When I was chatting with one of my friends about weaning she looked at me in horror! I genuinely thought it was ‘normal’ to let babies play with their food. It’s a little like burping isn’t it? You say good boy after each and every burp and celebrate the release of wind but at some point the line blurs and this gesture is no longer acceptable.
Don’t get me wrong when weaning first started I wanted full control of the spoon but when I saw the sheer glee and delight on my little boys face when he delved into his Babymoov bowl and squidged and squeezed the contents and then devoured the contents of his palm (I had only turned my back for a nanosecond). From that point he refused the spoon from me unless I relinquished at least fifty percent of the power.
I loved reading the blog by Babymoov’s chosen nutritionist Julia Wolman who recently answered my queries in my post entitled, Stressless Weaning: The Answers To My Questions Here’s a little extract of, ‘Mess is Best: Why babies should play with their food!’
This is my son Leo at 8 months. Whilst weaning, my obsessive-compulsive tendencies made me mindful of the clean-up process that lay ahead, on the other hand, the nutritionist in me knew how important it was not to stress about the mess.
All too often I witness babies reaching out to touch a spoon or bowl of food to see and feel what’s in it, whilst the parent ever so quickly retracts it out of their reach. I understand, I have a fear of mess too, and I know it really is so much easier to just steer little hands clear of anything semi-solid. However, when it comes to weaning mess really is best.
Here are five good reasons why it is important for babies to explore (or squish, prod, smear!) their food at mealtimes:
1. It’s fun
2. Learning through sensory play
3. Increasing familiarity
4. Fine motor skills development
5. Hand-eye coordination
Whether using spoons or self-feeding, when babies do it themselves they are learning how to get food into their mouths. And while most of it may go anywhere but their mouth at the beginning, with practice they’ll quickly work it out!
#Messisbest but I must admit that I currently have help from MessyMe to keep it somewhat contained and Bibetta to keep the little fella clothes as clean as possible – read about our experience of these two brands very soon.