Last night, I wondered if we weren’t doing Violet a disservice by controlling the spoon during feedings, and I asked you what you thought (Thank you all for the many thoughtful comments and personal experiences). The consensus was that, by this point, we could consider giving Violet small finger foods, and most reported baby food to be a frightening option for self-feeding at nine to ten months. A few encouraged us to cover the floor under the high chair and let her have it, which we actually have done for some fun now and then – let her have at it, that is, not covered the floor with papers. My wife did it today, but I can’t imagine doing it four or five times a day, at each feeding. Some comments sagely suggested that when she starts reaching for the spoon, that will be Violet’s signal that she’s ready to take control.
My favorite response was from my friend Amy, who reassured me by pointing out that she’s seen very few adults incapable of using utensils. Still, not wanting to deprive Violet of age appropriate experiences, I did give her some peas on her high chair tray tonight. Still terrified of her choking, I took the precaution of cutting them in half and removing the skins. She opened her mouth readily as soon as I picked one up and held it in front of her, and she had no problem chewing it up. She did not, however, grasp the concept that her own fingers could deliver the peas to her mouth. She instead spent the next ten minutes smashing the peas and smushing them back and forth across the tray. We’ll keep working on it.