Our #Freedomtowean Campaign
For us, weaning and the introduction of solids is all about giving your child the freedom to explore and discover their food. Eating is not a skill that babies are born with and learning this new skill involves using and stimulating as many of their senses as possible throughout the weaning journey.
As part of their Sensory Weaning approach, developed with award-winning children’s nutritionist Sarah Almond Bushell, Tidy Tot recommends letting your baby immerse themselves 100% in the food that is offered to them.
doddl’s expert partner, Stacey Zimmels, Feeding and Swallowing Specialist Speech and Language Therapist from Feed Eat Speak, knows how important it is to have products that make it easy for your little one to enjoy mealtime success.
If you start with cutlery early you can avoid the drama of a confused toddler – wondering why mum or dad now want them to start eating with ‘tools’ when they are quite happy eating with their hands or you feeding them. Using suitable cutlery (like doddl baby cutlery) when you first start introducing food will help connect food and mealtimes with cutlery. It’s all about letting babies explore and associate cutlery with their food.
Crucial to this experience of food is allowing your baby to be free to wean! They may squish and drop their food, but with the right weaning bib by your side, you can be confident that all the mess and mayhem is contained. Cutlery should be available for your child to use and experiment with, but being able to hold it, drop it and interact with it in a normal way is absolutely key to developing the dexterity, coordination and control that they will need when transitioning to adult cutlery in the future.
Top tips for encouraging confidence and independence at mealtimes
- Offer a wide variety of different textures for your little one to try
- Invest in a decent highchair that supports your baby’s waist, knees and feet. They should be sat at a 90 degree angle and little legs shouldn’t be dangling with no support!
- Talk about the food, its colour, shape and texture as they eat and describe what they are experiencing, eg “your yoghurt is so cold and squelchy!”
- Encourage your baby to handle their own cutlery, spearing food with their fork and ‘chopping’ with a safe knife. doddl’s children’s knife is perfect for this, with its clever, ergonomic design that allows children from 18+ months to safely chop their own food, building confidence and independence at mealtimes.
- Don’t constantly wipe and clean as they eat – allow them to make their mess and when it is time to clean up let baby get involved with these cute Bamboo Wash Mitts which bring the play into clean up time!
Why we love doddl cutlery:
Recommended by top feeding and development experts, multiple award-winning doddl cutlery has specially contoured handles that fit perfectly into little hands, making mealtimes easy and enjoyable. doddl’s bright soft touch areas on each side of the handle encourage children to open up their fingers and pinch the cutlery, helping to build strength in their pincer grip and develop a key motor skill. The clever doddl design makes it easy for young children to hold and control and encourages the correct finger placement making it a breeze for children to transition to adult tableware when they’re ready.
Weaning bibs for independent eaters
It’s easy to advise relaxing, letting go and allowing your child to produce an enormous mess as they enjoy exploring and discovering their food, but let’s face it, no one wants to face that clean up operation afterwards! That’s why Tidy Tot developed their award-winning Bib & Tray Kit – designed to eliminate the gap between baby and highchair to stop food being dropped onto baby’s lap, inside their highchair or onto the floor. The full coverage, water-resistant bib fully protects clothes from spills and the large tray provides a food-safe platform from where baby can safely explore foods without anything dropping to the floor. Sit back, relax and let the exploration begin, knowing this clever bib and tray system has got you covered!
With these handy tools by your side, we hope you feel confident to embrace the #freedomtowean and set yourself and your baby on course to developing healthy habits which encourage confidence and independence from the beginning of your weaning adventure!