As a parent, mess in general can at times be the most frustrating thing. Especially when you’ve spent time cleaning in the afternoon and all that hard work is wiped out in a matter of seconds… But you might be surprised to know that there are some benefits to letting them be a little messy which might make you rethink how you handle meal times in the future...
1. Independent babies
Most little ones love discovering things and finding out how to do things on their own. Which some of you may have already discovered with their first words mirroring things like ‘no’ and ‘mine’ etc. Obviously, not all babies are the same, but in general most little ones love doing things on their own and letting them do this is an important step, especially with food.
2. Taking a hands on approach
Communication and learning is all about touch with little ones, especially in the early stages of their development. They learn about their environment with touch, feel and taste and this is done in a very specific way. Usually 1st with their hands and then their mouths. This process is very important but usually very messy and this is where as a parent you need to be a little more relaxed when mealtimes become a bit of a disaster zone.
3. Letting them know it’s ok
As parents, being very protective and over-sanitising has kinda given little ones a sense that messy is not good. The problem with this, is that when children become a little messy they might become more upset and worried, which as kids will happen most days. Exploring different textures with their feet and hands really helps with their understanding of different feelings and tastes and with this, the more open to new foods they could be. Thankfully sensory classes are becoming more and more common but even in the house it is important that little ones know that being messy is ok and an important part of play!
So although it might make you a little uncomfortable a little mess is important especially in these early stages and can really help your little ones be super open to new foods and changes later in life!