Feeding babies is important, but it also serves as a lesson of patience for new parents. Sometimes, mealtime can turn into a food fight very quickly – leaving a whole mess behind to clean after dinner.
Baby eating habits can be gross in many ways: food in your hair, food on the baby, food stuck inside the edges of the highchair, and even food making its way across the kitchen floor. The truth is that a toddler’s dinner time is meant to be a little sloppy. By allowing your baby to eat freely, you are giving them the freedom to learn about different tastes and textures all by themselves.
As a parent, the real task is to continue serving your toddler with all kinds of food that could potentially be splattered everywhere, but also use some simple solutions to keep your baby clean during dinner time. Here are some ways to avoid the rigorous cleaning after dinner with your toddler:
1. Protect the Floor
While you may be eager to begin cleaning up all the mess as soon as your baby begins to drop their food on the floor, you must learn to wait until dinner time is over to start cleaning. If you don’t, your messy eater will think of it as a game for you two: them throwing the food, and you picking it back up. Additionally, instead of wasting your resources on ‘special’ baby mats that are obviously too small, you could opt for wider, vinyl rugs that are much more efficient in containing the food mess.
2. Provide Small Portions
Giving your toddler less food to eat at once is likely to reduce the mess they create during dinnertime. Start the meal by a small amount of food for them to finish, and then continue giving them more until they appear to be full. This allows the children to be less overwhelmed by their plate full of new food, and also leaves behind less food to play with in case their stomach is full quickly.
3. Use Better Baby Bibs
Baby bibs are important – they keep your toddler’s own clothes clean during the mess the create during dinnertime. However, most bibs are quick to move around and become misplaced during dinner, leaving your child’s clothes full of tough stains from the food they are enjoying.
Opting for a silicone baby bib is a potential solution to this problem. While they are stiff enough to stay in place throughout dinnertime, the silicon baby bib is also much more effective than a typical cloth bib in keeping your baby’s clothes clean. Additionally, silicon baby bibs are also much easier to clean. You can wipe the silicon baby bib with soapy water and viola, it is ready for use once again.
While confining the mess your baby makes during dinner can be a tough task, it is important to allow your child the freedom they deserve while exploring new foods. After all, their interest in dinnertime and eating all kinds of healthy foods is essential to their development later in life.