Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A small cry for help!

As a first -time Mom I am always encountering things I just don't know the answer to.... I usually just wait until I see my sister-in-law Amy and ask her but since these few questions have been driving me crazy... I thought I would use this blog to get advice from all Moms:)

1. How do you feed an 18-month old soup!!! Eli loves alot of soups and things like it, ex.. grits, oatmels, etc.... but how can he eat them himself? I don't mind feeding him myself but does that inhibit his self-feeding learning?

2. What can he eat for breakfast? Right now we do fruit, yogurt and cereal bars... of course with the yogurt I have the same problem as question #1. I just feel like the kid needs a little variety... I don't think the kid can look at another cereal bar again... BTW: Eli CANNOT have bananas... or really anything with bananas in it.... Any suggestions? Especially things I don't have to feed him myself.

3. Does anyone else have bath toys that retain water inside to that you can squirt them? If so, how do we keep these things clean inside? I have tried to squirt all the water out after every bath but it seems impossible and if you don't the next time you use them, they gave this nasty black mildew junk that comes out of them... In this area, how do I keep the kid still so that I can actually wash him during bath....

Any help would be awesome!!!

I have discovered one thing that I think is a great invention for Moms:) So I will share in exchange for any advice! Eli LOVES books.. that's all he ever wants to do and I found what they call a book rack on Ebay. I saw one in Pottery Barn kids but it was like $300, so I went searching and found one, a little smaller but much cheaper at $70 from Ebay that comes put together and plain so you can paint or stain it yourself..

Anyway, the point it, this is so perfect for Eli because he loves to pickout books himself so now he can look at all his books together and choose one without dumping the rest of them out, like on a bookshelf... and he can put them back so easily too.... It's so awesome, I wish I had two!

Here's a pic if it doesn't make sense.


Rachel said...

Hi Nikki,
I am a fellow blog stalker and a friend of your sister in-law's.
-My 18 month old twins don't eat soup but they do love Oatmeal. I've found the only way for them to self feed with that is for me to put it on the spoon for them. I dont' think you helping him will inhibit his self-feeding learning.
-For breakfast, my kids like toaster sticks, mini pancakes, cereal, yogurt, and they love bananas. I'm having a really hard time with variety as well. If he can eat eggs, I cook an omelot with cheese in it and slice it into little bite size chunks for them. We do this on mornings when its not crazy!
-My only suggestion on the water squirting toys is to buy the ones at the dollar tree so you can toss them when they get nasty and you don't feel guilty. the other thing would be to fill the sink with some cleaning solution and suck the water up and squirt it out, but then you still might have some left over...i have this problem too!
You might already use this tool, but I use a pizza cutter for everything!! I cut up chicken nuggets, pb&j, waffles, whatever needs cutting!
Good luck!

Mia said...

Wow, those are tough ones, Nikki.

As for the breakfast food,I give Nora a banana, yogurt and toast every morning. Am just waiting for the day she gets sick of it, but it keeps her happy now. Have you tried whole wheat toast? I put a little butter and no sugar added apple butter on it to give it some zing.
I don't know if you like to bake or not, but on the back of the HOT quaker oat bran cereal is a recipe for bran muffins. They're actually pretty good. I chop up apples and put them in also. They freeze EXCELLENT so you could make a big batch on the weekend. Just zap it for a minute in the microwave to defrost it and it's good to go!

For the self-feeding issue, here are a couple of ideas. Hopefully he'll catch on with spoon feeding soon. Is spillage the problem? If so, let him practice for the first few bites and then take over and feed him the rest. Those moments of practice will help him develop the skill to master it on his own soon. If the problem is spillage, then for soups and oatmeal, maybe make it thicker for him so it stays on the spoon easier. Less water for the oatmeal and maybe a mix of cornstarch and water to thicken the soups?

I hate the squirty toys for EXACTLY the reason you've described. We're lucky though, out here, things dry SOOO quickly, so it's not too much of an issue, that and she only has a couple because I HATE THEM!

Mia said...

ooh, and i love the bookshelf idea. Unfortunately, I think Nora enjoys throwing her books so much that it wouldn't stop her. I was actually going to post a video soon of her emptying her bookshelf.

