To let DS feed himself from the highchair tray?

(311 Posts)

Long, sorry...

Birthday lunch for a family friend at a country pub. 8 adults, DS1 (3yo) and DS2 (13mo)

We eat out a lot with the DC so they behave pretty well; no shouting, chucking food etc. DS1 eats like a mini-adult, uses cutlery, no probs. DS2 feeds himself nicely and has done for months (BLW) but as his pasta has arrived as an enormous adult-sized portion on a plate, I pick up a dollop or two and put them on the tray of his highchair. He scoffs away. The babywipes are poised next to him.

Waiter(asst.manager/supervisor?) hovers; 'is there something wrong with the plate?'
Me; confused 'sorry?'
Waiter; 'IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE PLATE?' (crossly, with sarcasm)
Me; <stammers> um, oh, sorry...it was a bit hot...he tends to push the plate around...might get broken...I WILL clean the tray myself and wipe up any mess when he's finished...
Waiter;'oh, it's just I couldn't believe it when I saw you just dumping it on the tray like that'
Me; shock
DH; Er, hang on a minute mate, that's how he eats? No harm done! Do you have children?!'
Waiter; 'no, but I was one once, and my mother would never have just put food in front of me like that...she'd have fed me properly'

At this point my bottom lip went blush and DH asked him if he'd meant to be so rude(!). He then said; 'well, half of your party were 30mins late for the booking, and then she (gestures) dumps food straight on the table....'

I got a bit upset. Soothing noises ensued from all our party. After about 20mins he returns

Waiter; 'um, right, about earlier; I'm sorry you were upset but... '
Me; (cutting in) 'are you apologising?'
Waiter; 'no, thank you for cleaning up, but I stand by what I sai..'
Me; (nicely) 'I don't want to hear it, thanks!'
Waiter; (loudly, while walking off with his hands raised in despair) 'Ok, fine, you just carry on doing that in every restaurant you go to and see what happens...'

shock and grin

WIBU?

sausagedogfan Mon 25-Mar-13 21:04:46

We went out for a roast on Sunday. We put DS's food onto the highchair tray, and so did the couple next to us (with their DD). Noone batted an eyelid, in fact the staff were very lovely towards our food-covered children. Just the way it should be!

ExBrightonBell Mon 25-Mar-13 19:30:57

Superkat, that video is fab and your dc3 is a cutey :-)

And the OP was definitely NBU! The waiter was v v rude. And wrong.

blackcurrantjan Mon 25-Mar-13 18:46:44

I worked as a waitress and if I spoke to a customer like that I would be sacked on the spot. I hope you complained.

My DD always eats straight off the high chair tray. Its perfectly normal and natural. When shes finished shes covered in food and very happy. If she picks up germs well and good it builds up her immune system grin

somewherewest Sun 24-Mar-13 20:29:45

15mo BLWed DS has eaten straight off restaurant/cafe highchairs about a million times. He's survived grin. He likes cutlery but plates distract him too much.

Longfufu Sun 24-Mar-13 19:08:31

YANBU, you sound sensible!

SatsukiKusukabe Sun 24-Mar-13 18:54:41

plates go straight on the ground if he had children he'd know that. ywb sensible. He was being a twat

of course it's more relaxed, it's letting the baby choose for itself what it will eat, the order it will eat it and how to handle it.
rather than having to cook, blend, scoop ea h and every mouthful up and make sure the child eats it. oh, and because they're not learning for themselves how to manipulate food, there's a greater risk of choking.

plus, it does have consequences on learning to talk - they learnlater how to move their mouth muscles, jawand tongue, which can cause delays and problems with speech.
it's not always been the way babies have been weaned, blw was more normal bbefore purees.

Khaleese Sun 24-Mar-13 18:03:32

Meandmarius...they so can! both of mine fed themselves well before 6 months, my first was 99 th centile all the way. There are loads of videos online of blw babies eating.

You are empowering them and really helping them to use those fingers.

18 months ....good grief.

Coconutty Sun 24-Mar-13 17:56:59

Well, I think the waiter was a cunt but to be fair my first though was Eww, I would never put anything onto a restaurant tray unless it had been thoroughly and I mean thoroughly cleaned. A quick wipe with an anti bac wipe wouldn't do it for me.

At home, yes, in a restaurant never.

MintyyAeroEgg Sun 24-Mar-13 17:37:56

I think its a bit much to expect the childless to be tuned in to what seems normal to parents immersed in baby world. They don't understand about ignoring tantrums and other stuff like that ... and why should they? They'll find out soon enough.

My dc never ate directly from their high chair tray. We had bowls with suction pads underneath. If we were out and thought there was a danger dc might throw their plate then one of us would have kept a hold on it.

LiseYates Sun 24-Mar-13 17:31:05

OK, he might have been rude and could benefit from a course in customer service to address his abrupt attitude, but am I missing something, as I do think he actually had a point (even if he was rude!)
Would YOU just eat your food if it was dumped unceremoniously in front of you? confused
Why should babies be expected to eat off the table? Is eating off the floor OK then if you're taking that stance?
Nothing wrong with instilling table manners at an early age.
I'd have just asked for a smaller plate so it would fit on the high chair tray easily.

