June 2012 Moms
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The care and feeding of June munchkins

What is your approach when it comes to letting your LO play, especially outside. How do you balance safety with exploration?

When it comes to feeding, are you still cutting things into small pieces, or has your LO learned to take bites out of something?
             

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Re: The care and feeding of June munchkins

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    I feel like I hover over DS too much. He loves to put rocks and mulch in his mouth, and the times I have not been right on top of him, he has always ended up with a mouthful of non-edibles. The germs scare me a lot less than the choking hazard. I'm just not sure how to balance. For example, the local library has a children's garden that has pea gravel everywhere you turn. I spent the whole outing staring at DS and taking away the gravels he picked up. (Yes, I left him alone for a bit to see what he would do, and the gravel went straight to his mouth.) I don't know what I'm really supposed to do - let him swallow a gravel, or let him explore freely - so I err on the side of safety with the hope that he will outgrow this soon.

    As far as feeding, DS is quite comfortable having a mouthful of whatever. I started cutting his morning toast into strips and tried to teach him to bite off of them, but as soon as I divert my attention, he's stuffing the whole thing in his mouth, plus a few banana chunks. I'm back to cutting everything into smaller chunks, at least for the time being. Does anyone know if they outgrow this, or is this a skill that has to be taught?
                 

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    Now that we are officially walking/running playing outside is different. We try and let him be independent and explore but we really do have to keep our eyes on him all the time. Between licking rocks, feeding our chickens, climbing up the slide or ladder on the swing set, opening the gate, or chasing a dog around the yard he is a busy boy outside that requires close attention outside. The fact that our deck is one level off the ground adds a whole different element to playing outside because he loves to climb the stairs and then will try and go back down one his own. It's a delicate balance and he's slowly learning the things he's allowed to do and the things he isn't. However that doesn't stop him from trying or racing me to the stairs when the opportunity presents itself!

    For food we basically just put things in front of him at this point. I'll cut things into strips like french toast, english muffins, etc or cut chicken into pieces for him. But, most of the time he will take bites of things we give him on his own like sandwiches for example. He used to just shove things in his mouth (and if it is a sweet like a cookie or something he will try) but with more practice feeding himself he stopped..it just took time, practice, and lots of patience! Now he's a pro with a fork too, which has made meal times much easier!
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    For the food maybe try something he has to bite - like a whole pear or piece of toast. Share with him and take a small bite yourself while he watches then let him try. I usually cut things into hand-holdable sizes - like toast into quarters and bananas into thirds.

    My son was like yours - ALWAYS putting something in his mouth. I can't remember when but it eventually got better, you might just have to be a hoverer for a while longer. I remember being SOOO jealous if my SIL who could just sit and watch her kid play while I had to constantly be within arms reach to keep junk out of his mouth. My DD is not so oral and it has been awesome.

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    He will still try to eat anything and everything possible, so I have to constantly hover while we're outside. We go (camper) camping frequently so I cannot wait until he's out of this phase. I have had to pull rocks out of his mouth quite a few times when I didn't catch him fast enough. My nephew (2) doesn't chew on rocks, sticks, etc. so hopefully this phase will be over soon. 

    We still tear everything into pieces and most of the time have to feed him piece by piece. 
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    DD still tries to eat mulch and dirt, so I stay close. At the indoor playground, I stay close mainly because of the older kids (some too old to be there in the first place).
    I cut things for DD but she can take bites of a strip of french toast or pita bread. I am slowly testing her.
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    I like to let DS have as much freedom as is safely possible. He easily handles going up and down stairs, climbs down off things, etc. He does like to put things in his mouth still, but it seems to be getting better. Sometimes I'll catch him about to put a rock in his mouth, touch it to his lips, and then shake his head no and take it away from his mouth. So I think we're getting somewhere! I try not to hover, but he'll wander away pretty quickly.

    In terms of food, we did BLW so DS got the hang of biting pieces off strips pretty early. He can and does eat everything. At this point I'm cutting things into big chunks because he's using his a fork more often than not, now. He's amazing with a spoon. He ate a whole bowl of chili and rice with only his spoon the other night. He's about 90% there with a fork. If something is too hard to pick up with a fork he'll just use his hands, still. It definitely makes for easier mealtimes!
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    I follow pretty closely outside, because he also puts things in his mouth still, or tries to walk toward the street if we're out front. Or tries to take off after a dog if he sees one.

    I still cut most things up into small pieces, but he can eat quarters of sandwiches or bread or whatever without it being cut up. Just depends on the food I guess
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    DD is a wild maniac outside, but if we're anywhere near a swing, that's all she wants to do.  Otherwise, she is climbing stuff, fall off stuff, eating dirt, sticks, rocks, etc.  I keep a close eye on her.

    She likes to take bites of stuff, but sometimes she just stuffs the whole thing in her mouth.  She is getting pretty good with a spoon and starting to use a fork.
    DS born 8/8/09 and DD born 6/12/12.
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