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Learning to eat independently at an early age

Just a few years ago, it was common for children to be fed early. At the age of about four to six months, an adult sat the child on his lap, held his arms and pushed one spoonful of porridge after another into the child's mouth. It was eaten up, often under duress. Why is that?

Children develop quite a relaxed relationship to meals at an early age if you just let them do it. They show themselves when they are interested in eating. Because then mummy is observed attentively while she eats, the chewing movements are imitated, imaginary spoons are pushed into their own mouths. These are unmistakable signals that a child is interested in eating. Whether the big ones feed (better: give) porridge or simply keep child-friendly food ready is then a matter of faith.

Very young children who are not yet sitting independently can be held on the lap. Held sideways, the children can see quite well what mum or dad is doing - and simply eat along. It goes without saying that sometimes something goes wrong. Baby bibs ensure that clothes stay clean. However, you won't get far with just one baby bib: you may need a few more. Because the bibs should be washed immediately when they get dirty to keep the meals hygienic.

In their own chair, with their own placemat

As soon as children can sit independently, they should also be allowed to do so at the table. Independent sitting is made possible by a high chair. Soft cushions support the child, a belt like in a car seat ensures safety. The various manufacturers offer different accessories with which the table can be adapted to the child's needs. The small pre-built table offers enough storage space for child-sized plates, cups and bowls made of robust materials and child-sized cutlery.

Small, light forks, spoons and knives not only have a weight suitable for children's hands, but also a size that accommodates the smaller anatomy of the mouth. Plates and cutlery make it easier for the child to eat independently, and at the same time are blunt and therefore safer than cutlery for adults.

Baby bibs must be easy to put on and take off

Actually, it doesn't matter whether the clothes are changed after the meal and need to be washed, or whether it's a big bib with sleeves. At least from the stand of the washing machine. Children don't like to be changed too often. They feel comfortable in their clothes. Therefore, a baby bib that is worn over the normal clothes and protects them is better. This is because the bib with a press-stud or Velcro fastener (more rarely a tie) can simply be fastened at the back of the neck. It is not pulled over the head. Also very practical: sleeve bibs. They not only protect the front of the clothing, but also the sleeves.

Apart from that, bibs are easy to care for. They can be washed at high temperatures in the washing machine, which some clothes simply can't stand. By the way, it is ideal if there is at least one baby bib for each day; a set of seven bibs is enough for many families. If the child is looked after in a day care centre or by a childminder, a second set is needed.

When buying, make sure the baby bib is made of comfortable materials and is easy to put on and take off. Some children don't like the rattling sound of a Velcro fastener, so a bib with a press-stud is better for them. As for care and washing, most bibs are very easy to clean and usually last for many years .