Mealtime Mess - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 07-05-2005, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I wasn't sure where to post this...but I just wondered if anyone could shed a ray of hope my way. My dd is 13 months and mealtime is such a darn mess!! I love her so much, but sometimes I get soooo tired of cleaning it all up (trust me I am not a neat freak...).

Thanks.
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#2 of 13 Old 07-05-2005, 03:12 PM
 
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if it drives you nuts (me too!) you can give her small bits at a time so there's not a lot of food for her to goop herself up with!
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#3 of 13 Old 07-05-2005, 03:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobica
if it drives you nuts (me too!) you can give her small bits at a time so there's not a lot of food for her to goop herself up with!
Yeah, that's pretty much what I do, too. DS frequently has 7- and 10-course meals.

What exactly is causing the mess? Is she trying to self-feed and failing, or just flinging the food everywhere? Is she in a high chair? Is the mess landing more on her, or on the floor/surrounding area? You can put down a "drop cloth" under the high chair -- an old sheet would work well, then just shake it out outside and wash it. And you can get little smocks instead of bibs for more coverage of DD, or even just use an old man's button down shirt.

And, invest in a lot of little washcloths to keep in the kitchen for cleaning up!

HTH. Good luck.
~Nick
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#4 of 13 Old 07-05-2005, 03:48 PM
 
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My ds is 18 mos & its still messy, even w/ bib, high chair tray, etc. He tends to start squishing & tossing food over the side when hes full. So we stop before the mess gets REALLY out of control. One of the first things i did was buy LOTS of washcloths. I was getting really annoyed w/ all of the papertowels we were using & figured it was more economical & easier to clean him up w/ washcloths.
I don't think you can really get away from meals being messy, I think its a matter of degree.... Don't know if this helps any but you are definetely not alone in the Messy meals department.
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#5 of 13 Old 07-05-2005, 04:09 PM
 
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Get a dog?? Our dog does an excellent clean-up job!

More seriously, we also let her be messy while actually eating (she's learning, after all) but when we get to the meal is over/food flinging stage, we take the high chair tray off and wash up.

Also, I always leave a BIG tip at restaurants because we leave such a mess behind...
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#6 of 13 Old 07-05-2005, 10:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Part of the problem is that lately she wants the whole food...not the small pieces. Or worse...she wants the spoon and bowl!! I think my best strategy for change is to end the meal when she starts flinging. Thanks for all the replies. It is always nice to know I am not alone. I hate to wish for the next stage to come soon....but this is a tough one.

Thanks again.
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#7 of 13 Old 07-06-2005, 01:20 AM
 
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The best advice that I can give you is that she'll grow out of it! My DD went through the same thing, and she's still a messy eater at 23 months, but it's nowhere near as bad as it was. Just be patient and she'll get the hang of it!
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#8 of 13 Old 07-16-2014, 01:58 AM
 
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I think every mother don't want so much mess. If that's the case, there are options that you can choose. One is that you will wait until she will out grow of it or you will buy a thing that can help you with her messiness, like bibs. Bibs were made for us to have a very useful thing on hand.
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#9 of 13 Old 07-22-2014, 10:30 AM
 
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oooh, the spoon and bowl stage. Especially when the spoon can not be aimed properly! Been there! No real advice, just having a big container of wipes near by to clean her, the chair, the table, and the walls (!) after meal time.
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#10 of 13 Old 07-22-2014, 10:56 AM
 
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I think this is the problem of all moms of the kids the same age;-) There is almost nothing you can do. Only be patient and clean up everything;-) baby is too small to understand anything yet;-((
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#11 of 13 Old 08-13-2014, 08:58 AM
 
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Meh, I hear ya. Nothing is foolproof because kids are messy, but what seems to help us:

1. One piece of food at a time. That way if it ends up on the floor, it's just one thing. Once ya throw it, you're finished.

2. Self feeding only happens with things that aren't saucy/messy/stainy. If it's too messy, forget it--mama is gonna do it for ya. (Yeah, I know that's the opposite of BLW, but I don't care, I'm not about to spend the next three years of my life mopping the floor after every meal.)

3. Eat really messy stuff outside. Outdoors is a great place to eat messy stuff. The kids think the novelty of the setting is fun, and you can hose them down when they're done.

4. Only wear dark colored clothes so the stains aren't noticeable. Forget about white shirts until they're old enough to do their own laundry.

5. Get a dog.
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#12 of 13 Old 08-13-2014, 09:39 AM
 
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I am right there with you.

We are trying a few things, first one being accepting that this is the deal for now, but that we CAN and MUST teach her table manners starting now, even if she can't quite follow all of them.

One thing we do is really frowning upon (no yelling, just clear social disapproval) dramatic fits at the table. Serving small portions at a time, avoiding really messy foods ENTIRELY, and making special allowances for "learning days" when I introduce new or challenging foods. Like spoon practice time. I just prepare myself mentally for the clean up ahead of time.

Then modeling good eating behavior and making sure we have a small but clear mealtime vocabulary: Eat, drink, all done, more, CHEW, and spit out (for when she gets choked up on a big piece). I am also teaching her to "wipe." So when she is all done with her food, I give her a paper towel, and she gleefully waves it all over the place and then slides it over the table. This behavior is heavily rewarded by amazed stares from everyone (she did it on her own the first time! in reaction to modeling), so it's really sticking.

I gotta tell you though, every time I sweep that floor under the table, I want to cry. I am so so so tired of the messes!!!

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#13 of 13 Old 08-13-2014, 09:41 AM
 
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Oh! also. I found that I disliked having to give baby a sink bath after every meal, so we got mega-bibs and lots of cheap tshirts to freely stain. The mega-bibs are AMAZING and protect sleeves, shirt, AND pants:
Amazon Amazon

As for MY lap... sometimes I think I should be the one naked at the table.

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:: A neo-apprentice knows there are no true masters. 

 

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