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At what age would you start to insist on "table manners" - especially with a BLW baby?

(8 Posts)
Caz10 Fri 13-Feb-09 22:28:29

DD is 14mths, weaned mainly BLW style at 6mths and is a really great wee eater - she eats pretty much everything we do, is very independent at mealtimes, eats a varied diet and good quantities - so far so good!

We purposely went with BLW and have totally embraced the mess, let her do whatever she wants with the food, eating as little or as much as she wants, "investigating" it etc. I like to think this has contributed to her healthy appetite, and we've never had tears or tantrums at mealtimes - she sits with us at the table and is generally a sociable soul!

Not sure at 14mths how much she understands anyway, and don't want to instill any negativity around mealtimes when she's doing so well....

BUT - I keep thinking that surely this approach can't go on for ever, and I don't want to be the muppet hippie mother whose 4 year old is still tipping her plate upside down and eating the contents off the table, pouring water on her head etc. The mess can be truly gob-smacking sometimes!

Any thoughts or pointers? TIA!

LuckySalem Fri 13-Feb-09 22:30:26

Have you given her any cutlery?

We've started to give DD (13 months) a spoon or a fork with her dinner and it does cut it down a little.

PLUS it will be a good start to teaching table manners. I'm aiming for 2 years as when I will expect alot less mess grin

Chatkins Fri 13-Feb-09 22:33:32

Think I started giving ds spoon and fork around this time, but think it was mainly because he saw his older sisters had them and wanted them too ! He is 21 mo now and uses both pretty well.
Has lately started smearing food into the table, his hands, the wall etc instead of eating it - I threaten to take it away, and this normally makes him grab his plate and start eating !

KristinaM Fri 13-Feb-09 22:35:52

most 4 years olds don't eat off the table and pour water on their heads because they are at nursery/ school and the other children dont do that. peer pressure is a wonderful thing smile

is this your first child?

fledtoscotland Fri 13-Feb-09 22:37:39

think 14months may be a little soon for table manners as such. DS1 is 16months and cutlery is just an accessory. fingers get the food in his mouth quicker and more efficiently (even if it is one baked bean at a time hmm) . i just try to remind him of gravity when he dangles unwanted food over the side of the high chair into the waiting mouth of our increasingly-overweight dog and remind him that any food dropped will not miraculously return to his plate. he is getting it slowly.

IlanaK Fri 13-Feb-09 22:39:55

14 months is definately too young to be worrying about table manners. However, I would disagree with the comment about not seeing year olds doing this. I have a friend whose 6 year old was still eating with his fingers as she had the approach that he would use cutlery when he was ready. And peer pressure did not make a difference. My boys actually asked in front of him why he ate like this - he couldn't have cared less. So I do advocate teaching manners and cutlery use, just not as young as your dd.

Caz10 Fri 13-Feb-09 22:51:18

kristina of COURSE she is my PFB why else would I be asking?! grin

luckysalem we give her cutlery and I actually think she does not too badly, she stabs away at stuff with her fork and occasionally picks up the odd bit (which she then takes off the fork with her fingers, d'oh!). With a spoon she has a good go at yoghurt, porridge etc, can dunk in, get some on, get it too her mouth. But of course then it is also smeared in her hair, ears, etc etc. We mainly operate a 2 spoon system so she is having a go and we sneak the odd bit in too! But on the whole she just picks everything up with her fingers.

fledtoscotland we have a dog too, who is now banished from the room when we eat, as dd was spending meal times shouting oooof ooof and lobbing food at him!

OK so I can go with the mess for a while?! She goes to baby signing with her gran and can sign for "more" and "all done" so that is quite handy, also lots of violent head shaking when we dare to try to get her to eat more!

paddingtonbore Fri 13-Feb-09 23:08:09

DD is 23mo and has stubbornly avoided using any cutlery at all until the past week. She was BLWed and has always been fiercely independent with regards to feeding herself. She has got better at having a little try with cutlery after seeing her peers doing so at nursery.

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