You have an infant at home. Their table manners are, uh … let’s say, “in the development stage.”
Every couple hours you pop them in the high chair. You neatly “fly” and “choo-choo” spoonfuls into their mouths, but that doesn’t distract them exploring the temperature, texture, and throwing a range of pureed vegetables, mashed legumes, cottage cheese, semi-liquid cereal and finger foods.
Of course, with their limited motor skills and assumption that food is an amazing toy, much of what you serve them errantly lands all over the place, to calcify in the crags, crevices and seams of the high chair. Spills and crumbs also make their way behind cushions and straps. It gets gross fast, as does the whole “high chair zone.”
Want to keep the “high chair zone” an effortlessly spotless zone? Of course you do! Try these tricks:
- Reason with your son or daughter. Nothing works on a nine-month-old better than logic. Explain to them that they should be careful when they eat, because you don’t have time to constantly clean the chair, floor and nearby walls. This usually nips messes in the bud.
- Teach them table manners. Early instruction is key. Explain to your seven-month-old about utensils; what they are for and how to hold them. Show her that they are designed for delivering food into the mouth. Explain calmly and directly that utensils are not food-launching devices that make lunchtime more fun, nor are they fun projectiles in and of themselves.
- Provide a napkin. Infants are people, right? Right! So give them a napkin. You will be amazed.
If these three fail-safe approaches inexplicably prove inadequate, you have a tough case on your hands. Luckily, there are still a couple of Plan B approaches:
- A bib with a deep pocket to catch falling food. Imagine a bib that catches some of the food before it splats. These actually exist and parents report them being helpful.
- A simpler high chair. If the high chair you use now has lots of tiny crooks and spaces that become food traps and make cleaning a protracted, industrial effort, then consider starting over with a model with fewer seams.
- Soak or hose down. Since messes in the high chair zone are frankly unavoidable, cleaning that high chair is inevitable. Instead of slaving over it for a half-hour or 40 minutes every other weekend with a washcloth and a hammer and chisel, why not let the water do the work for you? Spray or even soak it in the tub first or, if the weather permits, take it out in the backyard for a good ol’ fashioned hose-down. It will clean faster and better with less overall effort.
Infants and toddlers are a joy, aren’t they? But the daily feeding and high chair messes take a lot out of your time. The good news is that while you navigate through the months of caring for your child through their infant stage, Molly Maid is here to help with professional home cleaning services. Even if we can’t keep infants from making messes of their high chairs, we can make your home spotless, according to your own custom cleaning plan.
Contact your local Molly Maid for help cleaning after your family, or call(800) 654-9647 to learn more about our flexible cleaning programs! You can discuss a custom cleaning plan that meets your schedule, budget and cleaning needs.