Eating Habits

Happy 3rd Birthday, Maddie!

It’s difficult to adequately describe to childfree people certain patterns of behavior of babies.  It’s not that what they do is so adorable, or so annoying, but sometimes what they do is so nonsensical as to be unbelievable.

Consider the way my babies eat.

Maddie did this to some degree when she wasn’t quite one year old.  But Aaron’s got this behavior down pat.  He won’t consciously eat.  That bears repeating with emphasis.

He won’t consciously eat.

What the hey, kiddo?  Don’t you get hungry?  Ever?  Well, we’ve never been able to starve the kid for long enough to really see him actively eat.  We always break first.  We refuse to cause our kid to be malnourished.

Here’s how feeding time plays out:

  1. Offer Aaron food we know he enjoys.  Watch him turn away, or maybe swat at the food like it’s poison.  Chase his mouth with the spoon as he twists and turns his head.
  2. Try to settle the kid.  Get his attention.  Make the spoon fly around in a fun manner.  Pretend it’s some vehicle delivering cargo.  Watch him turn away at the slightest indication the cargo’s destination might be his mouth.
  3. Eat some baby food, pretend it’s good.  Watch him be unaffected by the display.
  4. Find a toy or other bright or noise distraction.  Get him interested in it.  Pretend feeding time is over, and give him a few seconds with the distraction to ensure he’s really into the thing.  Scoop some baby food, and deliver the baby food directly to his mouth.  He’ll be engrossed in whatever he’s doing, but somehow, his peripheral senses indicate food is coming, and he’ll open his mouth to accept it, and gladly eat it.  He’ll take his whole meal easily as long as he’s totally engrossed in something.  As soon as the distraction loses effectiveness, and he becomes cognizant that he’s being fed, we’re back at step one.

Addendum:  There’s precious little that can hold an 11-month-old baby’s attention for more than a minute.