9 Month Old Isnt Feeding Himself

Updated on June 13, 2010
T.J. asks from Prescott Valley, AZ
12 answers

My 9 month old son isn't feeding himself. Its been a little bit since I've had a little guy and finger foods, and I seem to have completly forgotten how to go about it. My now 3 year old son was eating finger foods by 8 months. I will put food on my 9 months high chair tray and he just hits at it. Occationally by accident one will get stuck to his hand and into his mough and he will get so excited, but its not repeated. He can eat the puffs, cheerios and bananas when I put them in his mouth. Any tips on how to get him to purpously pick up his food and put it in his mouth? Thanks so much!

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answers from Washington DC on

Every child is different. Don't sweat it. He'll get it sooner or later. Just keep giving him the option to try.

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answers from San Diego on

Hi T., Just keep working with him, he will get it, baby's do different things at different times. J.


Hi T., Just keep working with him, he will get it, baby's do different things at different times. J.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

He's developing his pincher grip. Just let him keep trying.

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answers from Dallas on

Just keep putting them on his tray. My youngest son (10 months) was the same way until about 2 wks ago he doesn't even hold his own bottle or sippy.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Spokane on

Just keep putting the food on his tray and let him do what he wants with it. Trust me, he will get it at some point! My son is 10 months lod, and he just started getting it. Actually what happens is he squishes the food in his hands, and it sticks to his skin. Then he lifts his hand to his mouth and kind of licks the food off. It is so hilarious! I love watching him. I was not very patient with my first child at mealtimes. This time around, I just enjoy him learning. Sometimes I help him get food into his mouth, but most times I don't intervene, and he figures it out. This is also a great time to start introducing a fork and spoon. He won't get it right away, but he will become familiar with them, and learn their purpose. My kids mostly banged them on their trays until they were older, but it provided entertainment. Good luck : )


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answers from Dallas on

My daughter didn't feed herself until she was nearly 1 year old. She had fine motor skills that were actually quite advanced for her age, so I knew she was capable of it, but she just was not interested in feeding herself until then. Don't worry, hon, he'll get there at his own pace.

Edited to add, I don't have any specific hints for you to try, but it sounds like you are on exactly the right track with what you are doing now. Especially if your son gets excited when the food sticks to his fingers and he can put it in his mouth himself.

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answers from Detroit on

sometimes babies do what they want. and with boys you may have to wait a little longer for then to do things.evntually he will get it. sometimes babies also play on us because they like the attention they get from us ie. us feeding them when they can do it themselves. my four year old can do EVERYTHING by him self but every once in awhile he claims he can't get dressed or put his socks on...go figure. so give youe son some more time after all he is only nine months. good luck.

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answers from Provo on

ooI'm interested in seeing your answers. My son is almost 8 month and he ust has the sticky fingers thing too.



answers from Fayetteville on

My son is 10 months old and he wont pick up food eiether does the same as your son...i have to put the food in his mouth for him. I dont know whats goin on with our babies.



answers from Portland on

Boys are often a little slower with the fine motor skills, like grasping with fingers. But if you keep mealtimes fun and pleasant, he will eventually figure it out, both by direct play and by watching/imitating you and dad.

My grandson, at 4.5, is still not strongly inclined to feed himself, though he has mastered the basic skills. He'd just rather be running, climbing, building, …all the gross motor skills are so much more interesting to him. He's also not at all oral. The silver lining is that his parents never had to worry much about him poisoning himself. It's all good.



answers from Albuquerque on

Try putting the puffs or cheerios in something sticky like pudding. Just dump a scoop right on the tray and don't worry about the mess. Is he trying to rake the food or grab it in his fist?



answers from Flagstaff on

Just keep putting it on his high chair. He'll get it sooner or later. Don't try to compare the two kids, every child is different. I have twins and though they were close developmentally, one did develop later in some areas and sooner in others. Give him time.

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