Let Them Eat CAKE!…. Just Kidding….
I want to talk about what, how, and what to use when feeding two babies that might be at different developmental stages, yet still close in age. Our little man is two months older than his little buddy that I babysit 3 days a week. This might not seem like a huge difference, but when they are under a year, it can actually seem like they are on completely different levels.
What to feed them:
This is going to focus on solid food, since it’s pretty obvious what to feed both children if they are both on formula/breast milk only. First off, you’ll want to make sure that both kids are ready for solids, and then determine what stage of solids. When our little man was starting textured food, his buddy was just starting purees. You will also want to consider how much formula/breast milk each child is consuming, and make sure they are getting enough solids but also make sure they are not bursting-at-the-seams full. My plan of action was to basically fall back on what the youngest child is eating. For example, if the younger child is still on purees, then they both get purees. I’ll usually give the older child more, or maybe give them an additional snack. The reason I do this is to keep the preparation simple and avoid making two separate meals that might not get finished. As soon as both kids can eat table food it gets easier. Now I just feed them some of whatever we are eating.
How to feed them:
I put the boys in highchairs next to each other at the dining room table. I find that it is easiest to feed them at the same time, from the same bowl/plate, with the same spoon/fork. If one of them is sick, then I will use separate utensils and plates/bowls. having them in the high chairs makes it easy for me to deal with one kid without having to worry about the safety of the other one. Feeding them together also means that they get messy at the same time, but they get cleaned up at the same time too. typically I will secure them in the high chairs (or put them in their walkers) while I make the food, I will throw bibs on them and start feeding. I gave them each one bite at a time and try my best to keep it even. I stop about every 5 bites to offer them some water. Once the meal is done, I clean them up and brush their teeth. Then they sit in their high chairs and play with (chew on) the toothbrushes while I clean up and do quick dishes. They are never out of my sight while doing this. There are those random days where their naps are all off so they don’t get fed together, but that does not happen very often.
What to use:
- The most important thing is having a good, secure high chair. I like the Fisher Price Space Saver because it’s compact, portable, and has different incline positions. I also recently bought a Safety 1st portable booster seat with a tray for little man. This one is meant for older kids, but it folds up nicely for travel and storage and he is well secured in it.
- I recommend investing in a good food processor if you plan to make your own baby food. My mother gave me a mini Hamilton Beach food processor and I love it. It makes smooth purees but you can also make food with some texture when they get older.
- Bibs! The bigger the better. It will help reduce the mess.
- I bought some sippy cups from Ikea that have handles on both sides. The boys got the hang of them quickly and now I can just hand them their cups and they can take a drink unassisted. They have been doing this for a few months so handles are worth it.
- Lastly, have a stereo or a laptop handy. Sometimes the boys are whiney, cranky, and impossible to feed and I have found that having music playing helps calm them and give them something to focus on. In the mornings I will sometimes put them in their highchairs and let them watch Little Bear on the laptop while I make breakfast.
As always, thank you for reading! If you have any tips, comments, or questions, please feel free to leave them below.