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is it necessary for babies to be messy?

my husband and i are are in constant disagreement over how to feed my son solids. he says its too messy and i should be constantly wiping him after evry single bite, so the high chair doesnt get dirty. i believe its an important part learning for babies, messy food in the tray, fingers, messy but rewarding. and i have no problem cleaning up AFTER the meal is over.the high chair cover IS washable after all! what do you guys think? is it worth it to be anal over the messes babies create? what worked best with you? any advice?


Asked by BillyKraftsMom at 6:47 AM on May. 28, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (17)
  • I have a rule, " If you want it done your way then do it yourself". you feed him your way and your hubby can do it his way when he feeds the baby.

    Answer by litlsuzzy at 9:44 AM on May. 28, 2009

  • defiantley if you wipe your child after every bite then your just going to make his face sore and he is not going to be able to come to gribs with the whole feeding himself as he will think after every bote he has to wipe him!! babies being messy is whole part of being a child and believe me you dont want to knock him out of that at a early age

    Answer by mum2oneandabit at 6:50 AM on May. 28, 2009

  • Are you kidding? Bust that kid's ass and hand him a rag, make him clean it up!

    Kiddin, but that seems to be how your dh thinks, wth! Babies are messy. Little kids are messy. It's how they learn! Babies learn if you touch this food too hard it squishes... still tastes the same but it's in a diff form... they learn they can paint with certain stuff too ;) I say tell your dh to back off and let your baby make a mess, its a learning experience even if it doesn't seem to be.

    Answer by Gremlyn at 6:52 AM on May. 28, 2009

  • It's all in good learning like you say. I wait till my 16month old is finished eating, I grab a warm washcloth and wipe him down after removing the tray and setting it in the sink. When I'm finished wiping my son clean I set him down to play and i wipe it highchair clean. He has a mat under his highchair to catch everything. I just wait to vacuum after my son eats and then I vacuum up the pieces...usually people say take their shirts off but I honestly like to leave them on..I'd rather wash a shirt then wash a kid three times a day lol. It's easier to remove a dirty shirt then it is to wipe yogurt, rice, smushed bananas etc off of the lil ones. GL

    Answer by Bugsmommy1908 at 6:56 AM on May. 28, 2009

  • Kids learn by their senses. Being messy is actually educational for them, try putting it that way to your DH. And seriously, they go through being messy with EVERYTHING, so he better get used to it now :) If it's not food on the high chair, it's toys being thrown or clothes being stripped off or play dough being smooshed everywhere. I was anal before I had my DD, but now I know that it's pointless to clean until naptime or bedtime b/c five seconds later she'll have made a mess somewhere else!

    Answer by mkemom519 at 6:58 AM on May. 28, 2009

  • Be glad your baby doesn't mind being messy. My oldest hated being messy and I had to keep him clean or listen to him scream.

    He has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 7:23 AM on May. 28, 2009

  • The majority of children are messy. LIFE is messy! I am pretty sure your DH was messy at some point. The feel of foods is important. Let him be messy and tell your DH to go read a parenting book. Remind him not to sweat the small stuff...and it's ALL small stuff! Besides that, his precious little boy is going to grow up into a teenager one day...sorry to say but the majority of teenage boys are MESSY! I have four boys (20, 18, 10, and 7) and I am thrilled to say that they all have a working bedroom door! It makes my life so much easier! Let your baby be messy. When he gets old enough to sit at the table on his own and eat without assistance and talk about preschool/kindergarten, then you can let DH remind him to wipe his mouth while eating. For now, bring on the food! Lol!

    Answer by Gypsy98 at 7:52 AM on May. 28, 2009

  • I agree kids need to be messy. They cannot learn if they are not giving the oopportunity to try and to make mistakes. With food, it's not just learning out to eat, but their little minds are going crazy learning about texture, muscle control (gross and fine with banging on foods and picking it up) taste, smell, etc. I think it would delay your child if you did it all for him. If he doesn't make a mess now, it'll be later. So you might as well enjoy it while he's too young to know better :)

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:55 AM on May. 28, 2009

  • i think babies being messy is more the rule than the exception. who feeds your child more? i am guessing it is you. lol my son loved to play with his food. babies are very curious about their environment and part of that is tactile experiences. that is how they learn.just wait til he starts playing with his food when it comes back out! lol even when your kid is playing instead of eating it is going to be impossible to keep him spotless. dad needs to get used to that! (sorry dad) i am guessing he probably is big on everything being totally sterile too. none of this makes him a bad dad, just a nervous nellie. it is totally understandable. maybe you could reach a compromise. when you are feeding your son, wrap the tray in saran wrap first. i picked up this habit from working the counter at an ice cream shop! that way he can have his messy time, you get to wait til meal time is over and the mess is under control throughout.

    Answer by Anjo.Solene at 7:57 AM on May. 28, 2009

  • put him in charge for a few days. lets see if the baby and chair are immaculate, he has a freshly shaven face or well groomed facial hair, smells fresh, has clean clothes on, and has his teeth and hair brushed before 5pm when dinner is cooking. lol why is it the second we give birth we are expected to have super powers? and i agree, overwashing a child can cause irritation as their skin is very sensitive. i used to put my kid in the kitchen sink along with the tray and we would play with the spray thingy while i cleaned them both up. :)

    Answer by Anjo.Solene at 8:04 AM on May. 28, 2009