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Messy toddler is feeding himself yogurtIf you’ve just landed on Part 2, Part one was suggesting solutions to fighting over the spoon, washing the food off the walls, the floor and the kid’s clothes. Now let’s see how we can cope with the rest.

How do I stop hosing down his high chair covered with food?

I teach my son not to use his hands when eating soup or porridge. We have this agreement where I help him to get a spoon full of soup from the bowl safely to his mouth. To be perfectly honest, it doesn’t always work and sometimes Eric fights my attempts to help. Then I leave him to try, but follow the dripping spoon with a bowl, holding it right under, so that the food would fall back in.

I tried the famous pelican bibs, but they were a huge disappointment. Pelican bibs are rubber bibs shaped especially to be catching the stray food, but the truth is they are even worse than the fabric ones. There is a big gap around the child’s neck and all the spillages from his chin end up on his clothes, while my idea of catching the soup with the bowl works every time :)!

How do I stop sticky fingerprints from appearing on my clothes?

I used to carry Eric to the sink to wash his hands and on the way he would smear food all over me. So instead of that I started to use hand wipes and that was the end of it. I would first wipe his hands and face while he is still sitting in the high chair, and only then would I let him out. This worked wonders for me and my wardrobe and he doesn’t get a chance to ‘feed’ his hair.

How do I stop undressing in the kitchen because he just spilled a glass of milk on me?

I am much wiser now – any cup he drinks from is only one quarter full. This way even if he is drinking ‘on the go’, there is almost no chance of spillage. And sometimes I do have to catch the cup if he spills on purpose, but it’s easier to prevent than an accidental spillage. Why? Because first he checks that I’m looking, and then looks me in the eye and slowly turns the cup over. Constantly pushing the boundaries, that’s what they do.

How do I stop pieces of toast from flying 5 meters away from the table?

Honestly, I am still trying. Apart from the attempts to catch them in flight, I do ask my son to not throw the food on the floor, because it’s not something we do. The next minute he does it anyway and I can only hope that in time it will ‘register’. However I’ve noticed that he only does it when not hungry, and if I take the food away before he gets bored and starts to play with it, nothing lands on the floor.

What are your self-feeding issues? How old were you kids when they started to eat on their own and how did you make it happen?