Ah, Thanksgiving. Ply us with stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie and we’re happy. But… let’s be honest. Most of us probably won’t get more than 15 minutes uninterrupted at the table.
Some tips to make the most of baby’s first Thanksgiving with baby-led weaning:
- Don’t freak out about sodium at Thanksgiving dinner. One higher-in-sodium-than-normal meal can be offset by low-sodium meals later in the week.
- Bring baby to the table. Take the tray off of the highchair and bring it right up to the table so baby can be part of the family experience.
- Remove the skin from any turkey (choking hazard) but by all means, give your baby some turkey! Read about how to serve turkey to babies.
- Thanksgiving dinner can be an overwhelming experience for babies, which can impact how much they eat. Manage your expectations, bring/serve some foods you know baby enjoys, and try to focus on fun, not consumption.
- Use a straw cup at the table to minimize spills and mess. If you haven’t taught baby to use a straw, you can do it now! See our page on cup drinking for some quick tips.
- If you are a guest, bring a splat mat (or two!), an extra set of clothes, washcloths, baby’s cup and plate, and baggies for soiled bibs and clothes.
- If you are a guest, prepare your host for mess and request that the high chair be placed away from foot traffic so any discarded (or thrown) food is not in a main pathway.
- If dinner is running late and you have a baby who doesn’t adapt well to schedule changes, feed baby on schedule with the foods you brought and then bring them to the table when everyone else eats with a toy to distract. Measuring spoons, whisks, and stackable cups all work nicely.
- Take your family pictures before dinner when everyone is happy!
- Take a load off. Holidays with babies can be challenging, but also a beautiful reminder that this is what it’s all about.