Help! I'm raising a big baby!

United States
June 2, 2007 9:16pm CST
My daughter is three and 1/2 years old. And, some days she still wants to be treated like a baby. She refuses to feed herself, and wants me to spoon feed her. She goes into a tantrum if I don't. Or, worse, she demands a bottle. She's way too old for the bottle. And, has been eating solid food for almost three years now. I don't know where I went wrong. Is this normal behavior for three year olds? How do I get her to show more independence and do things for herself? How would you handle something like this for your child?
2 people like this
16 responses
@deebomb (15323)
• United States
3 Jun 07
You might remind her of the things that he can do that a baby can't do. then tell her that if he wants to be a baby she can't do the big girl things.
1 person likes this
@wendee (359)
• Canada
3 Jun 07
I thinkt hat this is something that all children go through at one point or another. When it happens here I simply tell them that they are big girls/boys and if they want to eat they will do it themselves.....other wise they dont eat. I have 5 small children (5 4 3 1 & 5 months) and simply dont have the time! LOL
1 person likes this
@marinarovi (1318)
• Argentina
3 Jun 07
I think it's normal. My nephew is doing the exact same things you wrote. And he turned 4 last month. I just thought he was jealous of his baby brother, but maybe it's just a phase they all go through... Sadly, I don't know any solutions for that. Sorry.
• United States
3 Jun 07
Question 1: have you recently had another baby? Even if you haven't, please realize that this is perfectly normal behavior. Not all children go through this, but many do. If they've seen you around a baby lately, they start to think that they were loved more as a baby, and revert to their old behavior. The trick is to not indulge this behavior. Let her throw a tantrum--when she's hungry, she'll eat the food she's supposed to. By giving her attention when she screams and acts out, you're giving her want she wants. As long as you do this, her behavior won't change. If you ignore the tantrums, and she realizes that yelling and screaming isn't going to work, then she'll start behaving the way she's supposed to again. It might take a few days, but it will work. And refusing to spoon feed her and only giving her normal food shouldn't take very long. Just let her sit there for awhile. When she's hungry, she'll eat the way she's supposed to.
1 person likes this
• Canada
3 Jun 07
Don't worry, she'll grow out of it. Shes 3. If hes like 7 and shes still doing it, plan a party with a lot of kids, then lets see if she'll embarrass herself.
@wachit14 (3600)
• United States
3 Jun 07
I think you need to realize that your daughter is still a baby. There's nothing wrong with her wanting to be treated like one every once in a while. Remember, she is holding on to that wonderful feeling of being taken care of and resisting independence because it frightens her. Try to be sympathetic of her feelings and give her rewards for being a big girl by buying her big girl things and reminding her of all the things that big girls can do that babies can't. Also, take the time to do things with her that will remind her of her connection to you like read to her or sing songs with her and yes, she's perfectly normal.
• Bahrain
3 Jun 07
goood you are taking care of a big baby!
@mayinghe (26)
• China
3 Jun 07
You don't need to be so worry!There are people around me who have been 19, still needs a bottle to drink! your dauther is only 3 years old,it's still quite usual for to behaviour like this. Everyone will gei throuth a cetain period to grow up.Maybe you guide her step by srep.For instance,give her a litttle award if she agree to sacrifice her spoon.
• Italy
3 Jun 07
i also have a daughter who turned three years old last may.i am also worried that most of the time,she refuses to eat solid foods and she demands for a bottle.i asked my sister to bring her to a doctor.the doctor said that my daughter is healthy and that it is normal that some children do not eat that much.he also said that he has a friend who is 40 years old and has the same problem.the doctor gave my child a medicine to boost her appetite which she has to take for a month.we just have to observe if something will change.
@crazynurse (7489)
• United States
3 Jun 07
First I don't think that you 'went wrong.' Your child is just grappling with growing up! It is not easy to realize that you are not a 'baby' anymore and that you are expected to be a 'big girl.' It is sometimes easy to want to be molly-coddled and babied again....it is comforting! However, don't give into it!! Rather, matter-of-factly give a glass of milk when bottle is requested, do not spoon feed her etc. If the meal isn't eaten, just quietly put everything away. Then no snacks or anything till the next meal. Reassure your child that although she is growing up, you love her dearly and that nothing has changed!!
@KissThis (3006)
• United States
3 Jun 07
My 5 year old does some of the same things. I have started to push him to being more independent then what he is explaining to him that when he goes to school no one is going to have the time to treat him like a baby because there will be a lot more children there. I would start slowly by refusing to do somethings for her. When she wants you to spoon food her explain to her that if she feeds herself you will be able to play one of her favorite games. I wouldn't say that this is normal behavior for all 3 year old because my two older children have always been independent and done things for themselves. Some children just want to be babied more so that they can spend more time with their parent.
• Canada
3 Jun 07
Oh goodness i am not alone LOL My son is nearly 5 and he will do this about once a week. I refuse to feed him and he eventually eats. And if he doesn't then he doesn't get a bed time snack or anything until he wakes up. I think your daughter is just trying to see what she can get away with and if it has been working for her then she will continue to do it. first off you have to make sure you are consistant with how you deal with it or she will know if she acts this way long enough you will give in. Don't give into her tantrums either just TRY to ignore them as hard as it may be. I had to ignore my sons tantrums when he was little and it only took about a week and they stopped altogether. So just hang in there whichever direction you choose don't worry it will stop eventually. Has anything major changed in her life recently???? that could be whats going on. As soon as my 10 month old daughter was born he started all over again including wetting the bed and sometime his pants inthe day. So maybe sit and think of what could have changed recently and talk to her about it.
@azimsay (545)
• India
3 Jun 07
I am two and half years old grand son he is also feeling he is big. He wnts ready for school himself. He wants to both, he wants comb hairs ,he wants to eat breckfast himself.Iam so tired for this.Again and again I telling by love,that he very smoll but he is telling he is strong boy.
@elro77 (190)
• Philippines
3 Jun 07
Good you are taking care of a big baby.
• New Zealand
3 Jun 07
Yes this is normal its like the child gets stuck arouned this age till 4 or so its between the age when they arent yet at school but want more than just day care. they tend to go backward a little so that they know where they fit she will grow out of it soon so dont panic it will be fine just work your way throught it as best you can.
@Sir_bobby88 (8245)
• Singapore
3 Jun 07
Well that so cute lol ... i do think that you might want to consult a specialist on that , have check up on your daughter to see if she is ok ...