9 answers

How to Keep a 18Month Old from Spitting His Food Out

Hello everyone, My 18 month old just started this. He's not actually spitting, but more like opening his mouth and letting the food fall out. He likes what he's eating and will eat several bites if not almost all. Then every now and then starts letting it go. He didn't used to do it with fruit but now he's even started that too. I don't like this habit and I know he's testing, but what can I do to get him to stop. I don't want this to happen in a public restaurant. I know he will do many things to test but I want to at least be able to control it if he starts. Thanks in advance

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Johna,
My son did the same thing! I did everything to try and make him stop, but he did it on his own time.
I promise, no one will think any different of you if he happens to do it in public, especially parents!
Don't worry, this will pass and he'll start doing something else.
D.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Well, I definitely wouldn't hit the child for spitting his food out. I wouldn't hit at all. That just teaches him how to hit.

Someone else mentioned what I'm about to mention. Just say, "Uh oh, all done." (Less words, more action.) Gently pick him up and take him out of his high chair and clean up. He's done until snack time. He probably won't be happy, but he'll 'get it' after a few times....that is if he truly wants to eat.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi,
A couple of options come to mind for this. If he does this at a point in the meal when he is probably still hungry, you could tell him "No, that's not what we do with our food." and if he continues, immediately (very abruptly)take away the food and get him out of his chair and say something like "ok, I guess you are done." Then just walk away from him or put him in a time out. Then after a few minutes, ask if he would like to finish his meal. As you put him in his seat again you could say something like "ok, we are going to try this again, but the food stays in your
mouth." Don't hesitate to talk in adult words and sentences. Kids at this age understand a lot more than we think, and a lot more than they can say. Another option, that may not be as popular depending on your discipline style, is after warning him to stop, flick his mouth. Not real hard, just hard enough to sting a bit, while telling him to stop and keep the food in his mouth. He will learn pretty fast that this is unacceptable behavior and he will move on to something else.:-) Hope this helps.
M.

2 moms found this helpful

My baby girl is 18 months old also and she has started doing this same thing. She opens her mouth and starts pushing it out with her tongue. Last night she kept doing it repeatedly, so I decided not to let her have anymore. I warned her first. I told her... "no, don't spit your food out, that's messy." When she did it again, I wouldn't let her have anymore. She wasn't happy about that, but maybe this will curb it a little bit.

Good luck... we're in the same boat on this one!

1 mom found this helpful

Ah yes, the table games as I like to call them!! First time is a warning and tell him something to the effect how that isn't what we do with our food. Make sure you sound serious and firm while saying it. Second time, remove the food and the child from the table letting him know that isn't how we eat our food and take a break for a few minutes. (I say remove the food as well because at this age, they know where that plate is and will try to reach for it from the floor.) If he show signs of wanting to eat or tells you he wants his food, put him back at the table and tell him that he will keep his food in his mouth or _________ (fill in the blank for which ever meal of the day it is) will be over. If he does it this time, the meal is over and he gets nothing till his next snack or meal. Sound harsh but you aren't starving him in the least and he will learn very quickly about proper table manners this way when it comes right down to it. And when he goes to eat his next meal or snack, remind him that his food is to stay in his mouth and then start the warning and then removal process all over again. My son used to do razzberries with baby food in his mouth and I would get sprayed will all sorts of gunk!! Not even two days of doing this and he stopped really quick!!

Stay firm and hold your ground. He is learning what will push your buttons is all!
~S.

1 mom found this helpful

Johna,
My son did the same thing! I did everything to try and make him stop, but he did it on his own time.
I promise, no one will think any different of you if he happens to do it in public, especially parents!
Don't worry, this will pass and he'll start doing something else.
D.

1 mom found this helpful

Tape will keep it in.

Just kidding. :) He is playing with it and you should tell him NO, and if he doesn't listen then treat it as you do any other discipline issue- hand squeezing, hand popping or time out. You will definitly want to nip those bad table manners in the bud before they get worse. I was really strict with my first son and he has nice table manners and is a clean eater. My second son is quite messy and isn't near as easy to please and to get to eat since I wasn't as tough on him.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I think at various ages toddlers do this and sometimes I think it is a texture issue and sometimes it's to get attention or really they just aren't hungry. Anyway I wouldn't worry about other people at resturants he's a baby and they should be paying attention to their own table anyway or they are being rude by looking at your table when not invited to do so. While doing this at home with my kids I'd say oh we don't do that you must not want it ok...I'd move the food and take them out of their chair and that was that. While out to eat I always kept my childs plate near me and I piece feed my children while I ate, I'd give them only a few pieces and if they started the food falling out of the mouth i had less clean up and I'd just clean it up give them a toy to play with while we ate I kept a bag full with me lots of stuff, things they play with at home and a few new ones with from the dollar store or the thrift store so they'd have something new to keep their attention. The less of a deal you make it the less of a deal it is sometimes they really do it because they aren't hungry sometimes like adults they just don't want anything at that time. Trust me he won't be doing this at 12 yrs old actually by the time he's 4 or 5 they stop this kind of stuff.

1 mom found this helpful

Well as I am an advocate of calm discipline, I wouldn't per say discipline my child for that quite yet. I would wait a few more months until I felt they were completely able to understand. Also, we must remind them of the "house rules" repeatedly as they are still very young. 1 of my twin boys now 2, did this. I didn't make a big deal out of it. It took him months to quite doing it. I felt like the more I responded to it, the more he'd like to see me react. I didn't really care if other people thought it was bad manners, as I was his mom not them. Babies are messy, some more so than others. 1 twin is very neat while eating, the other is complete opposite. And lastly, this is just the way I chose to approach it, it doesn't mean it is for everyone. You do what you feel is right for your family, and worry less about what others think because somebody somewhere will always have something to say - it is inevitable. Good luck :)

1 mom found this helpful

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