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Saturday, August 28, 2010

If I Started Over Again (Dining Edition)

When you go through four babies/toddlers in five years, you begin to put two and two and three and four together and learn a thing or two. You know, things like what not to waste your time and money on. Here is such a list... all the things I'd skip and what I'd use instead, if I were to start back at the beginning.

Eating and drinking is a pretty big part of life for a baby or toddler. Thing is, there's so many different utensils, cups, bibs, plates, bowls, and bottles out there, that it's hard to figure out what in the world truly is designed for baby.

1. I would not buy every brand of cheap plastic utensils out there, hoping that maybe one of them might actually work. The spoons are either too flat or too deep. The forks either too rounded to stab with or shaped too much like a spoon. I would not buy sets from Target's dollar bins. The handles eventually break right off. Instead, I'd invest in about 4-5 good stainless steel set, such as the ones from Gerber or from Onieda. They most closely resemble adult silverware.

Do Not Buy This

Or This

Invest in This

Or Even Better, This

2. When it comes to sippy cups, it would seem that so long as the child can get liquid from it, it should work great, right? Hmmmm...... apparently not. There are two goals for sippy cups. One is to teach the child to drink from a cup and leave behind the bottle. The other is to avoid spills. This last goal is very important, as my couch and carpet can attest to. Straw cups leak. They always will, pretty much no matter what. Cups with no seal will leak. They always will, pretty much no matter what. Soft spouts help transition from the bottle, as well as help prevent teeth pressure. Hard spouts, while they serve the purpose, tend to put unneeded pressure on the front teeth, or so my older preschoolers have whined about.

Skip These

(straws leak)

(no seal = leak)

(hard spout = pressure on teeth)

Instead, start with this:

(Gerber handled soft spout)

Then move on to this:

(Playtex Coolster Tumbler Cup-
resembles a coffee mug, no spout,
option to use seal or not)

3. What is the purpose of a bib? I mean think about it. If we really don't want our kids getting messy with food, doesn't it make sense that the bib would catch the mess? So, I'd say no to any bib that does not have a pocket that stays open. The two that I've found that work for us is:

The Dura Bib

-snaps to form pocket
-wipe off or throw in washing machine
(I got mine at Walmart, but haven't seen them there lately)

The Baby Bjorn Bib

-molded so ornery kid cannot unsnap pocket
-wipe off or throw in dish washer
-I just wish they made a larger size for 18+ mo.
(I ordered mine from Target)

But that's just my take. I'm sure you may beg to differ. Or perhaps you've tried products I was never brave enough to spend the money on.


  1. Someone gave me stainless silverware sets and my kids loved them. It made them feel "big" and I think it encouraged them to use their best possible manners so they could be like the older ones/adults. The plastic silverware is bulky and doesn't give the kids a realistic feel for real silverware.

  2. I agree, Christina. Ethan eats way better with the stainless than with the plastic. He treats the plastic like toys.

  3. I agree whole heartedly. I would add cheapy plasticware is good for one thing. Taking in the diaper bag...I lost so many spoons at church and in restaurants I was always glad they were not the special ones ;)