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One year old throwing food etc

(16 Posts)
surreygirl1987 Sat 19-Oct-19 18:47:53

My one year old throws food from his high chair. I know a lot of this is to see what happens, but he's been doing it for months so surely he knows by now that it hits the ground?! I say 'no we don't throw food' firmly each time but then he does it again. He watches me as if looking for my reaction most of the times he does this. I try to distract him with another piece of food but it doesn't seem to work. Sometimes I think it's because he's had enough food, but other times he drops the first piece of food he touches and I know he must be at least a bit hungry. Any advice? I don't mind the mess that much, but I do want to ensure that he gets the appropriate level of discipline by age... And as a ftm I'm just not sure when that really starts. I'm a secondary school teacher - give me a surly teenager to deal with any day and I know what to do, but I have no idea what I'm doing with a baby!

Harrysmummy246 Sat 19-Oct-19 19:57:23

They don't understand at this age a sentence like that and it is a 'schema' so will tend to be repeated. And it's not just that it falls, it makes a sound or goes splash or.....

And they have little to no impulse control at this age either. Waterproof cloth under the high chair or get a dog

surreygirl1987 Sat 19-Oct-19 20:28:32

Thanks. As I say, I'm not too concerned about the mess (and we do have a waterproof sheet under). So is there no point me telling him no yet? He often has a tiny grizzle when I tell him not to so I thought he did kind of understand, especially as he keeps watching me as if for my reactions. If so, at what point should I start telling him no etc? Thanks for your help! Winging it here!

LeGrandBleu Sun 20-Oct-19 05:56:27

I disagree with the previous poster. I am French , live in Australia and I am truly shocked by the mess mothers here allow their babies and children to do. You would never see this in France and I feel very sorry for the poor staff that has to clean up the devastation left by the mothers meeting for coffee.
No matter how young, you can teach behaviour. I think your son finds it the best game in the world. Throw on the floor and get a reaction.
I would say no when he does it and remove the plate and him from his high chair and put him down somewhere safe and turn your back on him. Or remove plate, push him a meter back and turn your back and ignore him. Don't even let him attempt to throw in the floor.

A gentle no, remove plate and wait 10 min.
Also, try to have your meals with him. Him in his high chair and you sitting at the table with your plate and cutlery. you alternate between feeding him and eating yourself. He might be interested in what's in your plate and it is a good way to give him food people don;t usually tend to give babies such as salads . Meals are not a moment in which the whole household attention is given to the toddler but a shared moment , be it at home or when eating out.

speakout Sun 20-Oct-19 06:15:30

There are more effective ways of parenting than introducing punitive methods at mealtimes.

I do agree with eating together.

I found a high chair useless.
Mealtimes with my toddlers were on the floor, picnic style, sitting together on a clean plastic cloth. Any dropped food could be picked up and eaten.

LeGrandBleu Sun 20-Oct-19 08:23:27

Removing the plate is not punishing and not giving attention is not punishing.
Parenting comes in many shapes and colour. Just find your style.

surreygirl1987 Sun 20-Oct-19 10:59:30

All interesting ideas. I DO feel he is old enough to understand he is being told off, especially as he grizzles afterwards and looks for my reaction. I wouldn't be able to take his food off him and leave him for 10 mins - he would have a meltdown.
To the lady who suggested giving him food from my plate like salad - he has the same food as me most of the time anyway, as he eats pretty much what we eat. So it's not curiosity about my food.
I think I'll maybe try giving him less food on his plate and then when he starts throwing food I'll verbally rebuke him and take his plate away? I'm just worried about crushing his exploration of things... but seriously hew been doing this for months and he KNOWS food falls onto the floor when he drops it, surely!
Any other ideas gratefully received. I understand there are a mix of opinions and I'm grateful for all of them. It's reassuring to know that there's not one 'right' way of doing things...

Littlecaf Sun 20-Oct-19 18:12:15

Does he do it as soon as you give him his plate? Has he just finished eating and doesn’t know what to do?

surreygirl1987 Sun 20-Oct-19 18:58:27

Thanks for the reply. It's usually not immediately but sometimes it is- I did wonder if it was his cue for being full but then when he threw his toast on the floor as soon as I gave him his breakfast the other day, I figured not.

