How to stop a 10 month old from spitting food?
July 7, 2012 1:36 PM   Subscribe

This is for my mom. "Luke, baby i keep, ten months old, keeps spitting/blowing for lack of a better word, his food out. he is still on baby food plus a little table food. does it to both of them. does it to his mom too. what can we do about it? Will you ask people you know with babies about this situation? not fun."
posted by bleary to Human Relations (11 answers total)
Is he ingesting any food at all? Is he upset or fussy when he does it? Does he do it with some foods more than others? Is he growing and thriving and getting enough nutrition?

One of my brothers did this all the time as a baby, right around that age IIRC. He would mostly do it after he was full or maybe just bored of eating. Always with a smile, and mostly when other people were around. Seriously, he'd do it, look around, and then start laughing like he'd cracked the best joke ever invented. It was annoying to clean up and a little tiresome (we got bored with the joke long before he did). But it wasn't dangerous or otherwise worrisome.

Is it this kind of thing, or is it, like, this baby is not eating at all?
posted by Sara C. at 1:51 PM on July 7, 2012 [2 favorites]

Assuming that he is doing this after he has already eaten it's probably an indication that he is done eating. I would suggest that once he starts "blowing" the food that the caregiver(s) cease trying to feed him. I had the same experience my daughter. Children that age have tiny stomachs, so it doesn't take much to fill them up.
posted by sacrifix at 1:58 PM on July 7, 2012 [3 favorites]

Assuming he is healthy/normal weight, babies are pretty thrilled to learn they can influence their environment and the people in it. If people are reacting to the food blowing and mess with dismay or some other interesting-to-Luke-reaction, he's likely enjoying the show he's so deftly orchestrated.
posted by bebrave! at 2:16 PM on July 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

If his doing this is getting a rise out of you, that probably makes it fun for him. Don't scold or laugh or cajole when he spits his food out. Calmly say "okay, I guess you're done with your food," pack it up and do something else. Offer the meal again later if you think he might still be hungry.

BTW, at ten months, he could probably skip the baby food and take a crack at some easy solids he could feed himself. Chunks of cooked sweet potato, watermelon, those Baby Mum Mum crackers and so on might keep him more entertained and be less messy if he does spit them.
posted by milk white peacock at 2:17 PM on July 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

My daughter did that. She just didn't want to eat. She was nearly exclusively breastfed until she was 13-14 months old, when she began to reluctantly take some solids. Now she's 5.5 and a normal (20th percentile) weight, and she STILL eats very little. Her 20 month old brother eats more than she does. We sweated and worried about it for ages, but it turns out she really knows her own appetite and knows what she wants to eat -- she eats a wide variety of healthy foods, she just doesn't eat very much of them.
posted by KathrynT at 2:29 PM on July 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

I did this as a baby. As other posters said though, it's not clear if the baby is eating enough or not or just doing this for sport. In my case I apparently thought it was hilarious. I also grew out of it in just a few weeks, but think I was about ten months when i did it.
posted by sweetkid at 3:00 PM on July 7, 2012

I would make sure he has other things to entertain himself with/manipulate while he's eating, so he's not sitting there just doing nothing. Reading a book to them if they're doing finger food is a good idea. Sometimes boredom causes them to do stuff like this. Once he starts blowing, take the food away and ignore him for a little bit (for like 30 seconds or less). That will make sure you're not inadvertently rewarding it. Some of this is just babies exploring their environment, they think this kind of thing is interesting and you have to admit, it must be pretty exciting for the baby!
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:36 PM on July 7, 2012

I've known three kids who've done this. The solution in all cases was diet change--one of them went back to nursing/formula for a few months, then started baby food, etc, again and was just fine. The other two started eating more table food and were fine--it seemed that they just weren't wild about the texture of the puree, etc.

I'd try more table food and see how it goes--if he's still spitting/blowing it, try going back to bottles for a month or two, then giving real food another go.
posted by MeghanC at 9:33 PM on July 7, 2012

At 10 months I would not worry about it. AT ALL:)

For some babies, 10 months old is too young for most solid foods that are mashed up - our son had an aversion/sensitivity to rice cereal, was OK on the oat kind.

There's actually some conflict on the interwebs about how young pediatricians are suggesting cereals and other foods for babies under 12 months old, so honestly, I would just stop forcing the issue and try again in a few weeks. (You'd be surprised how much changes in two weeks at this age!!)

Every child is different, and those "milestones" are just best guesses. Every child is different. This is your mantra unless/until it starts to look more like allergies that make baby feel uncomfortable, and that is the cause of this (re)action.

You (your mom?) have a million more little issues like this to navigate overtime, take the long view, don't sweat something so inconsequential and totally normal for a 10 month old. Really.

posted by jbenben at 11:04 PM on July 7, 2012

Best answer: And babies love to try new things. They bubble and spit and squeak and kiss and make all kinds of noises - and, to them, there's nothing special about eating time - it's FUN to blow spinach or carrots all over the place!

He'll soon move on to something else - like screeching, perhaps. I'd say just try to give him food that has something new and interesting about it, have a big wet cloth handy for mop-up, and don't worry about this - it's temporary and will go away by itself if you don't make a big deal out of it.

Maybe he's trying to learn to whistle ...
posted by aryma at 11:48 PM on July 7, 2012

Response by poster: Here's mom (she's been baby-sitting for someone),

Maybe he is trying to learn to whistle - that was a good one! I sent all these replies to [his mom]. She says most likely just say 'no' and if he doesn't quit, quit feeding him and then go back to feeding him. As many have said, this too shall pass. And I just take a shower when he leaves. :-) a friend with twins said she put less food on the spoon then kept the spoon to their lips to block food from coming out. Thanks for posting that. [A friend] said with her twins she gave them finger foods, etc."
posted by bleary at 7:13 AM on July 8, 2012

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