You don’t need to wait until you start weaning to include your little one in family mealtimes. Here’s five reasons why seating them up at the table from birth will aid their development…
WATCHING IS LEARNING
Your little one is constantly learning by just watching what you’re doing. Even before you’re ready to start the weaning process, you can bring your baby up to the table at mealtimes so they can watch you chewing, swallowing and enjoying your food. Inclusion in family mealtimes is great for their development and it will help get them ready for their first foods. Every mama knows that eating whilst you’re holding a baby can be a juggle though! To make sure your food doesn’t go cold, it’s worth investing in the Tripp Trapp® chair. You can use the clever ‘chair for life’ from birth with the Newborn Set, which allows you to seat your baby right up at the table with you. It also puts them in the perfect position to see what’s going on.
SETTING A ROUTINE
Seating your baby up at the table from the word go is also a great way to establish a good mealtime routine. They will get used to the times you eat as a family and it will help prepare them for the weaning stage. Having a routine is important as it helps little ones know what to expect when it is time for meals and snacks.
DEVELOPING SOCIAL SKILLS
It’s important to give your little one your full focus and attention at mealtimes. By sitting them up at the table you can involve them by making sure they are facing you and other family members. Turn off the TV and put away your mobile phones. Talk to them as you’re eating and make it fun. This is all part of helping them to see mealtimes as something enjoyable and is also really good for developing their social skills.
CREATING A BOND
Bringing your little one as close as possible is the best way to aid their development. Nurture your bond by ensuring they can make eye contact with you, watch your mouth as you eat, and feel part of everything that’s going on. As they begin the weaning process, a high chair with a tray is good for catching mess, but it’s also worth considering a chair that brings your little one right up to the table. The Tripp Trapp® offers both options as the Baby Set can be used with or without a tray. If they are eating on the table, we recommend arranging your little one’s food on a silicone tray with compartments. This will be much harder to overturn than a plate!
Although frustrating, food refusal is a totally normal part of the weaning process. A big culprit is teething, so it’s important to remember that your little one is probably not just being a fussy eater! The best way to head off food refusal before you start weaning is to begin role modelling early. Having your little one seated up at the table right from the start allows them to watch you enjoying your food. Keep calm and make it fun. It’s all part of the learning process.