8 Month Old Sleeping and Eating Habits

Updated on February 22, 2010
H.W. asks from Altoona, IA
6 answers

I have an 8 1/2 month old little boy.....over the past few weeks he has been more difficult when eating; he throws his hands around and, often, whacks the spoon with the food and occassionally spits when I try to give him his next bite. i have tried slef feeding, but he's not diggin it; all foods that he is fed are foods that we have already tried and he likes. Is this just a phase, am I feeding him too much (he is a great eater)?

Same little boy...had pretty bad exzema (sp?), used Aveeno and humidifier to clear it up, but wasn't sleeping well because of it (I assume). Only would sleep in his car seat....still struggling to sleep well at night if not in car seat. I only had him in the carseat for a couple nights.....if he continues to sleep in it, will he rely on only sleeping in the seat?

thanks for all your respnses in advance.....they are always helpful!!!

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answers from Eau Claire on

Well, I don't know about the carseat. If he has acid reflux (as suggested by Alyson) maybe ask your doctor what you can do? It isn't a great habit to encourage, especially if he slept fine in his crib before. He's at an age where routine and habits form. You said that he trouble sleeping started after you began using Aveeno and a humidifier? Maybe try taking those two factors away for a couple of days, and see if he sleeps better. If he does, ask your doctor if there is something else you can do for his eczema that won't bother his sleep.

In regards to his eating, my son did this too. He liked to pick the food up with his fingers to feed himself, but as soon as he began to get full he would swipe his hands back and forth across his tray, sending food everywhere, and he would mash it ('playing with his food'). He would do the same things sometimes when we fed him ourselves (waving his arms, hitting the spoon, spitting). It was a phase, a frustrating one, but it did go away. The trick to making it go away was two things: endurance, and discipline. He was scolded when he threw his food or mashed it, and if he didn't calm down after being told "No" when he threw his hands around and hit the spoon and spat, he was told he was "All done" and his meal ended. If in ten minutes he was still interested in eating, we would try again, and usually he behaved himself the second time. Usually.

This process of Mommy and Daddy trying to be patient and wait it out, and being firm in teaching him that throwing his hands around in a fit, mashing food, throwing food, spitting, etc, was not okay– it took a month or two, but it worked. He still does some of this stuff every once in a while (like when he is teething and just plain grumpy!), but it is usually when he is throwing a temper, but he knows that it is wrong, and will either get defiant (as little kids do when throwing a temper) or he will freeze and get an "uh oh" look on his face.

Your son could be getting full (if he eats great for most of the meal, and then starts to act out towards the end, that is probably it). In that case still be firm, that he can't do those things, but go ahead and stop feeding him. Now would be a good time to start saying "All done?" Just those two words, a couple of times; and then put his food away and let him down. He will start to associate those words with when he is all done, and some of his first words may be "ah dah" (which is how my boy says it). Which will be great! It will give him a way of letting you know he's done. If he is just acting out, again, just be firm and tell him "No!" with authority. If he hits, throws his arms again, etc., grab his arm firmly (though not to hurt) so he can't do whatever it is he is doing, and say "No!" again. If he spits, and keeps doing it when you have said no, give his cheek a very light flick with your finger (again, not to hurt) and say "No!" The flick will surprise him more than anything, and he won't like it, even though it doesn't hurt. He might cry when you do it, because it will surprise him. Gently touch his hair, say I love you, or It's okay, make a soothing noise (so he knows you still love him), and then try feeding him again. He'll learn! :-)

I hope this helps. Good luck (it does end!) and God bless!
M. D



answers from Minneapolis on

My son is about the same age as yours and doing many of the same things. I think it's just a phase. Part of it is probably teething. He has several of them ready to pop any day now. Are you feeding him exclusively table food? I started mine at 7.5 months b/c puree just was too disliked. He really acts out if I'm eating something different from him. Another thing is mine has decided that to eat the same thing over again is not acceptable unless it has been reinvented so make sure you're offering some new things. He can be introduced to yogurt (Old Home is a great brand without all the extra garbage Dannon is my second choice), cheese, egg yolks (not whites). Mine is really into the I want to try new things stage. The other thing is I really noticed that he ate like a little pig for Grandma whom he sees about once a month when she came to visit so try letting your husband feed him. Maybe the new face will be fun (I've tried my husband and it doesn't work only Grandma did :) ) I know it's been suggested already but give him his own spoon (again just a toy doesn't work for mine he gets distracted losses it on the floor and just keeps looking instead of eating). But hey just keep trying stuff something will work otherwise it'll pass in time. Remember the majority of his nutrients are still coming from Breastmilk or formula so he's not going to starve.

As for the Eczema the Eucerin brand Aquaphor works great. Other lotions I've tried I consider a scam especially the Johnson and Johnson baby lotion, IMO anyways. It works great on my husband's eczema too and is safe for baby. GL


answers from Minneapolis on

My little guy (11 months) hated being fed, too. He never was into baby food because he would do the same thing your little one does. I think it is important to remember he won't starve himself! I moved to table food exclusively around 9 months so we wouldn't get frustrated. Cut things into manageable pieces and be patient. You will be amazed at how quickly he learns to pick things up and get it to his mouth. I still always put a spoon on his tray for him to "use" I also give him a spoon with something thicker on there (oatmeal, thicker mixed baby food, pudding as he gets older) so he learns to get it to his mouth.



answers from Dallas on

Hi NilesMommy,

Have you checked if your son has acid reflux? Both my daughters had it and had the same symptoms - sometimes wouldnt eat, had to sleep sitting up, etc. Does he spit up alot? Get ear infections (sometimes the extra fluid will go into the ear canal)?



answers from Des Moines on

I figured out if I let him hold a spoon in his hand but continued to feed him (with a different spoon) things went much better. He felt like he was participating and we still got food in his mouth. Good luck!



answers from Rapid City on

I hope you don't try withholding food from your baby if he is hungry or flick his cheek when he hits the spoon, like some of the suggestions. Sorry, but I'm an advocate for children and at 8 1/2 months, I thinks that's too mean. He may not be done swallowing his first bite or he may be having trouble swallowing. His food may be too thick so try thinning it a bit so he can swallow easier. He might not be ready to advance to what you are giving him. He may be having problems with reflux at night or need to burp more before going to bed. Try rocking him to sleep and elevating one end of his mattress (not too high, of course). Bland foods, nothing acidic like tomato sauces or veggies that cause gas, and Mylicon drops should help alot. Aquaphor is great for eczema. If you are bathing everyday, use unscented babybath and alternate washing and rinsing every other day. Eucerin lotion helps too. I hope these help give your little one some comfort and ease your mind. IF he is still having issues, definitely make an appointment with his doctor to see if something else going on with his tummy and throat and maybe they can prescribe something for his eczema. Good luck! J. W.

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