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Messy toddler in a high chair feeding himselfWhen your baby starts trying to feed himself, you quickly realize how easy, even boring, you life was before.

No fighting over the spoon, no washing food off the walls and the floor 5 times a day, no bathing the baby after every meal.

No hosing down his covered with porridge high chair, no washing sticky fingerprints off your clothes, no undressing in the kitchen because he just spilled a glass of milk on you, no finding pieces of toast 5 meters away from the table. It turns out that you were missing on a lot of fun before this self-feeding thing began.

But you still want to teach him feed himself, don’t you? So how do you do it and keep your sanity? As usual, I started to think about this, one problem at a time, and here is what I came up with.

How do we stop fighting over the spoon?

We have two spoons, one is for him, and the other is for me. If he wants to grab mine, then he lets go of his spoon and I use it to feed him. This way he is getting something to eat while trying out his coordination.

How do I stop washing food off the walls and the floor?

By feeding Eric sticky food that doesn’t splash. He eats porridges, thick creamy soups, pasta and so on. If I want to give him some clear chicken soup, he drinks it from a cup.

A lot of food lands on the floor, which is why I put old newspapers under the high chair. Splash mats are good too, especially if you plan to re-use the food, but I find it quicker and easier to just throw it all away, less mess, less cleaning.

I also feed him finger food – pieces of toast, quarters of avocado, cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese sticks, carrots, celery sticks, and pieces of olives. For desert he likes to have a piece of rock melon, orange or pineapple.

How do I stop changing my little one’s clothes after every meal, because they are covered with food?

I have upgraded my bib collection. Instead of the smaller ones that I had (they were only covering the upper part of his chest) I bought bigger ones that cover him to the waistline.
I roll his sleeves up before he starts eating, because sometimes he is elbows deep in the food.

To be continued, please come back for Part 2 – meanwhile I’ve got another self-feeding session coming :).