This post and giveaway were made possible by iConnect and Dreft. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.
When it comes to feeding babies, meal time can get messy very quickly. Are you a mom that tries to minimize the mess, or are you someone who embraces the mess & encourages the little ones to play with their food? Interestingly, research has shown that playing with one’s food is both engaging and educational for little ones. Making a mess while eating comes with the territory of being a kid! However, when you have the right gear on hand & the right frame of mind, dealing with the mess that results from meal time is no big deal!
5 Meal Time Tips for a Happy Baby
If your baby likes to make a mess during meal time, be sure to check out the new Dreft contest: America’s Messiest Baby Contest! Families are invited to submit photos of their little ones getting messy with food. There are many prizes to win, including being chosen to be on the cover of the May issue of Parents Magazine! Isn’t that exciting? Let’s all stop worrying about all those crumbs on the floor or the extra laundry that’s being produced. Let’s celebrate the beautiful – and messy – moments with children as they get familiar with food. Enter the fun #MessiestBabyContest online at this webpage or simply post your photo to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #messiestbabycontest. Winners will also receive a supply of Dreft laundry detergent!
To help spread the word about this fun contest, Dreft partnered with actress Molly Sims. On October 25th, Molly Sims embraced messy meal time with young kids and helped kick off the nationwide search for America’s Messiest Baby at the Dreft Messy Play Date Party in New York City. As a mom of two with another on the way, Molly Sims can appreciate the value of play time.
Are you ready for my top 5 five tips now? Let’s see how to have successful mealtime with baby:
1. Slip-Proof Bowls: Nothing is more frustrating than pouring pureed food into a bowl and then watching baby knock it down to the floor. Purchase a set of slip-proof bowls to keep accidental spills to a minimum. Notice how this set has suction cups on the bottom for a better grip!
2. Handheld Vacuum Cleaner: Having to clean up after meal time is inevitable. Rather than lugging out the heavy vacuum cleaner at least 3 times per day, invest in a high-quality handheld vacuum to make quick work of all those crumbs and cereal spills.
3. Baby Bibs: Keeping baby’s clothing clean is always easier when you have plenty of bibs on hand. Collect several of them so you always have one available for meal time or snack time.
4. Dreft Laundry Detergent: Regardless of how many precautions you take, clothing will get dirty! It’s part of the process. My daughter enjoys snack time and really loves these pouches that let her feed herself.
However, she sometimes squeezes the pouch before it gets to her mouth! Here is what her shirt looked like after this snack was over.
Have you ever thrown away an article of clothing that got dirty because you didn’t think you could get it clean again? In fact, 80% of moms polled in a survey admitted to throwing away clothing because they felt the mess wasn’t worth washing out. With Dreft on hand, I don’t worry about all those stubborn food stains. I simply poured some of the detergent into the correct compartment of my washing machine. Did you know that Dreft is the #1 baby laundry detergent choice of pediatricians? It has been a well-respected brand for over 80 years and it easily removes 99% of baby food stains & other messes!
I also added the Dreft Blissfuls scent-beads to the wash. These fragrant beads are safe on all fabrics & can release freshness for up to two weeks!
Here is her shirt after coming out of the washing machine! Pretty impressive, right?
I’m always impressed with how effective Dreft is at cleaning clothing. Not only is Dreft effective at cleaning clothing, but keep in mind that the Active and Newborn lines are specifically formulated to be gentle and hypoallergenic on baby’s sensitive skin.
5. The Right Attitude: Messes are inevitable when it comes to feeding children. Make sure you accept this fact and have fun with the whole process. My daughter sometimes likes to play games with me during snack time. In fact, research has proven that smashing, throwing and playing with food actually helps babies learn!* So making a mess at meal time is not just fun for kids – it’s also educational! Moreover, it can actually help soothe kids! Often we will practice counting as she hands me pieces of cereal one-by-one.
Despite the mess that results, I try to encourage her to play with her food at home! Did you know that 87% of moms typically opt for activities that are less messy for their kids? Keep in mind that among these moms, 89% agree that children are happier when they make a mess! So it’s time to let our kids have fun with their food. After all, it’s good for them!
Sometimes she likes to share her snack with me. Sometimes she refuses to share any of it with me. It’s all about having fun, after all.
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Want even more tips on keeping baby happy and well-rounded? Dr. Dyan Hes is the Medical Director of Gramercy Pediatrics in New York City, and is double boarded in both pediatrics and obesity medicine. Here are some of her tips on keeping baby engaged during meal time:
- Use baby’s food to learn counting. Count the individual snacks and use baby’s fingers to teach her all about numbers.
- Throw food to encourage baby to practice gross motor skills. Throwing food also teaches kids the basics of physics and gravity.
- Make bath time a time for fun. Bring toys and activities into the bath and let baby explore and play. Use warm water and stick to a mild cleanser to keep baby’s skin in top shape.
To get even more tips and to share your experience with other moms, don’t forget to check out the Dreft #MessiestBabyContest Twitter Party! It will take place on Monday, November 14th from 9PM-10Pm EST. There are some amazing prizes, including an iRobot Roomba! RSVP here!
Now, it’s time for an amazing giveaway! Enter below for a chance to win the following prize package from Dreft:
- *$50 AMEX Card
- *Dreft product
Good luck, friends!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Now, learn more about Dreft and tell me: What are your tips for encouraging play time during meal time? Do you try to keep messes to a minimum or do you promote messy play?