Meandmarius Sun 24-Mar-13 16:45:25

Sorry OP, the waiter in your situation sounds utterly horrendous, by the way. What happened to 'the customer is always right?! Bizarre!

Meandmarius Sun 24-Mar-13 16:43:31

Have to say, I really don't get blw, purely because I don't believe a 6-12 month old could feed themselves a full meal if left to their own devices.

My DC only began to eat food put on their tray sensibly, rather than playing with it, at about 18 months.

I've only known a couple of blw babies and they were tiny. Could have been coincidence, of course.

Khaleese Sun 24-Mar-13 15:25:11

I did blw, it's amazing lazy parenting! Great for baby, easy for mum.

It's win win, excluding the cleaning up ( if you don't have a dog :-) )

There was nothing wrong with what you did Op, waiter was an ignorant fool.

I think your mistake was not giving him a dressing down. He's paid to WAIT on you, not pass judgment. You should have reminded him of his position.

I waited tables for years as a student and would never have been so rude.

KatAndKit Sun 24-Mar-13 14:55:39

Not getting involved with the debate but I have recently bought a mat that rolls up nice and small in my change bag, has rubber suckers, and is great for eating out as I have washed it and dettolled it already at home and can milton wipe it if needs be. I mostly do finger foods too as my baby can even make a right mess with puree, so at home we use the highchair tray and have done the same out and about (although would avoid doing it with spag bol that could stain their tray orange), but the new mat has made life easier. As you say, a bowl or plate would be emptied straight out onto the floor!

Welovegrapes Sun 24-Mar-13 14:41:28

YANBU - what a nightmare guy!

I have never used a plate for DS when out and about as the whole thing just goes on the floor. It would never have occurred to me that anyone would object. We clean highchair tray before and after and floor after.

Don't see the need for spats over blw / spoon feeding. We did blw as it suits DS. Other friends did puréed abd it worked for them.

exoticfruits Sun 24-Mar-13 14:35:47

BLW is nothing new-it was just that it was a mix and you didn't have to remove some things out of the diet because it needed a spoon. It is never baby led-they still eat what the mother gives them and when the mother wants to give it. The only choice is whether they pick it up, as opposed to whether they open their mouth. My baby was the messy eater in the restaurant because he was using a spoon part of the time.

everlong Sun 24-Mar-13 14:31:02

Bit late with that one spagbol wink

MrsSpagBol Sun 24-Mar-13 14:23:17

This statement everlong:

""I've always reckoned that BLW is a big copout for Mothers that can't be arsed to feed them""

That right there.

PurpleStorm Sun 24-Mar-13 14:18:56

everlong, you did add quite a few extra posts that seemed to back up the original "slightly tongue in cheek" judgy post.

everlong Sun 24-Mar-13 14:13:08

Not a retraction at all. I put <runs quick> at the end of the sentence as a way of showing it was slightly tongue in cheek.

superkat Sun 24-Mar-13 14:10:03

On the subject of BLW, I really do think there's a lot of heat around normal / traditional (seriously - it was once normal and traditional to send children of seven out to work in factories and up chimneys but that's not a reason to keep doing it). When I told my Grandmother what we were doing she replied, "All of my boys were feeding themselves at that age, it's just normal." So I prefer to think of it as feeding kids. No dramaz.

This is a video of my DC3 learning to eat in the first month www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUao--6HHCE. At the first meal you can see the lack of coordination and strength in her fingers and then how swiftly that changes as she gets going. As you can see a week in she's feeding herself soup and porrige from a spoon (which we have scooped and handed over on her request).

What I'm trying to say in my own clumsy way is we could all do ourselves a favour and accept that it's all feeding kids and not a battle ground. We make our choices based on the information and advice available to us. We all believe we are doing the best for our children, we really do. If other people make different choices they don't invalidate your choices. Really, there's no need to jump all over people doing things differently.

SneakyNinja Sun 24-Mar-13 14:07:54

Yes because bringing up a previous post as a way of validating my point is clearly a very underhanded tactic in debating.

Anyway, as I said before the post that caused the 'bunfight' as you choose to call it said nothing about your preferences but rather was an unfair swipe at thousands of parents including myself. You have since retracted the comment as merely 'tongue in cheek' so I see no further need to justify anything. You're happy with your methods, I'm happy with mine. Happy Sunday Peeps. This thread has run its course with me.

everlong Sun 24-Mar-13 14:00:57

I don't understand you maja

Until they could feed themselves I would help them.

everlong Sun 24-Mar-13 13:59:30

sneaky the whole point of my argument againt blw is that it didn't suit me and that I saw no benefit in it at all and yes it seemed like a more relaxed way of feeding.

I don't understand why you keep dragging up what I've said. hmm

Unless you're just after a bunfight?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now