It can be easy to forget just how challenging feeding babies can be. They can be very wilful at times and really like to test the boundaries.
If you wish for calm and happy mealtimes where your child sits calmly in their highchair or at the table and gets on with the job of eating, then it’s important to set some basic parameters from the outset; always remember who is boss (you, not them!) and keep clear and consistent boundaries around mealtimes.
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/11893522@N00/2907617306/
Let me share a little story with you… I have 3 kids, twins who were 3 and half when their little sister arrived. She was (and still is) a little dreamboat. Such an easy baby who really gave me very little trouble, especially in comparison to the challenges of 8 week premmie twins.
But…I recall the first time I really had to lay down the law with her and overcome what was her first attempt at changing the rules. I had to do it for my own sanity and freedom and for peace keeping in the family. For the first week or so of solids she was perfect, happily devouring meals and smiling away and then, one day….tears, arched back and tense legs. She was not getting in that high chair! It was so hard and so stressful to watch my beloved little baby who was clearly so unhappy about something, but I had no idea why.
It didn’t help that her siblings were engaged in a full-scale brawl at the time, but it really did remind me of how stressful and difficult this whole parenting bit can be. Desperately not wanting to lose my grip on things and certainly not in the mood for allowing bad habits (she wanted to eat but only on my lap) I gave her some stern words along the lines of “if you want to eat you must be in the high chair, otherwise we’ll just miss out on lunch”. Amazingly she calmed enough for me to wrestle her in and once she had a taste of her delicious Pureed Carrot and Bellamy’s Organic Baby Rice she was instantly silent and gobbled two helpings with hardly a mess to show for it! And then sleepy bliss.
Babies do understand more than they let on so don’t be afraid to talk to them about consequences. Every step of baby-raising can be really challenging so when the chips are down be reminded that you are not alone, we all feel it and have confidence in your decisions, even if you sometimes feel like a goose laying down the law to a 5 month old!