I did BLW with my 14 month old twins. So they have been guiding food to their own mouths for 8 months now... I am getting tired of cleaning food up off the floor 4x a day. Last night was average and I probably cleaned up 1 - 1.5 cups of food.
At the conclusion of each meal I get on my hands and knees and gather up the food/wet paper towel the floor to clean up the mess. Then clean each baby off (Breakfast and Dinner we do in only a diaper and I try to keep lunch to less messy foods) before I clean off their trays and we go about our day. It's easily 15 minutes to get through that process. While I clean the floor I am also ducking away from grimy fingers which inevitably paint my hair with something. Hah.
In any case - looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. How old do kids stop making such a mess? I honestly feel like I need to mop every day - but I don't have the time or energy for that after they go to bed so we live with a slightly sticky kitchen floor. (gross - oh well.)
pomelo / 5563 posts
Are they dropping it, or throwing it on the floor? If you're cleaning up that much every night maybe you're giving them too much at a time? W is 16 months and we just give him a few pieces of each thing, and once it starts hitting the floor I assume he's done.
wonderful pea / 17279 posts
As much as we watch and correct and redirect LO when he eats at least a few pieces of food are purposely spilled on the floor. In general meal time got neater around 11 months when we stopped putting a bib on him. We mostly feed him sauce-less foods, but he definitely makes a mess out of berries staining his clothes. When he starts playing we take his plate away and that straightens him out.
persimmon / 1385 posts
@erinbaderin: I agree. We gave LO a couple bites at a time, if he finished it, he got more, if he played with it, he didn't.
At this point I think they are probably pretty good at getting food to their mouths when they want to (maybe I'm wrong?). So if a ton of food is hitting the floor, I'd take that as a signal that they're done.
cherry / 196 posts
I can't give you a light at the end of the tunnel, just commiseration. I've largely given up on hoping my 13 month old will not drop food on the floor, or drop a fair amount down her lap where it will eventually end up on the floor when she gets out of the high chair. My dog in baby scrap heaven 3-4 times a day!
persimmon / 1271 posts
I think I am giving them very little at a time. (2 bite size pieces of meatball, or <10 pieces of corn/peas, or 1 pancake, etc)
Sometimes the throwing is just dropping because they made a mistake, sometimes it is intentional, sometimes they don't want that particular food anymore, and sometimes it is because they have a burp they are working on and they throw everything until they belch - then go back to eating normally.
I struggle with ending the meal early because I want them to eat and not be hungry - hungry babies don't sleep well and are just so grouchy! This could be leftover subconscious worry since my DS was in the 1st percentile at one point..... now both kids are in healthier percentiles - but I still worry I guess.
persimmon / 1385 posts
@meadow: Yeah that makes sense. I think it's just giving it time until they are taking eating solids more seriously, and unfortunately I don't think there is a magic age for that.
Are they only eating solids at this point or are you still breast/formula feeding? If you are still breast/formula feeding my guess would be that they're really not THAT hungry for solids and once you wean, they will be more interested in getting the food to their mouths because they are hungry.
In the mean time, could you put down a trash bag or something under their chair to catch the mess so you don't have to mop every night? That must be exhausting!
pomegranate / 3658 posts
DD was probably around that age when we also had a ton of food ending up on the floor and I was surprised to hear from a group of parent friends with babies the same age that they just didn't allow it. Someone said something like, we don't tolerate throwing food on the floor. It was kind of a light bulb moment for me because I hadn't considered that we had any choice about it. (Not nearly as exhausting for us as it is for you though, since we only have one baby and we have two big dogs cleaning up the mess). But yeah, we just started giving her food a tiny bit at a time, and if she started throwing it, then the meal was over. She learned extremely quickly. Not long after that she started getting good at utensils, using real bowls and plates and glasses, etc. She's 2y4m now and no mess at all other than a little spill on her placemat. (The dogs are very disappointed.)
hostess / wonderful apple seed / 16729 posts
Twins are 23 months and they are so so messy. Plus, they hate bibs so I've given up on using them. I just have to pre-treat all of their clothes before I wash them.
I have those splash mats that I put under their high chairs. Protects the floors, somewhat.
I do feel like if I spoon fed them that more will get in their mouths and less on the floor. Well, nevermind, DD will start chewing something and it will look like she likes it and will swallow but then she'll spit it out. We joke that she is chipmunk and holds her food in her cheeks until she is over it. Oh, but spoon feeding doesn't help them develop skills in picking up food and feeding it themselves. I think the mess it just something I have to deal with. I did stop giving them a bowl with yogurt and a spoon because that was just too messy for me. Now I give them drinkable yogurt and poke a straw through the foil. My kids might not know how to eat soups but I think it's okay for now.
Babies are at the 3rd percentile and have always been under or off the curve. But they eat well, they are gaining weight (slowly), we are supplementing their milk with a scoop of pedisure. I think we are doing everything we can to get them to grow. I think they will always be small because they were preemies and I'm petite. Dr isn't worried.
ETA: I asked my sister who has a son 6 months ahead of my twins. She said she asks her son to pick up food when he throws it or drops it. So I'm thinking asking them to be helpful in the cleaning will help them really think about dropping food. She said some food are messier than others and will be messy. It makes sense to me.
nectarine / 2433 posts
18m here and it's a shitshow, and he doesn't even (usually) throw food. That's why I have dogs, they do a great job cleaning up. Seriously!
kiwi / 598 posts
Around his second birthday DS started becoming really interested in eating the food on our plates as well as in using utensils to put food in his mouth. There was a lot less food on the floor. Flinging now only happens after he is no longer hungry and getting bored.
However, that's also when he got really interested in pouring his liquids out.
persimmon / 1467 posts
I don't remember when it got better but my 3.5 year old is fairly neat now and when he makes a mess on purpose I have him clean it up. I still sweep after every meal with DS 2 though. I'm just happy that he's mostly stopped throwing his bowls on the floor.
wonderful clementine / 24134 posts
I think around age 2 they started using real plates at school so they kinda learned to not mess around so much. You also could try an EZPZ mat or something if you think part of the problem is food sliding around too much.
nectarine / 2951 posts
I feel like it got better around 3? DS2 is so messy right now too. He throws food on the floor as a game and likes to mash it into his hair. I don't have as many hand-me-down shirts from DS1 because they we're badly stained from this stage.
persimmon / 1286 posts
I feel like around 2.25-2.5 it got cleaner? He definitely picks things up if he drops them off his plate, and a lot less falls on the floor. Still uses his shirt as a napkin which we are working on.
persimmon / 1281 posts
My guy (now 2) is a hard fast rule follower (I guess my that's my gift for his horrific sleep!) so he's never been much of an intentional food dropper/thrower. However, accidents happen and of course there've been times where I've had to do some floor cleaning. Hes gotten LOADS better since he started using utensils. He learned to use a spoon around 12 months and a fork shortly after. He hates touching food so that was his motivation to learn to use them early!
persimmon / 1271 posts
@BadgerMom: I nurse them to sleep and overnight but all day long food is their sustenance - so they should be hungry enough for meals.
@PawPrints: I think ending the meal is good - but I just struggle with punishing myself having hungry babies.....but I guess that is a short term problem and that is what I have to pay attention to. Right now I give meal time outs where I take all their food and don't give them anymore for a period of time when they start hurling their food.
@bluestriped bee: I might try that yogurt idea! For now I've been preloading spoons and giving it to them. (As of the last 10 days or so....) and that has been working pretty well as far as them eating more yogurt - but they still make a huge mess of their bodies and throw the spoon a bit.
So I guess I have another year of this or more...... time to suck it up and get used to it! haha.