Niall's 9 month appointment went pretty much exactly as I expected- weight check, head check, length check... except for one thing. The doctor told me to start letting Niall feed himself. My eye twitched a little as I had visions of pureed peas and sweet potatoes flying onto the ceiling and getting crusted into my already nappy hair.
He likes to throw things, not hold them and/or strategically move them from table to mouth. I wanted to convince myself that he was too young for this, but I suddenly realized that he's almost a year old! After a long reminiscing glance at my perfectly neat and clean dining room, I sat down, sighed, and handed him the spoon full of yogurt (for my sanity, start with something colorless).
It has been a rocky road, these last 3 meals. The first was obviously very messy and we were just kind of feeling it out. The second, he decided to take matters into his own hands and man-handle the entire bowl with his bare hands- forget the spoon. The third, he was getting some serious spoon feeding skills, I'm not gonna lie-- but he started motor boating with his mouth full... we lost a lot of good yogurt out there.
All in all, I'm not completely traumatized. It has actually been really fun. The one thing I would recommend for self baby feeding is to get a bunch of those catch bibs. They are waterproof so you can just rinse them off and they have a pocket for the food scraps to fall into. They have a good deal at Amazon in a bundle of 3...