Welcome back to our last part of our starting solids series! We hope that you’ve enjoyed our tips and found the information we have provided help on how to get your little one started on eating solids. In this part three-segment, we want to help you in surviving the inevitable mess that you will face when your baby venture into the world of solid foods.
It’s not as daunting as you may have imagined, most kids adjust reasonably quickly, and messes aren’t the large type spills that you see in movies. However, it is essential to prepare yourself so that you aren’t stressing out during and after your meals. Here at Nest Designs, we are committed to helping you through those spaghetti splatters and the pools of yam puree at your feet. Here’s our best tips to help you get started:
The planning phase is the mental part of starting on feeding solids. You will fare much better if you plan with the right expectations and knowing what’s to come. It can separate you from having a great experience instead of a traumatizing one.
Do your research and learn what portion sizes are appropriate for your baby’s age group. Be informed about the realities of starting solids by talking to a trusted health care provider or following up on current recommendations from government websites. It is a good idea to read up on portion sizes so that you don’t make too much for your little one or have unrealistic expectations for them.
Babies, in general, do not consume a lot of solids at first because they are still getting more of their nutrition from formula or your milk. As such, have a healthy expectation that your first few tries at solids aren’t going to be ideal. They may only eat a few teaspoons – and that’s if they don’t spit out most of it when you try to feed it to them.
Keep it simple, because spending hours preparing your baby’s food is unrealistic. You have a big enough pile of laundry as it is. A gourmet meal for your baby is not going to affect your little one’s feeding habits. And all food is new and exciting for a new baby!
Remember, every baby’s first try at solids is going to be different. They all develop differently, so don’t compare your baby to your friend’s baby. Trust your instincts, and enjoy this new adventure with your child!
As cliché as this step is, preparation is the key to an easy-peasy clean-up versus a back-destroying, get-on-your-knees type clean up. First, consider the type of food you will be starting for your little one. Thick purees and sauces that are easy to scoop up with a spoon are much more likely to end up in your baby’s mouth than baby food that has more liquid in it. Consider how you can make cooking more manageable for your princess to grasp and consume. For example, bananas, peaches and sweet potatoes may be more natural for chubby little fingers to pick up than apple purees.
Likewise, it is crucial to have the right equipment in your preparation. Start with a great bib that has long sleeves to protect their clothes, such as one of our Sleeved Bibs. This piece of mess-reducing feeding equipment will save many shirts from getting stained, and they are super comfortable to wear with our signature bamboo muslin blend material along with a wipe-able polyester front layer that makes for easy clean-up – you’ll want a few of them as a part of your feeding arsenal!
Invest in a good quality high chair that is easy to clean up, as well as non-slip bowls and plates that will help you avoid those times when your baby decides to throw their plate at you. We suggest that you also get a mat or cheap vinyl tablecloth to put underneath your baby’s highchair for an easy clean-up. You will thank yourself for being well prepared.
If you are a first-time parent, this may be a hard one to swallow, but messes are going to happen. Your instincts and reflexes just aren’t going to cut it when it comes to catching your little one’s spills and splatters. Children and food together always equals a mess in the end. It is a massive part of your child’s development, so you’ll have to embrace the clean-ups. However, fear not, as there are ways to reduce the mess. Here’s how you can cope with the impending chaos:
- Change your mindset about messes – like walking and potty training, starting on solids is a fine-motor skill that your little one will need a ton of practice. You can feed them and keep them neat until they’re toddlers, but your baby won’t learn how to develop their hand-eye coordination or the motor skills they need to play if they don’t make the big mess with their feedings
- Make sure you have wipes – keep our Nest Design’s Dry Wipes handy and at the ready. We also have Organic Dry Baby Wipes as well for those with extra sensitive skin.
- Clean up as you go – instead of doing one big clean up afterward, clean your baby as they eat. Minor wipes and dabs here and there will save you from the one giant mess you will have to deal with afterward.
- Serve small portions – Smaller portions mean smaller messes. If your little one is still hungry, you can always add more to their plates.
- Alternative solutions – If your baby is a messy eater, you can always take them outside on a beautiful day and just let them at it. You can always hose down the mess instead of scraping food off your floors that day. Or, if you have a pet, let your pet have a treat and clean up after your little one after their meals!
After meal-time clean-up
If you have followed some of our tips above, hopefully, the mess you end up with will not be as astronomical as you may have expected. However, if it is an utter disaster, you can always clean up with a gentle and calming bath at the end. Be ready with some of Nest Design’s Bamboo Bubs Baby Washcloths and one of our 9-layer Hooded Towels and get ready for some bath time fun! These 9-layer muslin towel wraps are twice as absorbent as a traditional towel and feature a cozy hood to keep your bub nice and warm.
We hope that we have given you a few new tips to help you during this long-awaited milestone for your precious baby. We’d love to hear about your experiences with starting solids, and remember to have fun and follow along to your baby’s cues!