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Hi all,


My 18 month old absolutely HATES to hold his spoon/fork. He only wants to finger feed himself, or be fed by me. How can I encourage him to hold the spoon and start self-feeding. I have been trying to get him to 'help mommy' put the spoon in his mouth, but he just goes beserk!


Any advice welcome :-D

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Maybe go to the store and let him pick out "big boy spoons" but tell him he can only get them if he uses them. Otherwise they will have to go in the trash. Ive never tried this but I would think it could work! lol

Psychology - Praise him when he uses his spoon - have people gather around and clap and cheer. Then, when he uses his hands have everyone look away and even look sad. Make it into a game; Have another child his age around and feed that child with a spoon and clap and cheer and have that child get all happy, do that while your son watches. He will want some attention too.

Keep in mind, babies learn best from other babies and children. It is funny how my 9 year old can teach my 18 month old so much and when I try - she just laughs at me. Seriosly, I have tried to teach my 18 month old to say, "eat" when it's time to eat and she just laughed and went into the kitchen. So, my 9 year old started to say "eat" to her and that same day - my 1 month old was saying, "eat". I jumped in and said it too - then my 18 month old just laughed at me and walked away. My 9 year old teaches so much to our 18 month old, we just let nature be and it works!

As far as teaching my kids to be loving siblings we use psychology and love! When I was pregnant with my now 18month old we would encourage my then 8 year old to be apart of the whole thing and told her how much th enew baby woul dneed her help and love. After she was born we encouraged her to help with diaper changing, holding and kissing her and kept telling her what a great big sister she was and how proud we were. We would even tell her that her baby sister loved her so much and was even closer to her then us. Now they have a huge bond and play together a lot! My 18 month old loves her big sister and her big sister loves how much she loves her.

Well, we also have a new baby who is 5 months old and guess what - we do the same with the 2 older ones and they are so close! No sibling hate at all! We clap and cheer when they hug and kiss each other and tell them how much each other needs and loves each other. My 9 year old find her role as a big sis an important and loving role. She brags how important she is and how much they love each other. They actually kiss and hug eachother just to get more praise out of me and my husband. They also share toys and read to each other etc... and everytime they do something nice for one another we always say - awww how sweet that is so nice and clap and hug them back. They love it.

So, maybe if your son sees how happy the change would make you and other, he will use his spoons.

I also say this from experiance, My 18 month old doesn't like to be fed - she only used her hands. We bought those speical forks/spoons that are shaped for toddlers hands and used praise - it only took 1 week and now she uses them.

Good luck!
Thanks Michelle -- he might still be too young to care about being a 'big boy' but might be worth a shot in time if it remains an issue. Christie: thanks for such a thoughtful reply. It seems obvious to use the psychology but we could definitely praise him more. Lately he seems to want to try on his own a bit more so that's progress. However, he is easily frustrated so teaching him to be more patient is what we're trying to do. Unfortunately he doesn't have siblings and most of his friends are the same age. But we do have friends coming over this weekend with an older child so I'll make a point of letting him really watch and learn from her! Thanks again for your input. Much appreciated!


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