March 1, 2011

Cheerios and Milk

I'll admit it...

Until recently, I spoon fed Austin most meals, he ate in his high chair and he strictly drank from a sippy cup.  It was easier that way, it was less mess, and I didn't mind it.  Of course, when Owen got on a 3 meals per day schedule it got a little harder.  I would sit them down at the table together and it was like I was playing a game of tennis, going back and forth with spoonfuls of food between both boys.  It was just a little too much to juggle and that was one hint that something needed to change.

The 2nd hint was when I took Austin to tour a few preschools.  Even though he will be 3 in October, which is not too long after the school year starts, he will still be in the 2 year old class because his birthday just misses the September 1st cutoff.  He will be one of the oldest in his class, but I've heard this is good for boys because they mature slower.  But anyway, when I looked around this 2 year old class I became aware that there were no highchairs, just a table and several small wooden chairs.  The teachers informed me that the kids drank from cups, with no lids, while they ate their lunch and while they would help a little with some foods, Austin would need to be able to self-feed most of his meal.  Sure I could just send him with a sandwich and chunks of fruit, but if the other (much younger) kids were eating their yogurt and applesauce with a spoon, he should be able to as well.

It's not that Austin was physically unable to do these things, I just never really let him or enforced these skills.  He's always had his own forks and spoons at each meal, but to create less mess and sometimes hurry things along, I would often just take over and do it for him.

So a few months ago we started making the transition.

-We moved him to a booster seat at the table which has worked great.  Owen has always sat in a space saver seat so we can now say goodbye to the big, messy high chair for good!

-I bought some small cups, with no lids, and some little water bottles for Austin to practice with.  A small spill here and there, but overall, he's doing great.  We're not giving up the sippys for good quite yet, but I can now at least trust him with a cup or bottled water when necessary.

-Finally, I got some sturdy new silverware to fit better in Austin's hands in hopes that it would give him more control while self-feeding.

We've been working on these changes for a couple months now, and I'm very happy to say that Austin has passed the true test of his self-feeding skills.

Cheerios and milk were a...


(By the way, check out my little lefty there!)

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