Friday, March 28, 2008

table manners

when, and how, do you teach a baby table manners? here's the issue... caleb is in love with blowing raspberries, especially when he's teething (which is now). it seems to be the most fun to blow raspberries when there is food in his mouth. you can imagine the issues this brings up. food everywhere! all over the floor, all over my clothes and glasses, all over caleb and his high chair, all over the walls, you get the picture. but i don't know how to teach him when he's still so young and doesn't understand "no". here are a few things i've tried... telling him no and then (when it continues) turning his chair around in a mini time-out. he just cranes his neck around to see me and thinks we're playing a game. i've also tried holding a paper towel up to his mouth to make him stop while saying "no". he just tries to eat the paper towel. i've read the suggestion of having the meal be over, but as we're just starting out with solids 1)he doesn't care if he gets to eat them or not and 2)i want eating to be a positive experience for him. so, any suggestions for what to do (and how to get peas off the wall and out of clothes)?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hear your frustration with the mess! Been there. But remember that baby's first experiences with eating needs to be a positive one. Babies communicate with us by doing funny and silly things. They try to elicit a joyful reaction out of us. It reinforces their positive joyful behavior, and creates a trusting bond with parent. Blowing raspberries is cute! But not so much when green goop is shooting out at you! He may be telling you that he doesn't like that particular food. It may feel really good to him, blowing air out of his mouth, to relieve some teething pain. Whatever the reason may be I would gently recommend that you do not yet use discipline techniques. He is still too young. He sees the dissapointment/ frustration/anger on your face and is confused. Babies want to please us. Babies want to see mom's smile, not frown. There is plenty of time to set those rules/boundaries. A few suggestions the next time he does it at mealtime. Try to distract/redirect with a song, a book, flying the airplane"spoon", etc. Or change the food you are feeding him. OR give him a spoon to 'let him feed himself' this will distract the blowing, OR simply and calmly make mealtime over with, and try again later. Remember that he does not NEED that much solid food during his first year of life. Breastmilk or formula still needs to be his main source of nutrition. Solid food feeding during this stage is an introduction and should be a positive experience. Babies should be allowed some freedom to try to feed themselves. Yes, it will be messy, but it teaches invaluable experiences.
And lastly, with any stage a baby goes really helps to tell yourself, "this is short lived, this will not last forever, it's really cute, I'll take some pictures, videotape his antics, write it in his baby book, and move on." They grow so quickly! When he's 14 and doing much worse things you'll wish you had him blowing food at you again! Choose your battles.
I'm a mom of three, and I've been through most of it. Hope some of these suggestions help! Hang in there, and try Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser for your walls.