Self Feeding Issues - Still Spoon Fed at 1 Years Old

Updated on February 05, 2010
L.C. asks from San Francisco, CA
10 answers

My daughter is one and does not show any interest in self feeding. She is a great eater and will pretty much give most things a chance. However, anything put in front of her just gets thrown on the ground or ignored, she pretty much puts anything BUT food in her mouth. When she eats, she has no problem telling me when she is full or still hungry. I don't mind feeding her myself, but the doc said it's time for her to learn to do it herself. I know eventually it will happen, but just wondering if anyone else has a similar situation and what were some of the strategies used?

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from San Francisco on

I gave both of my daughter a spoon to hold while I fed them so that they could try also. It takes patience as they try to use the spoon while you are also trying to get food in their mouths but it gets them used to having a utensil in the hand while eating.
My 20 month old hates me trying to help her at all now.

More Answers


answers from Dallas on

My daughter (now 2) was so horrible at trying to self feed that I usually just ended up feeding her myself. Then one day (maybe around 18 months), she picked up the spoon and ate her apple sauce amazingly well. She's been feeding herself ever since and we have no problems. Don't stress over what people say your kid should be doing. It will all work out in time.

Note: She does do better with these funky little utensils that have a curve to the handle and a "loop" handle design. Not sure who makes them but I've seen them at Babies R Us. They seem to be easier for her to use than the straight handle kind.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Same thing with my 13 1/2 month old. I feel that the doctors try to push a lot of things and have found that my child has done things on his own time (crawling, walking, holding his own bottle etc.). My child wouldn't take anything off of his tray and put it in his mouth (floor yes...ugh).....well he just started picking things off of his tray......all on his own. He had to be interested and it had to be food he wanted (it started with those baby melt in your mouth berry yogurt pieces) Voila! So don't let your ped freak you about pushing your child before he/she is ready.



answers from Washington DC on

Honestly, my second son is 15 months old and still spoon fed. I don't see a problem with it, as long as your daughter is getting food and happy. My doctor told me 18 months is when they should be able to spoon-feed themselves, but every baby is different. Think of it like this: all the babies throughout history didn't have these timetables pressed on them, right? And they all learned eventually. If she's like, 2, and still being spoon-fed, then there may be a problem. But at one, it's normal in my mind. This is just my opinion, feel free to disagree, I will not be offended. My son wouldn't even chew for a long time, so he couldn't eat the baby food with pieces in it, just the completely pureed kind. I tried a piece of toast one day, and he absolutely loved it, and devoured it within minutes. He also loves cheerios, and tiny tiny tiny pieces of cheddar cheese (I have never chopped cheese that small, it's ridiculous! But I am paranoid about choking). My suggestion is to practice her self-feeding with foods that don't require a spoon, like baby crackers, or the Gerber puffs. I hope this was helpful! Don't worry though, I don't think any one year old can consistently feed themselves with a spoon. My older son didn't do it either, and he is absolutely fine. :)



answers from San Francisco on

I agree with the rest of the moms - dont worry. Self feeding at one may be nice and ideal, but it ain't realistic! Mine is 18 months now.. he plays with his spoon and will try to use it (obviously really messy at that), but for only a bit. Then he just uses his fingers and hands. It's hard to say with what they want to put in their mouths.. mine liked to put lint off the carpet or his blankie in his mouth, but never food! It's a phase.. at times they're interested, other times, not so much.

For now, just put the utensils and food in front of her to play with and become comfortable with during mealtimes... After awhile, she'll 'get it' and just do it on her own...



answers from New York on

Self feed at 1??? Are you kidding? My son couldn't even walk at 1. I think it is good to encourage self feeding and some children are more autonomous and want to do it themselves with little or no prodding. My son is 22 months and he will only self feed if its food he really likes. Other times, he will ignore the food. I still spoon feed him his oatmeal and applesauce. I really don't think its a problem.



answers from San Francisco on

It is time for her to start learning but it will take time. I started by giving her finger foods to play with while I fed my daughter. I also gave her a spoon so we both had one. She wouldn't scoop the food well but she was able to dip it in the food and put it in her mouth. I would make a game of it and give her a bite and then tell her its her turn. It will take time but she'll get it when she's ready. Don't worry about how long it takes. Have you started transitioning her to sippy cups yet? If not, you should try the Nuby sippy cups they have a good silicone rubber tip that is similar but different than a bottle.



answers from Las Vegas on

Both my girls have had trouble self feeding. My older daughter was still eating with her hands at about 14 years old. She could eat with her utensils, but always used a spoon/fork in one hand and picked and scooped with the other.

My 4 year old still takes a few bites and then asks you to feed her. I won't do it any longer, but now she will ask you to scoop it for her.

Laziness and spoiled???


answers from Dallas on

my i spoon feed my kids i just give them pices of wheat bread,crackers,chesse cubes,fruit slice and then i give them cereal or any food with spoon because they thrown almost everything on the floor i know they need to learn but right now is just practice how to cordinate mouth and hand so i am not worried



answers from Stationed Overseas on

My DD is 15mo and still not self feeding. She will pick up finger foods and feed herself but that just started like two weeks ago. And a spoon? LOL! By the time she picks it up and gets it to her mouth the spoon is upside down and the food is all over the tray or her bib. Give her some time she'll figure it out.

Next question: How to Transition to Feed Herself