The learning curve includes tripping up, breaking, falling and getting dirty… Parents will need to accompany baby at every stage, without judging or scolding, even if it is difficult sometimes when the pea purée adds extra motifs to the newly cleaned floor… It is a matter of staying calm and complementing the child on what he has achieved even if the accomplishment is not optimal! The idea being that the child wants to continue to further these experiences and progress.

 

A shared autonomy

Parents need to want to see their baby grow up. Each stage which leads to autonomy results in more independence. Sometimes, certain parents have difficulty embracing this process of separation and delay these stages to maintain the child’s dependence. But if autonomy rhymes with independence for children, it is the same for the parents as at last meals can be taken together, everyone concentrating on their own plate, conversing, taking pleasure in being together… The aim of a meal, in short!

 

In practice:

Expect nothing but take what the child can give. This is, without doubt, the best way to welcome attempts positively. Babies have learning rhythms and capacities of their own. It would be useless to compare a child to a brother, sister or cousin. They will all learn to walk, eat chunky food and stop drinking from a bottle one day. Why cling to the idea that these have to be done according to a predefined timing?

Respecting the child’s own tastes is vital. Even if the child does taste food, he is still an eater with his own tastes and he cannot like everything, just like you incidentally, who may not always eat absolutely everything.

And then empower, appreciate and congratulate him! It is by this positive attitude of gestures and words that the child will discover a desire to be seated at the table and to find pleasure in discovering new foods.