Self-Feeding: The Complete Guide for Babies and Toddlers


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She should at least eat her preferred food. This will aid you while hand feeding. Alisha on May 22, at 2: Does this mean anything I should be concerned about? We just adopted a newborn in October and because he was so spit uppy, we changed formulas a couple of times. While I think extended breastfeeding or formula feeding — my daughter got the homemade formula 3 times a day until she was almost 2 years old is wise, I think babies need iron and zinc from solids at around 6 months of age.

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My Baby Thrived on this Affordable Homemade Goat Milk Formula

Noodles and fruit are soft, but slippery, and may fall apart. In the beginning we want to keep their frustration level down, and give them a real chance at being successful. That will motivate them to try again and again.

If they are having trouble with getting the food onto the fork, provide that hand over hand help again until they get the hang of it. Give them as little help as possible as you move along. I love them because of their wide curved handle, plus the shape allows them to dip only a little and still get a spoonful.

The best part is that they are metal and will actually pierce something. If your child is already a toddler and you missed the steps I just described, it is okay, you are still going to proceed in much the same way.

You will likely be moving through those early steps more quickly. With a toddler it is important to follow their lead and give them as much help as they need, although it is okay to let them struggle a little here, too. I also have to point out her, that sometimes toddlers know how to feed themself, or at least are capable of doing so, but may refuse because they are extremely picky eaters.

If your child is struggling to get the hang of it or is refusing to try, make sure it is not the mess that is bothering them. If they do get a little messy and it upsets them, be quick to clean it up. Check out how to help kids with sensory sensitivities. Regardless of the reason they are having difficulty: If you need more ideas for foods and recipes, check out meal ideas for babies and toddlers.

Baby and Toddler Feeding Red Flags. How to Wean from the Bottle. My baby is 9 months. We started purees at 6 months, the usual baby rice cereal, pear, apple sauce, pumpkin etc. I would possibly get 2 baby spoons in at a sitting. At 7 months my child health nurse suggested I start trying 3 meals a day instead of 1, and offering mixed purees with lumps as well as finger foods such as cucumber sticks, cut strawberry or toast soldiers so my baby can easily feed herself. She is now almost 9 months….

Sometimes she may let me give her baby spoons at the most.. She is frustrated quickly…. Any tips would be appreciated. Some babies definitely eat far less. At a minimum, I would keep offering. Try adding stronger flavors or making food blander.

Does she respond to one over the other? One of my kids ate a spicy lamb stew that my mom made for dinner and we pureed it in the blender for him, he refused all regular baby foods. Focus on the table foods and definitely check out how to transition to table foods for more tips! Hope you are doing good? My love is 22 months old. Still he is taking his food by own. I am spoon feeding.

But he if I gv him fruits he lleat by himself. Our stable food is rice. But he always refuse to eat that. I am forcing him to eat every time and still he is not chewing the food but he chewing well what he takes own.. Pl help me out.. He can learn to eat rice, but that is more difficult for some babies.

Hello, hoping you can offer some advice. My son just turned 3 years old. He has been receiving OT for a year now. He is verbal and understands commands. He will finger feed himself dry foods only, he can drink out of open cups, and straws. He can eat foods that are easy to stab with a fork. He can sometimes eat foods with a spoon without hand over hand.

He does have some sensory issues on his face, so we have tons of napkins for every meal. Our issues are more behavioral. Getting him to sit and feed himself an entire meal is close to impossible. He can undo his seat belt and climb out of his highchair. Letting him sit at the table with us leads to him trying to stand on his chair or run away.

So leaving him go, and not feeding him while he runs around the house can mean possible dehydration. So I end up chasing him around trying to get him to eat. Do you have any suggestions of things I could try to help him? I totally get where you are and this can be so overwhelming! As I listen to your story, I think he could really benefit from a sensory diet.

He may benefit from using tools like a weighted lap pad, a wiggle seat, or proprioceptive activities beforehand or during the meal. I have a guide for weighted lap pads here and I have a new post coming out next week about the wiggle seats.

Lastly, I have this post on how to keep your child seated for meals. We, as parents are frustrated now. We made mistake of spoon feeding our 2 year 2 months old boy.

Still he does not eat easily- needs some distraction like colors, toys, screen to eat food. Each meal is minimum of an hours when he does not eat a large meal. So every evening is about cooking and then feeding him mainly after whole day of work. And weekends same cycle for all three meals so all weekend is only at his service. It works sometimes if he is hungry for a lil time.

