My Toddler Grazing for Food As Opposed to Being on a Schedule
As many parents I think, we have had a rocky transition from mostly breastmilk to all solid foods. Part of the reason I didn't emphasize solid food with Clark until about 18 months was because breastfeeding was so convenient! I could do it while working, I didn't have to prepare anything. I could do it while looking at my phone.
Then Clark started digging things out of the fridge constantly, showing us that he was hungry for solid food, and I had to start catching up with him.
And it is not until now, almost 5 months later, that I have started to pay attention to exactly how often Clark is hungry. He is hungry about every half hour!
I wanted him to have access to a bunch of food on his own, because that seemed more convenient to me, and indeed, after I put a bunch of food in his cupboards and in a bin in the fridge, he was MUCH less whiny and played independently much more. This made me feel like a terrible mom for letting my baby go hungry so often.
However, as we have continued with that, I have started to make a play schedule for him, and I feel like he can't focus on things as long as he could if he wasn't hungry all the time.
Suffice it to say, I'd like to have him eat at least every 1.5 hours, and I am saying goodbye to snacks that he can get himself. It would be cool if he could get snacks for himself, but when he acts whiny and cranky every 1/2 hour at least, I feel that does not give him a chance to focus on things for long. Maybe after he gets into the habit of eating bigger snacks less often, I can let him loose to get his own food again.
I was liking the grazing thing because I thought that it was the best way to help him eat intuitively, and only eat exactly as much as he is hungry for, so that he can continue that way into adulthood. But it is just too much. He can still stop eating when he is full if I give him meals on a schedule.