Using a weaning table or high chair for your child’s mealtimes has its own benefits, but so does one-on-one feeding on your lap. Plenty of parenting sites and sources discourage lap feeding not because it’s bad for baby, but because it’s messy. But what’s a little mess compared to real quality time with your baby?
Photo: Dazzle Ng-Sy
Not only are one-on-one mealtimes on your lap an effective way to feed your child, they also help fulfill your child’s social and emotional needs so that you can attend to your other children and tasks later on in the day. Lap feeding also strengthens your relationship with your child, so both you and the baby benefit from mealtimes.
On the next page: Tips on lap feeding.
Here are some tips for lap feeding from The Child Centered:
1. Prepare the environment ahead of time, with a nearby tray or table holding everything that you need: food, water, bottle, baby spoon, and washcloths. That way, the child can see the meal before the feeding starts and prepare herself.
2. Find a comfortable chair with arms, which allow you to rest your arms while supporting the baby.
3. Use a small step stool to create a more horizontal lap that will make it easier for you to feed your child.
4. Position your child and yourself so that you can easily make eye contact and communicate during feeding. You should be able to pick up on your child’s verbal and nonverbal cues to see if she’s had enough food or if she wants more.
5. Wrap your arm around the child gently but firmly. Make sure that the baby can move both hands freely so that she can participate in the feeding.
READ: Say bye-bye to your child’s bottle with these weaning tips!
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