I really really want him to develop interest in food and start eating by himself! Please help and suggest a way to be followed.

I know how frustrating that can be! I have a free picky eating workshop that I think would be really helpful for you. You can sign up here. I think these are the first steps you need to take. My little one is about 16 months. He self feeds some of his favorite food like crackers, cheese, gold fish, fruits etc.

Its a dilemma for me because it is him eating some food versus not eating at all. He goes to day car and the same story continues, he does well with his snacks and fruits but not with the main course. How do I encourage him to eat by himself and how do I deal with the quantity that he eats is enough for him or not? This age is all about learning to use a spoon. He probably just still needs some help, but if you become more concerned, I would definitely check with your doctor. I have this post on Toddler Portion Sizes that I think will answer your other question.

First off thank you so much for all the information. He only eats them when I put them in his mouth. I have tried hand over hand with him, but when I do that he gets frustrated and throws the puff on the floor. What can I do to help him feed himself the puffs? Should I wait till he feeds himself before I start introducing new finger foods? Any information is so greatly appreciated!

I know that sounds odd but it will help teach him the idea. My son will be 1 next week and we have been on a very wild food journey.. He will pick food up with his pincer grasp yay! He just removes it from his mouth and drops it on the floor.. Im not quite sure how to teach him to let go of the food inside his mouth. He also is a very slow eater and can only handle one small bite at a time ie: At this rate I feel like he will never be able to eat portion sizes or anything near the portion sizes that other toddlers eat.

He also gets intimidated by utensils at times so I feed him often with my own hands. And recently he had started acting aversive to drinking formula both from a bottle and a sippy, but he will drink water happily. I wonder if the formula hurts his belly. I just am feeling pretty stuck and want him to thrive and be happy. Any tips you can give me are greatly appreciated! It can be really challenging for kids that have been tube fed to learn to eat, this is very normal. Of course, it can be done!

He also may have some oral aversions to work through. I hope that helps a little! My son is 3 and a half years old and he still does not eat himself. He only drinks water by himself. He didnt even bite chocolate, chips etc. Please help me so that he can chew food and take it himself.

If you have any questions let me know! I am having trouble getting my daughter to eat with a spoon. Before trying to feed her from a bowl and with a spoon. I would place her food on her tray and have her eat with her hands. She would eat but not enough as she would start to play with her food. She does not want to eat. How can i fix this. I really hope you can help me.

My son is 2,5 year son old and is really really messy when he eats. He has very little patience and just crumbles everything or smears it all over himself when he gets tired of trying or is finished eating. He is not a picky eater though. So we are on a deadline to try and help him learn to eat mess free. Hi we have a 25 month old daughter. She is a great kid but when it comes to her eating it is always hard. She eats ok with me on her own but with my wife she struggles.

My wife puts her front of the TV and puts the food in her mouth as she watches the TV. I protested to this as well and now she plays games with her and tries to give her the food to hold by hand which she usually dropes.

It takes about 30 minutes to an hour to feed her in any of these various ways. I know we are doing everything wrong but my wife disagrees. I wanted to know the problems this could cause down the road so that I can explain it to my wife. Also please tell us what we should do to get everything in order and move in the right direction.

I do have to say though that she is healthy physically she is 50 percentile in weight and 60 percentile in height. Thank you in advance. There are so many kids just like your daughter that are thriving and doing well, but have a serious case of picky eating.

I actually have a lot on here that I think will be really helpful. First, I want you to check out this post about distractions. Maybe you guys could watch it together? You can sign up free here.

They tend to over-eat and can further make negative associations with food. I hope that helps! My son is almost 21 months he can and will self feed with a spoon and fork if he feels like it.

Most of the time he will just play with the food and spill it or throw it to the ground. He will let us feed him and will eat a decent amount but he is also very fussy. He will not eat much meat except hamburgers which is a rare treat so most of his protein comes from eggs, hummus and peanut butter. I feel bad feeding him the same foods everyday. And, also, I have a free workshop you can take that teaches you 3 important strategies to helping kids eat better.

You can sign up for free here. I am a mom of twins. They are 16 months age adjusted. Everyday eating takes hours the mess is amazing. They refuse the suction plates they take them out of their table and poor all the food over the table top. One of them love to through down to the floor all the food. He became a really picky eater.

How I can make them keep the food in the plate? To be honest I might forget the plates for now and try again in a month, just give them a break. Put just a couple pieces of food at a time on their plates. As for the bibs, I know its so hard, I went through a battle with each of my kids at this age and really it just takes persistence and patience.

