Importance of family mealtimes
For many parents, it would be much easier to forget about family mealtimes altogether. We lead busy lives and often family members have schedules which make meals an organisational headache. However, the benefits of eating together are endless and they far outweigh any associated hassle. In fact, we’re certain that once it becomes a habit, eating en-famille is something you’ll look forward to every day.
Research has shown that involving the littlest family members in shared mealtimes is crucial to their development.
- First, it helps to promote language skills. Babies learn how to speak by watching and listening to us. So, when you and your partner or the rest of your brood are debriefing around the table it’s a great opportunity for your baby to observe and listen.
- Secondly, including your baby at the dinner table also introduces them to social skills like taking turns in talking and using good manners. We all know that babies love to copy what we do. If they watch you saying please and thank you, they’ll adopt the same language when they start talking.
How to involve baby at mealtimes
You don’t have to wait until your baby is eating solids to involve them at mealtimes. The days of taking turns with your partner to eat while the other person engages the baby are over. Thanks to some fantastic products like this highchair by HAUCK, your little one can be included. Unlike conventional chairs for newborns, this model is height-adjustable so it allows your little one to be at eye-level. That means you can eat (using both hands) while keeping a watchful eye on the littlest family member. Plus, with the playful HUAK Mickey Mouse model comes a fun mobile attachment which encourages your baby’s motor skills as they reach for the dangling toys.
Time for food
When you decide it’s time for your baby to move on to solid food, you needn’t buy an entirely new highchair. HAUCK’s model grows with your little one. Once your baby can sit up, you can swap the chair for an upright seat with a tray table. While government advice is currently to start weaning at about 6 months, every baby is different. It can be really helpful if the high chair you go for has an adjustable footrest and backrest like HAUCK’s, so your little one is comfortable as they grow.
There is so much advice out there on how to wean your child. The most important thing is to be relaxed – it’s meant to be fun. Your baby will be getting all the nutrients they need from breastmilk or formula for a while still, so this time is really for experimenting and getting your baby used to different flavours and textures. Sure, it can be messy, but many highchairs like HAUCK’s Mickey Mouse model have tables which are quick and easy to wipe down.
A pushchair which grows with your little one (and lets you do the shopping)
There’s no doubt that raising a baby can be expensive. There are endless products on the market, so the longer they last the better. If you can find a long-lasting pushchair with a fun design, you’re onto a winner. We love this model by HAUCK with a cheerful Winnie the Pooh design. It’s a super-light model and comes with all you need until your little one is four: a carrycot attachment for newborns as well as a car seat and typical pushchair attachment.
Doing the weekly shop with baby-in-tow can be a minefield. Some pushchairs make your life much easier by allowing the car seat to clip straight onto the chair’s frame. This means that you don’t need to wake your baby up if they’ve fallen asleep in the car. The handy shopping basket attached to the Winnie the Pooh HAUCK model also means you don’t have to twist your wrist while attempting to push the buggy with shopping baskets clattering round your arms. Win-win.
For more information on HAUCK, visit hauckuk.com.