Forgot to comment on the bath issue. Yeah, good luck with that one! Nora likes to walk back and forth in the bath tub, so we're working on only 'sitting' in the tub. I let her stand up so I can wash her bottom and then she plops herself down. Here's an idea that may last for a couple of baths. Get some suction cup things to stick to the bottom of the tub (as long as your tub isn't too textured) and let him try to pull them up. He may sit still long enough for you to quickly wash him.

mk said...

Hey Nikki,

Here are a few suggestions:
1. My daughter loves soup too. You can try to use a self-feeding spoon. It's a spoon that has holes in it but yet it's designed to hold things longer (I don't understand how it works). Anyway, you can find them at (choose "oral motor" in the left-hand column) - I think they also sell them at target, babies r us, etc. You could also give him a spoon to eat things like raisins, cheerios, or other small stuff that won't be messy when it falls off the spoon.

2. About breakfast, Daniel likes to eat sausage (you could just cut it up into bite-size pieces) or bacon (if it's crispy enough for him to bite), boxed cereal like Life or Cheerios (without milk if you don't want to worry about the spillage issue). Emma likes to eat scrambled eggs and sausage. I think Rachel's toaster sticks and omelets are good ideas too.

I love the book rack! It looks like one of those that once he's outgrown it, you could use it to display plates or some of his artwork from school in frames.

3. I got rid of our bath toys that retained water for that same reason. Although I think you could use a clorox solution to kill the germs and keep the mold from forming - maybe even try sending them through a cycle in the dishwaster every now and then. One thing that keeps our kids sorta still in the tub is that they each have their own cup to play with while I bathe them. They like to pour the water from one cup into the other. They also play with a set of floating boats sometimes.

Cathy said...

Nikki, I always stuck to finger foods until mine were better able to eat with their utensils. If you really want Eli to eat soft foods like oatmeal and yogurt then just let him make a mess, he will get the hang of it soon. As far as soups go have you tried chunky soups? You can try these and just cut up the maeat a little smaller and it the broth is too soupy just add cornstarch or flour and make it more like a stew. Just keep a spoon in his bowl and just show him how to use it and let him see you eat the right way when he is eating. Just put a big bib on him and let him go at it. As far as the water toys go there is nothing you can do. Use them a few times then throw them away. It is impossible to keep them clean. You can try and use a weak solution of Bleach and water and suck it into the toys and squeeze it out and let it air try completely. The next time he uses it rinse it with water a couple of times before he uses it. I would just throw them away when they would get yucky which happens quite quickly in humid weather. Good luck.

amy said...

breakfast: the boys love cereal. trip gets his in a bowl with milk b/c he is older & can feed himself (though he still has some drippage issues from time to time at 3 yrs old). quinn gets the same cereal in a small bowl, but with no milk. it is finger food for him. they also love frozen waffles - in the toaster & then squirt with a small amount of syrup. i cut them in bite sized pieces (with a pizza cutter). quinn eats them with his fingers & trip uses a fork. they also eat cheese toast or cinnamon toast. and they really love poptarts (who doesn't? i know, it could be the worst b'fast food, so i don't offer it very often.)

self feeding: my boys don't eat soups or oatmeal, but they do like yogurt. for quinn, i put the yogurt on the spoon & then give it to him. it can be a little messy, but it is the only way for him to learn. he sticks the spoon back in the cup to get more, but rarely gets much on it.

squirting toys: wierd! we have had the same water squirters for years & i have never had black stuff come out. hmmmm. i just squirt the water out good & put them in our mesh bath toy bag to dry out. the bleach idea above sounded good. or the dollar store idea. then you are guilt free when you throw them away.

bath: in the bath, quinn is pretty squirmy, too. i usually try to wash his top 1/2 while he is sitting down & then ask him to stand up so i can wash his bottom 1/2. he started standing in the bath a lot lately & usually i am saying "quinny, sit down" so he doesn't mind standing for the 2nd part of the washing.

the book shelf is really cute. if we ever get a bigger house, i might have to invest in one of those. right now, we'd have nowhere to put it.

Mindy said...

Nikki -
Can he have cheese? I did cheese toast sometimes and my daugthers love the dreaded poptarts. They eat poptarts or cereal most mornings during the week.