I would always put them back on and ignore the cries, it took some time but they eventually got past it. My son is 14 months old.

He is a great eater in that he eats all kinds of solid foods. The problem is he does not self feed at all. Rather, he puts it in his high chair or drops it on the floor. I have tried to show him with Cheerios but no luck yet.

Also, he rarely reaches for the spoon when we are feeding him. How do I fix this? Hi I need some advice! I have a 12 month daughter that is eating all solid foods, weening her off of puréed food but my problem is she is so persistent on using a spoon for everything and refuses to let me feed her or help her. She screams when I try to help. She wants to be the only one with a spoon. How do I let her learn but still make sure she is getting the nutrients?

Will she allow you both to have a spoon? Give her her own bowl with a little in it while you control the bigger bowl. Hi Alisha, My son is 16 month old. He is not eating anything by himself. I have seen him biting his toys but not picking anything from floor and eating it. But he could use his pincer grasp to pick say, peanut from floor.

He just explores it and throws away. I even tried offering his favorite finger foods on his palm when he is hungry asking him to eat it by himself.

He just throws it away crying or giving it back to me expecting me to feed him. He is a premature baby born on 34 weeks. Is this a normal thing for my son? Please assist me on what I should do to improve his eating behavior. Take his hand to his mouth so the begins to understand. This will take a lot of repetition. Ya he eats well and eat variety of foods too. Only problem is he is not eating by himself. Sometimes he plays with food.

But he never tries taking it to mouth even when he is at the peak of hunger. I can wait even for months training him, just wanna make sure that this is not something abnormal. Thank you so much for your quick reply! He used to do good feeding himself and being independent. He keeps the food in his mouth. He seems not to enjoy eating so much and that is stressing me out.

How can I get him feed himself and enjoy his meals like he used to do? I appreciate the help! Hi Rani, Based on the little your shared here, it sounds like he is having food aversions, which can be incredibly stressful. Do me a favor, head to my start here and take a look at the couple of articles I have listed for picky eating. I think this is a really good starting point for you. There is a way out of this! Hi,i have same problem how I can teach my 16months old to feed himself.

This is very common at this age, as frustrating as it is. Check out the article index at http: I will say only give him a few pieces of food at a time and be patient and consistent- not always easy, I know! My son is He loves food and is pretty good about trying different things as long as we feed him, though he takes a while to warm up to new textures. If I put food on his tray he will carefully pick it up and hand it back to me and whine until I put it in his mouth.

If I put it back on his tray he will hand it back to me, and will keep this up until I feed him or until he gets frustrated and throws it on the ground.

If I walk away he will pick it up and throw it on the ground, methodically throwing every piece until his tray is empty. If I give him a larger piece of fruit a whole strawberry or a chunk of banana he will sometimes take one nibble and then he will squash it and rub it all over his tray. He has never been the kind of kid who puts toys or other things in his mouth except very occasionally when teething.

He also had issues with feeding early on including a lip and tongue tie, which we had cut. He never was able to suck well enough to breastfeed. Thanks for your help! He definietly needs to start getting things into his mouth. Brush his tongue, encourage him to chew on it. Get his teethers out, dip them in foods he likes. This will help immensely. I would also consider calling early intervetnion in your state, search for that in my search bar or see the article index in the menu bar.

This is totally free, and could be really helpful. Hi, Your article is very helpful. Another big problem is that she wont accept to be fed by anyone else. What can i do to make sure she eats even when am not around her. Read there and click through to eating basics. Make sure you are following everyone of those items for a week or two and then we can talk about some more advanced strategies. If you are already doing that then let me know! My son is going to turn 2 next month.

Whereas he eats it all if I feed him. He was making a good progress when he was 13 months but we had a nanny who started feeding him and now the situation is that he keeps waiting for us.

He refuses to eat on his own. He would eat things like cheerios,french fries etc. Basically, things that are completely non-messy and dry, he would eat. He hates it if anything gooey touches his hands.

They have to be wiped immediately. Same with his face, it just cannot get dirty. We have got him enrolled into part time school now and I am wondering if we should be looking to get therapy or I am just not sure how to go about it.

I am very tensed right now. I know it can be really stressful. It is never a bad idea to get an evaluation and see if he needs more help. Start following all of those steps. Then take a look at the post, Sensory Processing and Picky Eating. Take a look at those posts and then let me know if you have more questions, you can find all my posts by clicking on articles in the menu bar.

