Monday, November 1, 2010

Table Manners

Dylan recently turned one year old, and a I swear the day after his birthday a switch turned and my sweet little boy started testing the waters of mischief.  This has become the most apparent during meal time.  We have been playing the "drop the cup game" for several months now, but he has taken it to a whole new level by flinging his cup several feet from his highchair, splashing milk or water all over the floor.  We have tried to give positive reinforcement with clapping and cheering when he puts his cup in the cup holder of the highchair, but now he will put it in the cup holder for 3-4 seconds to get the praise and then launch it when no one is looking.  Ahhhh!  And the cup is not the only thing flying these days, he is more interested in throwing food than eating it.  Beside the fact that he is making a huge mess, I am beginning to worry that he isn't eating enough because most of his meal ends up on the floor.  

We have been trying to introduce the spoon these days which has just added to the new excitement of meal time.  I bought some of those suction cup bowls to attach to the high chair and I will put 2-3 spoonfuls food that is thick in consistency and stick well to the spoon.  We have tried oatmeal, cottage cheese, and yogurt.  He actually has been doing pretty well with the spoon for the first few attempts, and then throws the spoon on the floor and goes at the food in the bowl with his fingers.  I guess it is a learning process...and other moms I have talked to are going through the same thing. 

Here are some tips for introducing baby to a spoon:
Taken from: How to Teach a Baby to Use a Spoon |

1) Wait until after your baby is ready to teach him. Babies can use a spoon around his first birthday. Although it takes a while to develop the skill, and it may seem like all he's doing is playing, the skill will develop.

2) Give your baby foods that stick to the spoon. Foods such as yogurt, applesauce or pureed vegetables are good at staying put.

3) Be patient. It takes a long time for your baby to use a spoon. In fact, she won't be great at it until well into toddler-hood in some cases.

4) Expect a mess. Food will be flung, dripped, dropped and splattered. Be prepared to clean up afterwards. Just remember that in order to learn, your baby has to try repeatedly.

5) Use a spoon to help teach your baby. This is especially good advice if there is concern for baby getting enough food. Try to sneak a spoonful of food in between baby's attempts so he can see how to do it and copy. If baby protests to your help, let him be. Offering finger foods is another option.

6) Encourage and praise baby for her attempts. She may get more on the floor and her clothes than in her mouth, but the important thing is she tried. Starting to use a spoon is something to be proud of, so let her know what a great thing it is. 

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