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Thread: Ah, god, the mess...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    421

    Default Ah, god, the mess...

    I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, since we're kind of past the introductory phase--DD's been eating solids for a while (she's 13 months). We started out with BLW, and it was great while she was eating finger foods. But lately, she only wants to eat the same things as us. The food is messier (soups, stews, saucy foods, etc.) and it's just been easier to spoon-feed her. But now, she wants to do it everything herself--as in, use utensils, etc. Unfortunately, all she does is stab her spoon/fork repeatedly into the bowl and send food flying everywhere.

    The other big problem is she absolutely refuses to sit in her high chair, so I've been feeding her on the floor. But now that she wants to self-feed, this means she smears food EVERYWHERE.

    Help me, please. Do I let her do what she wants? Or should I try to insist on feeding her? Is there a way to help her learn to use her utensils? Or good "practice" foods that don't make a huge mess? And how is there time to do anything else throughout the day, when eating takes up so much time (the preparation, the actual eating, and then the clean up of baby+clothes+surrounding area)? I know no baby eats neatly but the aftermath of each meal--it's seriously driving me insane.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    2,339

    Default Re: Ah, god, the mess...

    I let DD eat in my lap. She won't suffer the high chair for long either.

    Everything on my plate apparently tastes better too. so I just try to "help" GUIs the food on the spoon if needed. She's handy with a fork now.
    Jess

    Mama to my little Roxie Roo, 06/11/08


    April miles for TBTTW: 63

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Paradise
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    Default Re: Ah, god, the mess...

    I'm not to the utensil phase yet, so I have no help for you there - but well wishes!

    Do you own a rice cooker? I've been using mine to lightly steam vegetables, and you could serve her things like steamed green beans and carrots without too much extra work. THose would maybe help with the fork experimentation and not be too messy to clean up since they are pieces. I don't know what can help with spoon use without being an incredible mess, but maybe rice and beans would be thick enough to not fling too far?

    If you don't already, putting large squares of newspaper down can sometimes help - just scoop 'em up when you are done. I strip my girl naked or put a cheap gerber white onesie on her to feed her. It doesn't solve my cleaning problem, but does make getting her clean faster for me.
    "Old" first time ma (38) to Athena (May 17, 09) Oh my G-d, I'm nursing a toddler!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    6,564

    Default Re: Ah, god, the mess...

    For the stews, just strain off the liquid and give her the meats/veggies or whatever is in it. I found oatmeal to be a good spoon trainer, along with grits and other thick foods.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    8,272

    Default Re: Ah, god, the mess...

    My DS1 never used a high chair. He liked to be at the table with us - we used a chair that clips to the table and place mat with a "bucket" that caught a lot of ths spills.

    Mess on the floor - we put an old beach towel on the floor to catch the spills. Big stuff we could shake into the trash, wet stuff came out in the laundry. Other people use a plastic drop cloth or like an old shower curtain on the floor.

    Meal prep gets easier when LO is eating many of the same foods that you do.

    We often did meals with DS1 in just a diaper and a bib. Certainly made clean up a little easier.

    Stews & soups you can take out the lumpy parts and give her that so her food is a little less messy.

    Go ahead and give her a little spoon. She may surprise you and figure it out.
    Lynn
    DS1: bf 7/2006 -> 4/2009; multiple food allergies
    DS2: bf 9/2009 -> ???
    ; multiple food allergies
    Breastmilk Donor - http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk
    Click HERE to learn about baby led solids (BLS) / baby led weaning (BLW)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    8,272

    Default Re: Ah, god, the mess...

    Oh - and by 15 months we moved him to a booster with a safety strap. IME learning how to eat came easier when he was at the table with us.
    Lynn
    DS1: bf 7/2006 -> 4/2009; multiple food allergies
    DS2: bf 9/2009 -> ???
    ; multiple food allergies
    Breastmilk Donor - http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk
    Click HERE to learn about baby led solids (BLS) / baby led weaning (BLW)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    421

    Default Re: Ah, god, the mess...

    Thank you so much, everyone, for all the advice. I think our biggest problem right now is her not being in any kind of chair while eating, which leads to food being dragged across the ground as she tries to crawl about while clutching some part of the meal in her fists.

    She won't sit in my lap, either, but yesterday, I made sure she was looking when I tasted some of her food, and this seemed to make her more willing to be fed, in order to have what mom was having .

    I think I was hoping for some magic answer, but the truth is that it WILL be messy and I just have to get over MY problem with that. And maybe I'll start feeding her in the bathtub .

    Another mom gave me some good advice, which is to let her try to use the utensils and when things don't work and she gets hungry/frustrated enough, she'll allow me to take over.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Ah, god, the mess...

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*sobamom View Post
    I think I was hoping for some magic answer, but the truth is that it WILL be messy and I just have to get over MY problem with that. And maybe I'll start feeding her in the bathtub .
    .
    Hey, *I* might try that one! That is where all of our meals end now anyway.
    "Old" first time ma (38) to Athena (May 17, 09) Oh my G-d, I'm nursing a toddler!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Ah, god, the mess...

    When my oldest was at that stage, I would put down an old blanket, and let her go for it. Unfortunately kids=mess Plus, our dog is a good helper, she is not allowed in the room when people are eating, but, when the meal is over it's "OK Sarah, come clean the floor" IMO a LO has to go through the messy stage of learning to get the hang of it.
    Proud mommie to two miracle babies
    Rachel 2/24/06 7lb 13oz born at 38 wks
    formula fed with lots of love.
    And currently attempting to drive her mother crazy
    Morgan 7/4/09 8lb 1oz born at 37wks
    bf going strong!
    Baby girl is one year old! Where does the time go?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Good ole ATX y'all!
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    1,789

    Default Re: Ah, god, the mess...

    Get a big yellow lab that eats everything on the floor, that's what we have!

    Seriously though, one thing I have done with my kids is give them a SMALL amount of the food in their bowls, enough for them to play around with and experiment with and then I fed them from a spoon. Giving them their own utensils and bowl made them distracted enough for me to spoon some in.

    With the small amount in their bowl they can't make as much mess as with a full serving.
    Jen - mom to 3
    DD who I FF
    I survived 10 painful mastitis infections and managed to nurse DS1 till he was 3 years and 7 months
    and now DS2 4 years now working on gentle weaning and


    "Pride is one of the seven deadly sins; but it can not be the pride of a mother in her children, for that is a compound of two cardinal virtues - faith and hope." Charles Dickens

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