I know, I know. You’re probably wondering what type of furniture I do have in my house? I assure you that there is a regular amount of furniture in my home but this whole parenting thing has brought out a whole other side of mine. We love, love, love that we got rid of the crib in favor of the more child friendly Bed on the floor for sleeping arrangements. And much like our sleeping arrangements I observed that Ava was just not loving her high chair and that we were just not loving her in her highchair either. So, we ditched it. We ditched it in favor of a small IKEA table and chairs. Seriously this has been such an amazing move for our family. Each morning, noon, and night I have asked Ava each time before placing her at her table if she is hungry while making a kind of smacking noise with my lips. The last three weeks or so, she now let’s us know that she is hungry by either smacking her lips or by walking/crawling to her table and taking a seat. I can not even begin to tell you how gratifying it is to have her be able to tell us what she needs and for us to meet her needs.
We began having her sit at her own table when she was around 11 months. Right now she is currently a crazy and adventurous 14 month old. Not only does she sit at her own little table, but often times my husband or I will sit with her and help her with her meals. She loves when we come to sit with her! You can see how excited she is to have an adult sitting with her on her own level. One thing that has changed is that although she is very independent sitting at her table there are some behavior things that we work on. You know the usual don’t sit on your table, don’t stand on your table, don’t place your feet on your table, it’s all a work in progress. She makes a total mess some days, and that’s okay. Food comes off the wall and off the baby and we all get on with our day. I have found that one great way to keep the mess under control is to use a EZ PZ silicone plate + placemat. The beauty in this is that it is dishwasher safe, sticks to surfaces, and looks cute (They have a bowl as well that we use and love)!
Another thing that we have done in regards to eating is to make a cupboard in the kitchen completely accessible to Ava. There is a shelf which has a basket of some food packets, crackers, etc and she has learned that she is welcom to crawl/walk to that cabinet, play in it, and let us know when she would like to have some food from it. She has been really great at also letting us know when she is still hungry by crawling to the cabinet and handing us food that she would like to consume. I love that she is so confident in her eating habits and that she feels comfortable in letting us know that she in not quite full yet.
This way may not be for everyone but to our family it has been really amazing! I love the way that Ava explores and gains confidence in her environment and most of all that she is already communicating her needs at an early age. Sick of battling it out at the table? Consider taking this new approach.