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Am I spoiling my toddler by feeding her like a baby?
Q: I have a 9-month-old and a 26-month-old. Every once in a while, my 26-month-old daughter will ask me to feed her like a baby. I don't do it all the time, but there are times I give in. Is this acceptable, or am I spoiling her?
A: From your toddler’s perspective, all the attention and “good things” (like being held, carried, fed) seem to go to the baby. A colleague of mine at Fisher-Price who has experienced the same situation gave me her recommendation, which I think is excellent: “If I’m in the mood to play along and it means I get her to eat more vegetables, then I feed her. Otherwise, I tell her, ”Not today. Today you are a big girl.” I don’t think I can improve on that. And no, you are not spoiling her. You’re just helping her overcome some of the natural jealousy an older child feels when a new baby “invades” the household.
Dr. Bettye M. Caldwell Ph.D. Professor of Pediatrics in Child Development and Education