Recently, I began to wonder as to what age do average toddlers usually are able to feed themselves. As I scour the internet, I am enlightened to discover that most moms were raving about their ____ months old (fill in the blanks between 6 to 14), already started using spoons to self-feed themselves at meal-times.
Wow. I mean, seriously. What? At 6 months already? And by 14 months they usually are a pro in feeding themselves?
As I read on, I can’t help but became a little annoyed with comments such as ” my daughter/son (now aged ____ months – usually below 18 months) has been self feeding her/himself for more than 6 months . So no worries there!”
As far as I remember, at 6 months, we were still trying to get Spud on solids, people. And no, at 17 months, my precious little tot still cannot feed herself decently.
Alright super-mommies. Perhaps I’m a little jealous at how fast your little tots are progressing in that department, but don’t have to brag and rub it in. Now you are making me feel very incompetent!
Actually, when it comes to letting Spud feed herself at meal-times, I admit that we have been slacking quite a bit on that department as we (and the Nanny) will usually do the feeding for her. Mainly because we are not prepared to clean up her mess and largely because, as working parents, we don’t have the time (or the patience) in the world to watch her eat for hours on end, just so that she’ll put a spoonful of food into her mouth on her own. (or not!)
Besides, if you don’t already know, feeding Spud at meal-times can be a nightmare as it is. And, while there has been some improvement on the feeding front (requiring A LOT of distractions just so that she would open her mouth readily),with Spud, we never know as there are still some bad days.
All I can say is that, we can only heave a sigh of relief (and trust me! what a sigh it usually is) each time she opens up her mouth to take a spoonful of food from us – especially if it is the very first spoonful of the meal.
We do let her play with plastic forks and spoons of course, depending on her mood and the type of food. She still feeds herself fruits and other finger food on the odd occasions, but never actually during her regular meal-times because I don’t have the patience to stare at her eating and watch her make a mess…
I know, I know…perhaps, I should just let loose and try to lose my control over the spoon, suck it up and let her make a mess!
Or perhaps, I should just tell the Nanny to let Spud feed herself while we are at work and let the Nanny clean up the mess for breakfast, lunch and dinner…
On the hind-sight though, my take at this stage is that, until she develops the dexterity she needs to feed herself, I am just not game enough to have to clean-up after her just yet.