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Discover the secret of childhood from 0-3 year old:

Posts Tagged ‘self-feeding’

Raising healthy babies who LOVE to eat everything

Saturday, September 17th, 2011 2:48 pm | By Stephanie Woo

My favorite topic is eating. Trying to feed two babies at once is not an easy task, but if you create a safe, child-friendly eating environment, then foster their love for eating AND their love to feed themselves, then your job as mom will be much easier. You will need patience because in the beginning it will be a mess. It really will be. But once they get the hang of it, you will be amazed at what your children are capable of.

To date, my favorite baby purchase has been the weaning table and chairs. It is a child-sized table that is about 24” x 24” and two child-sized chairs. The dimensions on these are very important. I bought mine at Michael Olaf or you can have a carpenter make one for you (email me if you need exact dimensions).  It was about $150 for the table and $100 each for the chairs. These wooden tables and chairs are heavy and sturdy, so the babies cannot move them easily. This is important for safety reasons. If you have particularly rambunctious little ones, you can also screw in iron plates at the bottom of the table and chair to make it even heavier.

Weaning Table and Chair

The height of the armrest needs to be correct in order to support young sitters

Best time to start using the weaning table and chair is when your baby first starts solids, around 5-6 months. Use small pillow(s) to support them if they cannot sit up by themselves yet. Here is B and M at 7 months. Notice the small pillows that we put on either side of them to support them.

You also need child-sized spoons, small shallow bowls and very small glass cup. Don’t use plastic plates and utensils! As your children are absorbing information about the world, give them the best that our world has to offer – give them beautiful spoons (I bought demi-tasse spoons from William and Sonoma and Sur La Table), real bowls (we use small IKEA sidedish/dessert bowls, Corelle bowls are also good because they won’t break) and glass cups (shot-glasses are good, I bought mine at Sur La Table). Glass and silverware have a very distinct touch and weight whereas plastic is light and slick. Let your child experience the true pleasure of eating from a young age – and it starts with plates and utensils.

Also, many parents go from bottle to sippy cup to plastic cup to glass cup. Skip all the steps in between and go straight to glass cup.

Small shot glasses and water pitcher. All made of glass. A see-through pitcher would be even better so the child can see how much water is left in the pitcher.

Use bowls that are shallow so the child can see what’s inside their bowl. If the bowl is too high up, their vision will be blocked by the bowl

Here is Mackenzie sitting at her table, eating applesauce+yogurt and drinking water!

Pincer Grasp

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011 11:55 am | By Stephanie Woo

I cooked some teriyaki ribs in the slow cooker and pulled it apart into little long strips. Here is Brooke (8.5 months) practicing her pincer grasp (keep reading below).

The pincer grasp is a sophisticated 2 finger grasp that children generally start working on from between 8-9 months and can become quite good at by 12 months (though some will not master it till they are 18-24 months). It usually starts as a primitive pincer grasp, which looks like this. Notice the flat fingers.

And gradually becomes this.

A true pincer grasp looks like this. The fingers are completely rounded and the fingertips are touching

Some parents never let their babies handle little things, so even when they reach 1.5 -2 years old, their pincer grasp is still primitive. Practice is the only way to improve this very important skill, that eventually allows the child to write with a pencil, use scissors and play the violin.

Food is an excellent way to let your baby practice his pincer grasp. At every meal, always give him something he can eat with his hands. Start out by cutting things into spears that he can grab with his whole hand (a piece of banana sliced vertically down the middle, a spear of apple, asparagus)  then gradually, give him smaller pieces and even slippery things that will slide out of their hand. Under supervision, you can also try non-food items. Give your baby the opportunity to practice!

Drinking Water Out of a Cup

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011 12:59 pm | By Stephanie Woo

When Mackenzie was 5.5 months, I took her out to my local café for a cup of tea and biscuits. The food came with a carafe of water and a small cup. I took a sip of water and realized the cup is the perfect size to feed a baby, so I offered some to Mackenzie. She took it immediately.  Some water spilled, but it wasn’t a big deal compared to giving her a new experience.  She drank more every time I offered it to her – she clearly enjoyed it.

Now, one meal per day, they drink water out of a small glass cup along with their food. There’s quite a lot of spillage, but they love it.  Another step toward independence.