For dinner this eve I said no we don't throw food, then he did again so I said okay you're clearly done and started to remove his sticky plate from his high chair. Then he snatched a piece of avocado and started eating it properly so I put it back on and he said okay you can keep the plate if you don't throw. He was okay then. So I'll try that again tomorrow and see if it helps. I'm convinced he has some basic understanding, even if only of my tone. But I'm keen to hear what other parents do.

Mowly75 Mon 21-Oct-19 03:39:48

Yeah I agree with the French poster. My 14 month old knows not to
do this. She looks me dead in the eye and does it. Sometimes she does it when she doesn’t want to eat any more, sometimes not. Now I’ve started saying very firmly ‘mummy says no’ & taking her out of her high chair & ignoring her. If she wants to eat more she’ll come back & we’ll try again

MrsMaow Mon 21-Oct-19 10:45:25

I’m sure it works great for some people but personally I just can’t bring myself to ignore my baby, so for the last couple of weeks instead I just try my hardest to not have any reaction at all when she drops stuff, and give her loads of praise when she eats properly (as properly as an almost 1 year old baby can anyway!). Sometimes it works and she doesn’t drop anything, sometimes it doesn’t work, but that’s better than the 100% failure rate which is what I had when I tried to tell her no!

Mowly75 Mon 21-Oct-19 12:32:44

As for not being able to bear to ignore your baby, my daughter doesn't give a shit when I say "no", take out of her high chair, & carry on eating/drinking alone (agree, it works really well/best when you eat together, as babies love to copy you etc); she just goes to play.

If she comes back & wants my attention I give it to her. Sometimes she'll sit on my lap & eat off my plate very happily.

Like MrsMaow sometimes I simply ignore the food throwing too, I give no reaction at all. Can't see either approach makes a difference really, the only difference is what mood I am in, I guess!

I don't want to make mealtimes a battleground, that's important to me. I still I agree the most with with LeGrandBleu - find your own parenting style. No it's not punishing a baby that age to say no, to take a plate away etc. Discipline/punishing almost impossible at this age - it's all in tone of voice, firmness etc.

Notodontidae Mon 21-Oct-19 17:39:56

It never ceases to amaze me how many parents get this stage of child development wrong. LeGrandBleu was spot on with her method, it is learning not punishment. The child could be saying all sorts of things such as I am full up, I dont much like this, or I like seeing you dance around when I throw food. You dont know which one, so you take it away, and that's it. Dinner time over. Next meal time you reintroduce the same thing, with maybe a bit of banana, and a sausage. If the banana & Sausage are eaten but not the original meal, then the chances are it is not liked. You are communicating with your child, and they will learn not to throw it. Now what could be more simple than that.

surreygirl1987 Mon 21-Oct-19 20:08:10

Many thanks to all of you for responding. It is good to hear others' views and I appreciate the effort of each response. I would just say though, @notodontidae, I'm not sure if any of the suggestions are 'wrong'. I'd rather approach it from the perspective of finding a method that best works for my baby, rather than claiming others are 'wrong'. Thanks for your comments about different foods - I don't think that's what is going on in this case though as he throws food he sometimes seems to love.
However, this evening was much better. I'm going to stick with a consistent approach for now, of warning with a 'no, we don't throw food' and then removing his plate if he keeps doing it. It might not work but it's been promising the past couple of days so I have hope.

Thanks again! God, parenting is a minefield!

Notodontidae Tue 22-Oct-19 10:56:22

@Surreygirl1987. Thank you for your comments. Being a parent is the most wonderful and natural thing people do; yes it can be tough, but it also teaches us to be tollerent, and have empathy and understanding for others, it teaches us not to be selfish, and to look at the world through the eyes of our children, and to know we were once there. Parents can then say " how can I make a difference to my own children". I often see, poor parenting, in the supermarket, in town, in the park. Obviously every child is different, even two of your own, but get it right early, and enjoy a long and lasting relationship.

surreygirl1987 Tue 22-Oct-19 19:23:43

Many thanks. I agree with a lot of what you say (although I don't think everyone would necessarily agree that being a parent is the most wonderful thing a person can do!), although now that I have my own child I would definitely hesitate to label many of the things I see in the supermarket as 'poor parenting' as it's just a snapshot. That said, there are clearly tried and tested strategies that do work for many children. That's for your help. Another successful meal this evening so I think we are on the right tracks.

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