18 answers

Tips on Feeding an Enthusiastic 9 Month Old

My daughter loves to eat. I always start her out with cereal, which she wolfs down with no problems. After her cereal, I move on to her fruits and veggies. She likes them too, but for some reason she loves to wave her arms around in the air when I'm trying to feed them to her, almost like she's "running interference." It's really tough to get anything in her mouth - everything winds up on her, me, and the floor rather than inside of her. I know, I know - babies are messy eaters, but this is just starting to get out of hand. I don't encourage the behavior and try to keep a straight face in case she's doing it to be funny or to get a rise out of me. I know it's not that she's full or doesn't like the food because she will eat toast and other finger foods afterwards. It's not like she's pushing the spoon away, she just waves her hands around like she's excited. She also eats finger foods that I have trouble getting her to eat from a spoon - like she'll eat cut up avocado, but not mashed up avocado. Is it time to move her completely to chopped fruits/veggies?? I just feel like it's really early for that (not to mention I have a freezer FULL of baby food). It's just weird to me that she'll eat her cereal from a spoon just fine. Any ideas?

What can I do next?

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I've dealt with the same thing with my daughter who is now two. She needed some independence but yet she still needed some help at that age. She is still like that today with some foods. I use to try and give her apple bits but she would throw them or try to stuff them in her mouth all at once, so then under close supervision I gave her an apple wedge and she slowly and quietly chewed on it. It blew me out of the water. At times it seemed frustrating because I 'hated' cleaning up the mess but in the end meal times were much more relaxing. I now have a 9 month old and she is beginning to self feed and she just loves picking up small pieces of bread. Have you given her a drink after the cereal maybe it makes her thirsty. Maybe putting little amounts on her tray at a time will help.Babies love colors so maybe the colorful vegetables make her excited and she wants to hold them. I hope this may help you in some way.

When I used to be an infant teacher (and with my own kids), I always gave them a spoon to hold too... then they think they're part of the action, and may be a little more willing to eat.

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That's great she is so excited about eating :) I agree with Simone, try giving her something to hold. Her own spoon might help, especially if she is wanting to feed herself.

Good luck!

Give her a spoon! Also let her have finger foods, diced soft fruits, cheerio's, toast, waffles, shredded meats. My boys ate homemade baby foods and I always gave them a spoon of thier own. By 9 months they were pretty much on table foods and by a year they had mastered using a spoon and fork.

The best practice is to let her do it. Give her a spoon when you are feeding her, and let her have finger foods. She can still be eating the freezer full of baby foods you've made for her, but she is big enough to experiment with finger foods too!

did you tell them to spot eating to much thankyou B.


She definately wants to feed herself. I have a 9 month old and the only baby food she still eats is YoBaby yogurt and the baby cereal mixed with 100% fruit juice or formula. Last night she had beef stew for dinner. You've got to keep her hands busy. Make sure there is ALWAYS finger food available. Let her feed herself and you can slip in a spoonful of something when she is concentrating on picking up something with her fingers. She can absolutely eat chopped fruits and veggies as long as they are canned or cooked. I wouldn't bother with the Gerber Graduates stuff, (except for traveling/restaurants.) It is really expensive and it isn't any different than what comes in the canned isle of the store. Just make sure it is low sodium veggies and fruit canned in juice, not syrup.

I would also purchase a vinyl tablecloth or drop cloth from the paint supply section of the store and put it under her high chair or booster seat. It's gonna be messy for a while. After every meal, just keep saying, "This too shall pass." :)

Good luck,

My son likes to do the hand-thing, too, and we've found that if we put something in his hands (biter biscuit, his own spoon, etc.), we can usually get spoonfuls in around it. We keep going back and forth between the baby food, mashed, and chunked stuff, but if you're looking for something to use that babyfood on, you could use it to thicken your cereal and get a 2-fer that way. My guy is not that into fruits and veggies, so I pour rice cereal (which he likes) right into the container of strained whatever, make a thick and chunky paste, and that seems to work. Might be one way to use up that stock. Another idea is to add those purees into soups, mac & cheese, french toast batter, etc. (I personally love strained carrots in pasta with some cheese--looks bright orange like the boxed stuff, but WAY better for you.)

Hi E., This is pretty typical of that age. My 9 month old (my second daughter) is doing the same thing. Trying giving her finger foods and a spoon of her own at the same time. If that doesn't do the trick, just put her hands down on the tray and gently tell her no every time she swings at the spoon. She soon figure it out. Then she'll move on to throwing food! It's always something!


WOW E., I feel like I could have posted this myself! Our 9 month old does the SAME THING!! Here is what I started to do this past week... I put out finger food first, as she is eating them, I slowly offer the rest of her foods (typically I started mixing cereal with fruits or veggies). Then after I know she has gotten a good amount in her I may put out other finger foods, but a very small amount.
I too am using up my freezer baby food... and so far this new routine has been working for us in order to do that. It does take time but it has not been such a mess either. I was tired of cleaning the ceiling (and I AM NOT JOKING)!!
Good luck!!

Sounds like she's playing with you. Gently hold her hands down as you spoon in the food, then release them and let her celebrate! Alternate with bites of finger food. It may take awhile to use up all the baby food, but when she's a little older and can handle the spoon herself you can serve it. There's no magic age for finger food over baby food. My 16 mo. old still likes both.

SAHM of seven

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