Well, of course, I mean we need to feed our babies :)
But, I am curious about fellow moms' thoughts and experiences with teaching self-feeding to their wee ones.
To set things up a bit, my wee one started feeding herself at 8 months. About 6th month, we introduced cereal mixed with mom's milk, maybe stage 1 foods and such. Around 7th month we started finger foods like zweiback toast, barley biscuit, fruit puffs and such around snack time, the kind that melt in the mouth with a touch of saliva. She still hadn't gotten any teeth around then, and my mum and mum-in-law assured me that her jaws are made for mashing, even if she has no teeth. But, just to make sure nothing gets caught in the throat and such, her lunches and dinners would be put through a food mill, with some texture - not fully mushy... and was easy as I was making her foods at home.
Then, we started putting the meal in a bowl on her tray in her high chair, feed her a couple of spoons, and leave the spoon handy to see if she felt like feeding herself... at 9 months, she would reach for the spoon from my hands and try to take it to her mouth.
It was very interesting to see her reach for the food and try to take it to her mouth. It was funny as well, of course, as her motor skills weren't all that developed, so she was not quite well co-ordinated :)
But, her pediatrician assured me she is more than ready to handle all that self-feeding and that it is good for her, developmentally.
Boy, was it messy, but, it was also fun. Only when she was sick, or exhausted, she expected me to feed her.
On the other hand, my littlest nephew refuses to sit in high-chair, he is 1½ years old, doesn't show much interest in feeding himself, and his mom runs behind him and tries to feed him. She has always fed him. She says she didn't really try to encourage him to eat on his own as it got too messy...
So, dear moms, what are your thoughts on teaching your babies to self-feed:
What age did they start eating on their own?
What sort of foods got them started?
Did you prefer to feed them yourself?
If so, did you prefer to seat them in high-chair or just walk/crawl around with them and feed them on the go?
Did nursing interfere with getting them to self-feed solid foods?
At what age did you establish regular meal times?
Did you let them graze every two hours in small portions?
When did you start giving store-bought foods for your baby?
When did they start eating pretty much what you eat - no special baby foods, just regular home food?