independent 13 month!

Donna - posted on 03/26/2010 ( 13 moms have responded )




My little girl has just turned 13 months and I've been struggling with her the past couple of weeks at meal times. The problem is she won't let me spoon feed her anymore, as soon as I go near her she starts sobbing and rubbing her eyes and nose. BUT...if I put the food on the spoon and give it to her, she'll aim her mouth herself! This works for a little while, but the going is very slow and the food just gets cold, hence she's not really eating enough! I'm at a dead end and not sure what to do. Snack time is not too bad because she can manage with whatever I give her like scones, pancakes, crisps etc, but finger foods at meal times are harder. She only has 2 bottom teeth unfortunately and she does struggle with meat and tougher fingerfoods. Any help would be appreciated, I know it might just be a phase....but she is a very independent intelligent little girl and I don't think this will pass! I would appreciate it if you have any tips! Thank you x


View replies by

Asia - posted on 11/23/2010




I would not stress...My almost 13 month old has been feeding herself for over a month now and that is the only way she will eat. I dont really think that that is anything but normal at this age. I just give her a few different choices on her highchair tray and let her go for it. Somedays she eats it all others she eats a few bites and is done. (I guess it is not different than day I eat everything I see the next day I forget to feed myself) Anyway, I think as long as they are still getting whole milk, formula, or breast milk inbetween meals then they are still getting the important stuff...this is just a step in learning...with many more to come. My 5 year old lived through it and is at a normal weight and height and she did the same thing!

Abbie - posted on 03/27/2010




@ 13 months I think she should be feeding herself!! Or at least learning to, No reason for you to be spoon feeding. meat is a common one for them to not overly like. I think you just need to settle down adn let her at it. She will learn. Don't knock down her independace let her shine with it.

Cynthia - posted on 03/27/2010




I read somewhere that no child starves to death voluntarily. That means, if she needs food, she will eat it. I don't recommend that you worry about her not getting enough, especially since she is eating at snack time. Starting to self feed is part of her development. Her capabilities and her sense of empowerment may move faster, or slower, than expected, but she is moving forward. Good for her. You'll be ok too ;)

Courtney - posted on 03/27/2010




At 13 months and independent, all my kids were like that. Let he be that way. She is learning how to do things herself and likes it. Once kids knowthey can do things on there own, they start trying everything on there own. It's hard becuase ur use to doing everything for her and it's hard to let go. But let her be herself. It's actually really fun to watch, because when they want to do things by themselves and can't they get mad. At dinner time don't worry about the food getting cold that's fine, let her go at her own pace, let her enjoy everything. Foods that are hard for her to eat, moosh them up for her, it will be easier for her to pick up with a spoon and for her to eat. Sometimes it jsut takes time. Let little miss independent do her thing, and just be there to help when she needs it. And snack time is always the easiest. Her being independent is only going to get stronger has she gets older, this is something to prepare ur self for now. Good Luck.

Kristin - posted on 03/26/2010




You are going to have to let her do it some time. Go for it, just maybe switch to foods that don't need to be terribly warm or cold. I want to say Gerber makes a dipper type of utensil that we used for our youngest (weren't available with our oldest) and they really helped with the hand-eye-mouth coordination. Also, she will eat until she is full and then stop on her own. This is a good thing and should be encouraged.

As a parent, I fully understand how painfully slow this feels to us. It's also kind of hard to be okay with the mess involved. It gets faster and neater with practice. You are doing a great job if she feels ready to do this. Embrace it, now you can eat with her and not before or after.

Roxy - posted on 03/26/2010




My son is 14 months old soon and hes just the same and has been for a while. I tried giving him foods he could easily feed himself and wernt too difficult to eat such as vegtable fingers, fish fingers and cooked vegtables so they were soft ie carrot sticks, brocoli, runner beans and so on. I found that although it was frustrating for him to feed himself as it was slow and the food would normally fall off the spoon before he ate it practice makes perfect and you just have to let her try. If you are worried cook something like the vegtables and fingers and while your baby is concerntrating on picking those up just pop a spoonful of food into her mouth and she will be concerntrating on picking the foods up she will eat it and barely notice it. I hope this helps x

Alicia - posted on 03/26/2010




my 13 month old is the same way. He refuses to be fed. I let him do it himself. He eats what he wants and plays with some of his food. He likes to feel like a big kid. He also has 4 older brothers and 1 older sister. when i feed him meat I chop it up really small and he will eat it with his fingers. he has 4 teeth on top and on the bottom. I was also worried about him not getting enough to eat but he seems to. I also give him plenty of snacks during the day and one after dinner. my little boy is also getting mad about being in a highchair and i had to buy a booster chair that i strap to a chair so he can sit at the table with the rest of us. he is VERY determined to be a big boy.

Anna - posted on 03/26/2010




My son is 15 months and is also very keen on feeding himself. I have a few tricks to minimize mess. 1) Give her one spoon, you have another spoon. You hold the bowl but less her dip into it with her spoon & try to feed herself. While she's happy messing with her spoon, you can be shoveling it in with your spoon! 2) let her feed herself with a spoon outside when it's warm. 3)Indoors, put down a plastic mat under her chair and just let her feed herself sometimes. 4) Feed her a little and often & don't worry about how much she eats - she'll eat if she's hungry.
Some finger foods my son likes to eat: chunks of banana, orange, potato, pumpkin, toast, sandwiches, pasta spirals, peas, corn or rice crackers with hummus or peanut butter, strips of egg cooked omelette style. Also, my partner and I feed him off our own plates - he prefers that to being fed from his own bowl.

Kate CP - posted on 03/26/2010





Why not let her feed herself? She'll never learn unless you let her do it. She's only get faster as she goes. Give up the spoon, Mom. She wants to try it solo!

Stephanie - posted on 03/26/2010




My daughter does the same thing. I put food on a little plate and give her a little spoon and she trys to feed herself. She dosen't always eat as much as I'd would like her to but she gets enough to fill her up. She does it slow some nights but as long as someone is sitting next to her she will stay eatting. I think they are just wanting to learn fast. Good luck with everything.

Becca - posted on 03/26/2010




I'd let her do it herself. Of course it will be slow at first but she will learn and will start eating better so just make sure you're leaving lots of time for meals and not rushing her. I'd also trust her to get as much as she needs. If she stops eating because the food is cold just warm it up for her. As for meats there is nothing wrong with giving her pureed meats spread on toast, crackers or breadsticks. This is what we do with my son when we want him to get protein since he has not got teeth yet. He is 8 months and he feeds himself. Sometimes he doesn't seem to eat much but he's growing well and seems happy.

Karen - posted on 03/26/2010




I would also suggest letting her feed herself. At that age most babies just want to feed them self and play in the food so that they know the feeling and how it is going to taste. I think that the best thing for you to do right now is to just let her feed her self..She might not really eat meat. Mine doesn't eat meat and he has tons of teeth. it will take them time to chew and get use to the whole meat idea.

Danielle - posted on 03/26/2010




i would suggest letting her do it herself. you cant feed her forever and she needs to learn sometime. babies learn best by exploring. it sounds like she gets the concept so she just needs to practice and she will get better at it.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms