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The baby I care for is hitting that stage where he is almost ready to begin crawling and he is really busy looking all over the place. Which is great and developmentally appropriate, but BOY it makes feeding time difficult.

It is like trying to put a leash on an excited puppy! If the little guy does look at me and open his mouth, it is only for such a short period that I'll just get the spoon to his lips when he is twisting to look left, down or up (or right). Plus the grabbing hands wanting the spoon . . .

With previous babies (my own, as well as others I've cared for) Making a funny noise, making faces and/or providing a toy on the food tray does the trick, but this little guy is far more wiggly than any baby I have EVER encountered before. It is quite amazing really.

I wouldn't mind it, (it would just mean feeding takes a little longer - no big deal) except that he gets frustrated because the food isn't coming fast enough. His mom has the big brother go play in his room or hang with daddy, but when I'm there, I'm the only adult and I've got three kids to keep track of so sending the big brother (who is still only three and a bit mischievous at times) to his room alone, still doesn't really do the trick and creates separate headaches.

I can deal and it isn't the end of the world or anything, but I thought some one out there might have a new and different trick for holding the baby's attention just a bit longer during feeding time.

I should add, he has a toy that attaches to his tray, and usually we give him a teether or other small toy to "play" with too so he has something else to hold than the spoon (I or his mom) is using. He has just started that game where they drop things on the floor over and over again though, so if he starts grabbing for the spoon, I usually give a finger from my other hand to hold right now.

Let me reiiterate - I KNOW asking him to be totally attentive right now is out of the question. I'm just hoping for a trick or two that will help lengthen attention even just another second or two.

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Your child is very young yet, and eating solids is not the most important thing for him. If he wants to hold the spoon, let him. Or, maybe try baby lead weaning and give him finger foods instead? –  Mia Clarke Nov 5 '13 at 11:27
    
He isn't old enough for most finger foods just yet. He has only just begun eating solids to begin with. There are those foamy things that are mostly starch and that is about all right now. –  balanced mama Nov 5 '13 at 13:10
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We started our girl on finger food when she was 6 months, following the baby led weaning strategy. It worked perfectly. It's a misconception that babies can only eat mush... However, if you don't want to do that, maybe you could try just letting him feed himself with his spoon and help with a separate spoon? –  Mia Clarke Nov 5 '13 at 13:15
    
@MiaClarke since he isn't my son, I go with the foods his Mom has already introduced - if he were mine I might speak with the pediatrician about experimenting with really soft finger foods or something, but he isn't. Of course, she is also going by her pediatrician's advice. –  balanced mama Nov 5 '13 at 20:49

2 Answers 2

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Sometimes, you just have to hold their chin with your other hand. It doesn't have to be hard. Just light pressure will usually remind them to attend to their food. As for wanting to grab the spoon, our kids responded well to being given their own spoon. You can also try moving to a corner or somewhere the distractions are in the direction you want him to face.

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My distractable six month old needs me to totally focus on her while she is eating. I open my mouth when I want her to take a bite and I wait for her to look at me before offering. Otherwise she blows raspberries on the spoon and gets food everywhere. Good luck!

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