Concerned about meal time with an infant? So was I before our trip! With a 6 month old who hated the high chair, I wasn't sure how we were going to handle the mealtimes. I figured out a few things that did and didn't work and hopefully these tips can help those in a similar situation!
If your child is old enough to comfortably sit in a high chair, than they're probably eating a lot of solids. Or, enough to definitely need to plan ahead for that. If you're driving or renting a car, you can bring your own foods or stop at a Walmart (there's one right off the Osceola Parkway close to the Florida Turnpike) or grocery store. Another options are shipping a package of food to yourself if you're staying at a resort or to do grocery store delivery to your resort or hotel. All of these are viable options for getting groceries - and even with the extra costs, this will be much less expensive than buying all your foods at the Baby Care Center. The Baby Care Center does have pretty much anything you could think of, but at the standard Disney prices, so you'll definitely not want to depend on that!
With Noah, I tried to hold of on solids so that I wouldn't have to worry about it at all. He was about a week past 6 months and I know several parents that have waited to start solids until around 7 months, but Noah wasn't waiting any more. So, I did the next best thing - I started him on foods that were readily available and good without needing to be cooked. I did cereal, as standard, but then mashed up bananas and avocados. Both of these are easy to find in restaurants, and especially at Disney. I brought my own spoons, but all I needed to do was to mash up a little extra and he was set to go. Another food great for this is applesauce. A daycare worker once recommended to take a bite of the banana, then mash up the banana right there in the peel. Talk about a time-saver!
About 2 weeks past our trip, Noah finally got comfortable in a high chair. And, with the help of Baby Mum Mums, puffs, and cheerios, Noah became easy at meals. At 9 months, he's good at meals as long as there is a constant flow of food. Of course, at 9 months, he's having a bit more table food, so if I order appropriately, I can just give him some of my food.
2 important take-alongs (or mail/buy to Orlando) are plastic table covers and disposable bibs. Tape down a table cover, toss some Cheerios on the table, and enjoy your meal!
Okay, okay, what about those little ones that aren't quite high chair ready? Well, if your baby is really little when you go and they're they stereotype that likes to be in their car seat, you can keep the car seat with you in the parks. Noah never liked his car seat, so this was never an option for us. But, for some of you, that's definitely a viable options. And, that might also help with naps (again - your child has to really like that car seat).
If your child is a good sitter, but still a little too small for the high chairs, there are chair-tie high chairs. There are several brands, so google it. The reviews I read said 6 months and older loved this, but I have no personal experience with them. Doing it over again, I would splurge in hopes that it would work. If you've tried one of these, I'd love to hear about your experiences!
For quick-service meals, we left Noah happily and content (words that first appeared at Disney) in his stroller. We fed him in his stroller and he played peacefully (again - this started at Disney). At our sit-down meals, we would start off in the high chair, but he didn't last. That's where baby-wearing comes to play. As my guest blogger, Kecia, mentioned, she would use her sling to wear her son on her hip during meal time. My option was to simply wrap and get Noah to sleep. He was pretty much ready to sleep at every meal, so this took care of both his naps and my eating.
I'll just say this - this definitely wasn't easy, but it wasn't nearly as hard as I had thought it might be. Don't let this little fear set you back. Hopefully this has helped. Enjoy your trip!
Thanks for stopping by!