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    16 mo old w/ really gross eating habits....kind of long
    TWalker02840 posted:
    I have a 16 mo old son and I babysit a friends 16 mo old daughter. The little girl's eating habits are hard to watch sometimes. She will hoard snacks, for example, if I put goldfish on the snack table, my son will eat one at a time go back and forth, never any issues. The little girl will take as much as she can in her hands, shove as many as she can in her mouth and then use her fingers to jam them in her mouth. Its actually quite frightening for me as I have never seen a kid do this before. I literally have to ration her one fish at a time to prevent her from doing this. She also chews with her mouth gaping wide open and uses her fingers to continually shove the food back in. I have watched her after eating lunch/snack shove her fingers in her mouth and make her self vomit then re-chew an swallow what she threw up.Her mother has told me that the girl has acid reflux and is on medication for it. I can't let her feed herself. Are these learned habits from the parents? How does a kid even develope this kind of behavior. I have been babysitting for almost 3 yrs and I have never seen a child behave this way around food. The father is kind of fat and slovenly, could she be acting like this by watching the dad eat? Any advice would be helpful.
    RoseLynn02 responded:
    Considering she isn't yours & I'm going to assume not under weight since you didn't mention anything like that, I'm going to say you should just stay out of it & try to control it while she is at your house to the best of your ability. If it becomes too much for you then decline to babysit her further. It could be learned behavior or just the child's nature or perhaps she is under feed or used to being fed & not feeding herself or doesn't get many snack through the day at could be a number of things, but unless there is being harm done to the child that is causing it I would recommend not doing anything or you could cause yourself more issues than you want. You have to be careful with what you address when it comes to other peoples kids. Try to consider if it was your child & someone criticized a behavior of his that you had no control over or didn't find to be a problem & that wasn't causing him any harm or do to harm or neglect?
    orin34 replied to RoseLynn02's response:
    I agree with RoseLynn02. Try to control her when she is with you, but its not worth causing an "issue" over.

    On another side, I don't know if she has siblings but I have seen kids do this if they have to "compete" for food.
    I wouldn't say "learned" as in the parents do the same I would say that she probably hasn't had a steady diet of solids for very long.
    My son had GERD and we started putting solids into him as soon as he could take it (I think he started at 4-5 months) to help with the reflux of the liquid diet.... it helped a lot. But if this child had a similar issue going on and she didn't start solids until recently (some parents don't start solids until they are a year).
    Also..... just wanted to mention. Monitor her intake, because of the GERD my son didn't know when enough was enough and he would eat until he puked (at the urging of our pediatrician saying "they will stop when they are full.... don't worry.... he won't overeat",,..... yeah right.....). The messy eating thing? sorry, no answers there. My son uses a fork already and eats things with his fingers one at a time ... granted he used to eat until he puked but at least he was never a mess....
    TWalker02840 responded:
    I don't make an issue of it and im friends with the parents so we have been dicussing it and i've voiced my concerns over it with the mom. She is an only child, but they have big dogs at home so they dont just give her a snack to have, the dogs will take it. Its not just snacks, she puts other non-food objects in her mouth. I was just trying to see what others thought of the situation and if any one had any experience with these habits. Believe me if it was my child I would really appreciate someone bringing my child's bad habits to my attention if I was oblivious to them, but that not the case. Thanks for the input.
    orin34 replied to TWalker02840's response:
    DOGS! I forgot about this one! We have two and they are trained not to take food, but sometimes they have a lapse in My son gets so mad, he yells "No, Down" at them. I can see where the mouth would be a perfect hiding spot if you don't want your food or toys taken. occasionally, He also ditches his utensils to eat out of his bowl just like the doggy does.

    Tone is kind of hard to interpret with the written word and I just wanted to clarify that I wasn't judging you or anything, your last post seemed a little short tempered (but you could have been just writing in a hurry?) The only reason I said to stay out of it is because I lost a really good friend by discussing some hard situations similar to this with her about HER child. Her child was autistic and she didn't want to hear it. He was diagnosed some years later after fighting tooth and nail with her sons teachers. Even though its not my fault he is autistic, I am still the first one that brought attention to it and she will never forgive me for being right. I have also been blamed by many parents because I request their child be tested (they have to approve... if they dont then I just have to deal with it). And again, I always seem to be blamed even though a developmental disability isn't my fault. I have to document and report my students behaviors but I don't have any such job requirement when it comes to my friends or families children. Thus, to avoid rifts I choose to stay out of it.

