Help! My 18 month old won't feed himself.

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Tamela - posted on 04/15/2009

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If you don't feed him, believe me, he will eventually get hungry enough to feed himself.  The first few meal times will be difficult but he will adapt when he is hungry. Also having a dining table will encourage him to be more like mommy.  Children thrive on stability and schedule.  If you designate a dinner time at the kitchen table, you will find your attempt will be more successful.

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Christina - posted on 04/15/2009

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I don't think it is that big of a deal.  I was recently having this same fight with my 3 and a half year old!  I couldn't imagine why he wouldn't use utensils.  The only suggestion I have is have lots of wet wipes and papertowls handy.  Keep offering the utensils, but don't make a big deal out of it cause it will cause stress and he'll be fine, no need to cause unneccesary stress.

Helen - posted on 04/15/2009

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Quoting Tamela:



If you don't feed him, believe me, he will eventually get hungry enough to feed himself.  The first few meal times will be difficult but he will adapt when he is hungry. Also having a dining table will encourage him to be more like mommy.  Children thrive on stability and schedule.  If you designate a dinner time at the kitchen table, you will find your attempt will be more successful.





We don't have enough room for a dining table - anywhere!

Helen - posted on 04/15/2009

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The problem I have is that the other kids are MUCH older than him (by about 6 years!) and they wouldn't want to join in with "games". We have a little table at home, and could try that on the other 4 days that I don't have the kids.

Nicole - posted on 04/15/2009

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Have you thought of getting him a little table and chairs set. This could be his special place to have all his meals and I'm sure the other children would love to sit at it too. If he sees them eating with spoons or forks he might want to copy - if you make comments along the lines of 'Isn't ____ such a big boy/girl using their spoon to eat their dinner. Can you be a big boy like _____ and eat with your spoon' or try making games out of eating - sing songs, good old train through the tunnel, one for mummy/teddy/toy one for you (son holding the spoon and doing the feeding)

Helen - posted on 04/15/2009

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No I don't usually eat with him as I look after my friends kids, and they have to eat at 5pm. He eats with them and I eat later with my partner......

Nicole - posted on 04/15/2009

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Spoon feeding isn't that important really. So many cultures eat with their fingers. It is a development thing that he will grow out of (well some time anyway)

Nicole - posted on 04/15/2009

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keep on with the finger foods and giving him a spoon. Encourage him with self-feeding but if he doesn't do it dont be too concerned. If he has done it before he will do it again. If it worries you just do all his meals as finger foods - most foods can be picked up by toddlers. I still have times when i need to spoon feed my 2.5 year old - usually when she is distracted by something or is coming to the end of a meal. The majority of her meals are things she can pick up with her fingers. Doesn't worry me if she eats with her fingers.
You could also have 'picnics' on the floor as a treat with separate foods in separate bowls that he can pick from. Do you eat with him?

Caroline - posted on 04/15/2009

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My son did this for awhile. He would feed himself fine, then "forget." I left him in the room with a bowl of his favorite oatmeal and told him he had to feed himself if he wanted to eat. Reluctantly he did it, and now does it all the time. I know it is hard, but TRY not to give in :)

Helen - posted on 04/15/2009

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Quoting Helen:

Whoops! Missed getting the details on! My little boy will finger feed and also hold a spoon but he wont feed himself. He has done in the past and I know he knows how to do it, but I end up giving in and feeding him!


Also - we don't have a dining room table, so sometimes he sits in his highchair and sometimes we sit on the sofa depending on how tired I am!

Helen - posted on 04/15/2009

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Whoops! Missed getting the details on! My little boy will finger feed and also hold a spoon but he wont feed himself. He has done in the past and I know he knows how to do it, but I end up giving in and feeding him!

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