Nurses and midwives are no exception to this! I remember my first experience of the mess that comes with moving onto solids. I called round to see my friend Anne (a midwife) at baby feeding time. Thomas, 6 months, was sat in his high chair dressed only in a singlet and nappy with a shower curtain underneath to protect the carpet.
I looked on in horror. Food was everywhere. Holy moly. Then once it was over, she handed me a very messy child covered from head to toe with food detritus. Now I hadn't prepared myself for this kind of visit!!!
I remember holding him at arms length while Anne got ready to hose him down. I remember quite distinctly Thomas putting his messy little fingers on and in my hair. Arrrgggghhhh. Oh it was not pleasant. The irony of what I do now and how much I encourage exploration with food is not lost.
Food and feeding isn't just about nutrition. It's about play and learning. When your baby throws food on the floor and then looks back to the highchair tray and looks back again to the floor, we think they're just making a mess however they're actually learning about object permanence (Piaget's theory). I'm sure that's changed your view that your baby is throwing the food 'on purpose'.
This means that food that exists in this plane (the highchair tray) also exists in another (the floor). Object permanence is the understanding that objects continue to exist even when they cannot be seen or are not in view. This usually happens at that 6-8 month wonder week. That's why a baby at this age will search for a toy hidden under a blanket and will recognise themselves in a mirror.
I do a lot of visits at mealtimes and it's on these visits that I often discover little gems to make your life easier. Gem no 1 is the Little Chomp messy mealtime smock.
It comes in lovely vibrant colours, protects clothes up to wrist level. The wrists are elasticated and they fit ages 6 months up to 2 years. They're waterproof, machine washable and wipe clean. I came across them on my recent trip to help families in Canberra. Thanks to Michaela and Pierce for introducing me to them and modelling. Tres chic :-)
Another little lovely is the WOW cup. This came c/o Jackie & Skye. Babies who are breast fed often struggle with using a bottle or a cup when they move onto solids at 6 months.
Breast fed babies can be cup fed from newborn if they need it with expressed milk. It's a technique we used in the UK on postnatal wards for reluctant breast feeders. Babies will use a cup like a cat will lap water up from a saucer. The WOW cup is anti spill, ergonomic and genius.
Using it for breast or formula milk will help protect those baby teeth.
And here's gem no 3!
A gourmet baby led weaning/finger food/moving onto solids website, My Lovely Little Lunchbox, with gorgeous photos and great recipes. A real find and a big thank you to Pia with baby Leo for this.
I'm especially loving her health breakfast ideas for finger foods/baby led weaning.
Pia shared a genius tip that I can't keep to myself. It would be so rude not to share!! Jaffles with all sorts of fillings, wholemeal bread and cut into soldiers. Total genius and Leo loves them. That 6-8 month age group is especially tricky and if we don't allow them to feed themselves we can end up with a growly unhappy baby.
Give these a try and let me know your babies favourites.