    A lot of these really "late" or "off" behaviors can be signs that their brain or body isnt developing normally. I have had students in my class with similar eating habits as you describe that have no official designation but are just a general " below grade level". I have had many of these but only one was severe enough to re-designate.

    Again, I'm sorry if you didn't like the responses you got.... but I can only give you my opinion based on the experiences I have had. There were a few parents that were appreciative.... but for the most part? They might have smiled and said thank you for bringing it to their attention... but after they left my classroom they went straight to the principals office to demand a different teacher. Don't be fooled, no one wants to hear that there is something wrong or different with their child. My friend was very sweet to my face (and I only mentioned it ONCE in passing) but she still blamed me in the end.
    I hope your friend is the exception here.
    phoenix31674 responded:
    My daughter was a chipmunk when it came to food. I would have to limit the amount in her reach at a time for quite some time, probably until close to 2 and even at 4.5 and I have to remind her to chew first and swallow before taking more.

    Neither of us shovel food in our mouths or make pigs of ourselves. We've just been teaching her to eat like a big girl.

    My son, 14 months, sometimes does this but normally he will eat one piece of something at a time. I notice he stuffs his face when he's really hungry and if I catch him at moderately hungry he will eat one at a time.
    RoseLynn02 replied to TWalker02840's response:
    I'm sorry to say, but I agree with orin34. No parent wants to hear that there is something wrong or different with their kid even if it comes with the best of intentions from the closest of friends & I to hope your friend is the exception, but in honesty she probably is hurt inside that you brought this to her attention especially if she feels the behavior is well justified. If you find offense to our opinions than again sorry, but that's what you asked for...our opinions. This site isn't for any of us to judge & of course that isn't what we are trying to do, we are here to be helpful to one another in the best ways we can by offering our opinions & experiences. If they don't fit your situation that's fine, but considering we aren't there & the written word is hard to fully interpret the best we can give is what we know for our own situations. Either they help or they don',t but also either way it's never intend to be hurtful or harmful. I too feel like you misunderstood our intentions & do hope that you now understand that we truly meant no offense & only wanted to help.
    TWalker02840 responded:
    I was just trying to inquire about other peoples experiences with poor eating habits in small children. My friend is quite obviously the exception. I suppose i am too. I would never think to be offended if someone brought a poor habit to my attention. I think i would be grateful, so i can deal with a problem instead of unknowingly turning a blind eye toward it.
    EMB2006 responded:
    My son is 16 1/2 months old and shovels food in his mouth like there's no tomorrow but it wasn't something he 'learned' from others it's just what he does. He is just a kid that enjoys his food lol! I don't think it's a behavioral issue unless other things are happening-my son is too smart for his own good sometimes and is developing as he should. I agree with the others that unless there are other things going on I wouldn't make an issue out of this one thing. Good luck!
    Me (25), DH (25), DS (1)-enjoying motherhood to the fullest!!!
    Kay_And responded:
    My son is 14 months and sometimes he shovels food in and sometimes he doesn't and takes his time. He is a messy eater...its always on the floors and when he is finished he smushes it and slides his arms across his highchair table to make the food all fall on the floor. Kids are messy eaters and all kids are different. It doesn't mean their parents or bad parents and teaching them this, or that they have behavorial issues...its just their way of doing things.

    On the other hand...somethings can be associated with behavoiral or learning disorders. I had experience with a little russian girl who was adopted. She would eat and eat and eat because in Russia she didn't get very much food so when it was put infront of her she would eat until she got sick. If you know anything about adopted babies from proverty stricken countries....they tend to "re-grade" which means after a certain age they sometimes will start developing backwards instead of getting more mature. She went through this. She also developed "PICA"...she would eat everything...even non-food items such as crayons, hair, dirt, rocks, plastic....anything...she is in 2nd or 3rd grade and still dealing with PICA.

    Anyways...what I am saying is it could be just a normal kid habit or it could be actually somethign'll have to decide. But I agree...its not your place to bring it up to a parent and ask them to change their child or get him evaulated. I would just try to control what happens in your house while she is there.

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