Throwing food from the high chair is a common parental complaint. It is something all babies do, it's just that baby-led solids babies start a little earlier. Here are some things we have done to cut down on the delightful dropsy game:
- Only offer a little bit of food at a time. We usually offer a small heap at the beginning of the meal, then only offer one or two things at a time after that's gone.
- Watch for "done" cues. Some of Buttercup's are: peering over the side of the high chair, spitting food out of her mouth, banging her hands on the tray, squishing handfuls of food, and picking up food and dropping it overboard. Watch your baby's cues in the same way you do when you're breastfeeding.
- Don't leave your baby in the highchair too long. I heard one mom on a parenting forum complaining that her baby threw a lot of food on the floor. It turns out she was leaving her baby in the highchair for over an hour! Babies have tiny little attention spans. Buttercup's meals usually last 15 minutes at this stage. Either she's going to eat in 15 minutes or she's not. Leaving her there longer is only going to make her bored.
- Use sign language so that your baby can "tell" you when she's finished eating. It was a proud day when Buttercup signed "all done" two weeks ago. My little genius!