Read through the comments here, too! Might want to rethink that! Because all of my professional advice is free here and I commit a lot of hours to sharing here I do have to use ads to keep this blog going. Did they pop up or just on the pictures? My apologies again jordan, there was some sort of glitch with that particular article, I have no idea why, but it is taken care of now, sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for bringing it to my attention.

I completely understand needing advertising to keep the blog running. No, there was no way to remove the ad. I am glad you got it taken care of! At first she was SUPER sensitive to texture, where she would gag, and subsequently puke, with almost every bite. Puff or anything remotely large would immediately yield this result. However, she refuses to pick up food and put it in her mouth. She will play with whatever we put in front of her, but it always ends up on the floor.

If we pick up the food, she leans in for us to feed her. She still sometimes gags, but mostly just slowly gums the food and eventually swallows. She is also slightly behind in speech. Could these two things be connected? Any advice is much appreciated! Based on what you just told me I think it is very likely that she has an oral motor delay. This can be addressed, but I would highly recommend getting an evaluation as soon as possible.

You can do that through early intervention for free if you live in the states. This oral motor delay is also definitely related to speech.

This may be a very minor issue, and may only need some specific techniques to improve quickly. You can try going through this steps as well. Please let me know if you have more questions! Thank you so much for responding! Also doing a bit better on the table foods, but still only eats if I put it in her mouth. Can you also send me info on your consultation services, too? My son is going to turn 2 on next two weeks, and I start to gave him a own spoon and bowl and put some food in it for him to eat by himself during this few days but I still fed him most of the food like what you teach , but he refused to get them and bring them back to me, and then I tried to give them to him one more time, he still gave them to me and said no,no,no,no.

So what can I do to training him to eat by himself? I know it is really frustrating, but I would really try to focus on just offering. Take your time, but be consistent at every meal.

Give him his own spoon and a small bowl as you feed him. Also, try acting like you are busy for a few minutes and just walk away when you know it is something he really likes and is really hungry. My son just turned 11 months and he is having difficulty picking up food and putting it in his mouth self-feeding. He will either pick up the food and then drop it on the ground immediately or swat at it and push it off his tray.

He barely tries to put any of it in mouth. I am starting to get worried about him not self-feeding — please help! Hi, these are great questions. I have to first ask, does he eat any table foods? Can he chew the puffs? Also, have you seen my posts on how to transition to table foods? You can find those by clicking on the menu bar and looking in the article index- there are some helpful tips there.

I would also highly recommend getting him to start playing in some different textures, you can do this through sensory bins, I have a post about those too also found in the article index.

Are you in the states? If so, you can also schedule a free in home evaluation through early intervention, again, a post can be found in the article index. Let me know the answer to those first questions and I can give you some more guidance.

Hi Alisha, My 16 months daughter seems to have gone for a hunger strike for the past four months. I started her on puréed foods when she was 6months old and she pretty much ate everything and tried all foods. I insist in sitting her at the table with her bowl of food and her spoon but she just plays with it and looks very disgusted. I am started to get worried. What do you think? It is great that you are putting her at the table every day, for every meal! You can find them in the article index in the menu bar.

You will want to follow the steps in the article. Also, are you in the states? I would look into a free in-home eval you can also find more on this in the article index see early intervention and see if there are some underlying difficulties. This is very non-invasive and can be very helpful. It is very common for me to see this in my practice, so you are not alone.

Let me know if you have any questions after you take a look at the other articles. Thank you for this wonderful article.

My sweet girl is 15 months and refuses to self feed. She will pick up the food but then toss it. I will try to gently take her hand and put it towards her mouth and she throws a huge fit each time and gets hysterical. My husband, grandma and I try in the efforts but it always turns into a unsuccessful mess.

I am nervous though my doctor said she is just lazy. I feel completely at a loss. I feel helpless and like she will never learn. Hi My daughter is 3 years old preschooler But she still on spoon feeding. I have to run after her for hrs to make her finish her lunch and dinner. I understand how difficult this is, and it is going to take some time and a lot of consistency. I would also take a look at my eating basics see the menu bar and try to follow those suggestions, which will help establish a routine and structure around meals.

This is critical to her feeding herself. Then, you can begin some the strategies discussed in this post. Yes try the steps! I like these tips!

He holds the spoon in one hand and eats with the other. He puts the spoon on the bowl, then bats it away when he wants a bite so he can grab the food. My son is almost 18 months. I also really like your sensory bins, wouldd it be good to do something similar with bigger items for a toddler who still bites everything?

