Timothy has zero interest in putting stuff in his mouth. Not toys, not threads and crumbs from the floor, not even his feet.
He trusts me with what he can put in his mouth. Mommy gives me the pacifier – it’s safe to chew it. Mommy feeds me with a spoon – if she gives me my own spoon, I can put it in my mouth. Mommy brushes my teeth – it’s safe for me to put the toothbrush in my mouth on my own. The only exceptions are his fingers and furniture – he happily sucks on tables’ edges, crib rails and such.
But no matter what I do, he doesn’t get the concept of self-feeding.If it’s something edible, he will not, under any circumstances, put it in his own mouth.
If I put rice puffs in front of him, he grabs a piece in each hand and holds them there. When I later extract the puffs from his sweaty little fists, they aren’t puffs anymore, but tiny, dense, wet balls of cereal. Yuck.
Thinking that he is too small to master the pincer grasp (and that’s why food ends clutched in his fists), I gave him baby cookies. He happily gnawed on it from my hand, but once I gave the cookie to him, he looked at it and immediately dropped it. And when I held the cookie in his fist with my hand and tried to bring the cookie to his mouth like that, he resisted and started grunting unhappily.
I allow him to touch his food in the plate – he immerses his whole hand in whatever I am feeding him and then studies his hand. No attempt to lick it.
I allow him to touch his food on its way to his mouth – he touches it lightly with the tip of his index finger, studies the food, the finger, then opens his mouth for the spoon. And forgets about his finger.
Don’t get me wrong, it was awesome letting him play in the sand, not worrying about him ingesting some crazy Caribbean worm.
I just find it strange that my little man who LOVES eating (so much so that he completely fell apart today when he emptied the plate of goulash… I had to heat up more – but it turned out that, after all, it was too much for him – he threw that last part up 5 minutes later) has no inclination to even lick a cookie in his own hand…