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How To Teach Table Manners To Toddlers?

You might give yourself indigestion to watch a 2-year old child eat. Beans are spit out, milk as well, cereals are slurped, pasta is slurped all over the floor.

How To Teach Table Manners To Toddlers

The nutrition of your little one is one of the most essential aspects that you need to take care of. The same importance has teaching him what are the table manners. Of course, this won`t be possible during the first few months of his life, but they you`ll be able to move to small tricks and obvious advice.

Table of Contents

Let`s Start from the Beginning!

Most newborns eat every 3 or 4 hours and you`ll want to introduce a diet routine in your baby`s habits. Around 2 months, your infants will begin to get used to this routine. When he`ll be hungry, he`ll start showing signs through crying, fingers introduced in his mouth, agitation or by turning his head to your direction and opening his mouth. – Visit this page!

When he`ll feel full, the little one will turn his head away from the breast or milk bottle and will show his refusal to eat anymore. Keep in mind that all babies need to burp after eating, while some of them may burp while eating, as they need to eliminate the gases formed as well as the air that they take along with the milk during breastfeeding.

Introducing the Bottle

If you also want to feed him with the bottle, find out that it`s best to do this after at least 3 weeks of breastfeeding. At first, it may be best to let someone else to offer the bottle for the little one to make the distinction that is no longer dependent of your breast.

Offer him the bottle when you know the moment for the next meal approaches, so the baby can receive it more calmly. Otherwise, he may become agitated due to being hungry and won`t have the required patience of introducing the bottle in his eating routine. When he`s irritated, it`s best to let him calm down and try again after.

If the infant doesn`t agree from the first with the new way of feeding, don`t lose your temper or worry too much! Receiving as well as accepting the bottle represents a form of education for the baby, so it takes a lot of patience, understanding and care from your part.

Related: How Should A Baby Be Strapped In A Car Seat?

Baby & Solid Food

According to Donna Jones, the Taming Your Family Zoo: Six Weeks to Raising a Well-Mannered Child`s author, small children only want to have the food inside their bodies. They do not really understand or care why you are insist telling them to use a fork or napkin. But first of all, you need to establish whether or not the little one is able to eat alone.

  • He`s able to control his neck and can sit down on his own.
  • He knows how to show you he`s interested on a certain type of food.
  • He knows how to show you he had enough.
  • He tries to mimic you when you eat.

Independence around the Table

Around 6 months, the baby is able to start eating alone. Pretty fast in only 6 months, right? If the food is easy to hold with his little hand, he`ll love it to try and eat on his own. But it`s best if you won`t expect too much for now. At 1 or 2 years, he`s able to do a lot on his own, but it isn`t reasonable to expect from him at this stage to understand what you are telling about having his napkin on his lap at all times. However, it won`t hut to start explaining him the basics, while don`t expecting too much from him at first.

Sue Fox, who wrote Etiquette for Dummies, claims that toddlers are able to learn not to throw food and sit quietly at this stage in their life; however, the will probably still make a mess around them and spill the food, so you need to show lots of patience.

How to Teach Table Manners to Toddlers

You won`t be able to teach your little one how to dip his spoon gracefully in his soup or which fork is used in which situation. Still, you`ll be able to teach him what a great experience if mealtime within the family. You can always start showing him how you wash his little hands before a meal, as well as how to not throw or bang utensils at the table and not to spit. As when he`s able to start talking, he`ll need to learn how to say “please” or “thank you.”

Best Way to Tackle these Lessons?

You are the most important thing for your child, and so he`ll usually want to please you and be like you. At the table, everyone should talk pleasantly – no raised voices, no lectures and no arguments. “Please” and “thank you” are the words that should always be used when wanting something to be passed. No one is allowed to watch television, read the tablet or talk on the mobile phone.

Consistency is what will make good manner becoming a habit for the little one in the recent times to come, so when introducing a new set of rules, you should set some expectations and use kindly reminders in order to reinforce them. Once he`ll learn to use the word “please,” grab his attention to say it every time you help him with something.

For instance, praise the little one when he`s behaving well around the table – when he uses his spoon or sits quietly. However, don`t overdo the praise, as you won`t want him to consider him the main attraction around the table.

What if He Misbehaves?

You have a few choices. Certain parents consider it`s best to disregard the misbehavior for now – the mess-making, the spitting or the noise-making. If this particular tactic gives results, it`s usually because the little one stops doing whatever he`s doing if he gets no response. – Click here!

Other parents consider it`s best to find methods of discouraging the problematic behavior of their child. Certain moms consider that if they wipe their child`s face each time he spits out the food, he would eventually stop spitting. Obviously, this isn`t always the case! Other times, moms use reminders, like putting a spoon in their infant`s hand when he takes the food with his hand. Or they just remove the toddler from the table when he does things that isn`t allowed, trying them to explain that their behavior isn`t acceptable at the table.

Tips to Help You Teach the Toddler Good Manners

  • Give Him One Bite at a Time: Fill the plate with small pieces of fruits and vegetables and sit next to your little one. Give him one single bite at a time. Whenever he finishes a bite, give him another. Letting a toddler alone with his own plate is simply inviting mess.
  • Laughter Isn`t Allowed when He Eats: Most children are born clowns. This is mostly true around the table. If you`ll laugh whenever he`s making a mess in an attempt to stay positive, you`ll do nothing more than invite the next mess. If there`re other older children near your toddler, they will most likely enjoy or encourage the messy eating of the baby. Your choice should either be to enjoy this as a stage that will pass or insist that everyone help cleaning up after finishing eating.
  • Controlling the Mess: Whenever mealtime becomes uncontrollable, just end the meal and with it, the mess. You could choose to allow making a mess on the chair tray, but totally prevent any purposeful food dropping or flinging by ending the meal right away. As soon as the toddler will be aware of the effects of his actions, he`ll no longer make a mess.
  • Using Utensils to Distract: Some toddlers use windmills their arms during mealtime, leading to food being thrown everywhere. What`s the solution? You could put a plastic spoon or a toy in each of your baby`s hands and fed him with a 3rd The toddler can be left playing while you feed him. There`s also the spoon-airplane trick when the food lands safely into the mouth of the baby.
  • Using Desserts as Bribes: You can use dessert to trick the little one to sit calmly at the table, but it should always include sliced fruits, and perhaps sometimes a bite of chocolate.
  • Depositing Plates into the Sink: One of the rules could be for everyone who`s over 2 years old needs to put his plate into the sink.
Image courtesy of chefmom.sheknows.com

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