Yes, sensory bins are great for him! Think about using cornmeal, flour, oatmeal, etc. Here is a great list: As for the holding a spoon, it is quite common for them not to want help. I would try having it already loaded when he sits down sitting in the bowl. This will help him get off to a right start.

Make sure you are using a thick handled spoon like a share in the post and one that has a deep bowl, this will make it easier for him.

Other than that, keep trying, consistency and patience are the key. Focus on using yogurt or pudding that is hard to pick up, but sticks easily to a spoon. Thank you for the link for edible sensory bins! Maybe this will get him to explore food textures a little more.

And by the way, he somehow manages to grab yogurt…. I have tried crackers, puffs small noodles and nothing works. Also, he just started to hold his own bottle about 3 weeks ago, before that we had to hold it for him.

When initiating feeding, follow physician's instructions. For Use with Enteral Feeding Pumps: Remove dust cover from feeding set connector. Turn connector collar clockwise until it is securely fastened. Close clamp on set before inverting container. Invert container and suspend, using hanging ring on bottom of container. Follow directions for use provided by manufacturer of feeding sets. Unless a shorter hang time is specified by the set manufacturer, hang product for up to 48 hours after initial connection when clean technique and only one new set are used.

Otherwise hang for no more than 24 hours. Contains milk and soy ingredients. Locate a Sales Rep If you would like to speak with an Abbott Nutrition sales representative, please contact: It all depends on his tolerance. You could increase each feeding gradually to test it, for example start out with 2. If you absolutely need to reduce the number of feeds to 2 per day, maybe you could still do the 3 feeds a day on some days, alternating between the 2 schedules.

My husband is age 77 , bedridden,has dementia from closed head trauma due to accident in Navy. I feed him via a PEG tube. For years we gave Jevity 1. A nurse suggested we switch to Two Cal HN twice a day. I believe he has lost weight on the Two Cal. When we feed and the amount of water given is in direct correlation to the suctionings due to phlegm in his throat.

Bolus is 60ml water before, 60ml feed, 60 ml after. We wait 1 to 2 hrs between feedings until the ml can of Two Cal is gone. We give 2 cans a day. Is that enough feed and are we giving the feed and water too fast and too often? Hi Mary, thank you for your question! With the difference in treatment plans you mention, there is a deficit of calories daily. Over time this could have led to weight loss. Was there a specific reason the change was made?

He is also getting significantly less fiber. How are his bowel habits? For more calories, you could add an additional half-can of the Two Cal HN in another feeding or you could try going back back to the the 3 cans of Jevity 1.

Another option would be to syringe in a liquid protein supplement, such as Promod, which would contribute an additional calories and 10 grams of protein. I watch a 18 month old with a Mickey button. All his fluids are given through his tube, but he consumes most food orally. We give him 4ozs of pediasure at a time, every hours. I was taking my time pushing them, but his mom just pushes it all straight in, in a matter of about 2 minutes. I started doing this as well.

Thank you in advance! Hi Heather, thanks for your question! Watch for signs of intolerance, such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal distension or fussiness. My mom 93 years old was order 40cc of g-tube feeding. The Kangaroo feeding machine was ordered. The machine arrived and the hospital expected the private CNA to assemble. The nurse cane out and gave my mom cc through via Bolus at one time. The next day cc although the doctor ordered 40cc per hour.

A week before she had fluid removed from her lungs and scar tissue had developed. Rushed her hospital discovers fluid had build up again in her lungs. I believe it was from the Bolus feedingof at on time which created more fluid. I am seeking answers as we speak. I am unclear what to do but I believe both times the Bolus created the problem. The additional fluid buildup in her lungs was probably more related to her medical condition than the feeding, but her pulmonary doctor should be able to explain the situation.

Our thoughts are with you, I hope she gets better! My husband has just been given a gtube still in hospital. Hi Charlotte, thank you for your question!

Make sure they send you home with written instructions for the feeding plan, including water flushes. Choose a medical supply company that has a registered dietitian. Read up before he comes home.

Here are some articles to start with: In addition to support from your healthcare professionals and medical supply company, check out the Oley Foundation for information, tips and support from others who care for someone with a tube or who have a tube themselves.

My 37 year old daughter, Natalie, was born with severe cerebral palsy and is now a pounds nonverbal quadriplegic. She has had a gtube for 3 months and we are still trying to adjust her feedings so my husband and I can sleep through the night.

Jevity upset her stomach in the hospital, so they changed her to Vital. She was prescribed 5 Vital cartons along with ml water daily. We have tried 3 feedings of 1.

Homemade Baby Formula Recipe