone knows where they are sold. I think we are all in for some fun messes! Good luck and may the Swiffer be with you! =)

Courtney - posted on 12/05/2008

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Sounds like she is ready to try herself....I would let her...Yes it's bound to be a messy messy experience but they really do try to get it in there mouth....it's just they usually turn the spoon upside down just before it gets there...lol it's really cute!!...But from my experience my kids eat more when they are feeding themselves...Goodluck I am sure she will do great...

Kristine - posted on 12/05/2008

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I used to strip my little one down to her diaper and set her in her highchair in the middle of the kitchen and let her have at it... It was messy at first, but the only way they will get better at feeding themselves is if you let them practice!

Michelle - posted on 12/05/2008

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Babies will always let you know when they're ready to try something new! My son started self-feeding around the same age. I started with little finger snacks (cheerios, bananas, other non-messy items!), and then let him hold the spoon to get used to it (make sure you get a spoon that is designed for little hands). I see no reason to not let her try - just remember to strap on her bib and hopefully let her eat over a tiled floor (much easier to clean than carpet!). Trust me, this is the first in a long line of messes! Good luck. :)

Trisha - posted on 12/05/2008

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Cindy, my best advise, is if your daughter wants to feed herself, let her. Just make sure there is a soft spoon for her, and make sure you have a spoon to help her too.

I have 2 boys and they were about the same age. I had a spoon that had a really small handle to give them, and then I hepled with another spoon. Oh and another sugestion, full sleved bibs for you and her, haha, it can be very messy. Hope all goes well

Laura - posted on 12/05/2008

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If you don't mind cleaning up a mess let her try. Or let her hold the spoon and guide it for her, then she feels like she is doing it herself but without the mess.

Heather - posted on 12/05/2008

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Sounds like she's ready to give it a try now! If you're worried about spoon-feeding being messy, you can hold on to the very end of the spoon and help her guide it. It'll still be messy, but not AS messy. :)

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