December 31st, 2009 by

Becoming a "Big Boy"

Jonah is definitely moving out of his baby stage and into the toddler stage. I realized this more than ever last week, as I cleaned out his toy area in anticipation of our holiday guests. While I’ve been pretty good about switching out his clothes and diapers as he outgrows them, I have never packed away any of his toys. Still in his toy bin were rattles, and colorful “manipulative” toys. Things he hasn’t played with for probably about a year or so. The day after Christmas came the big day for organizing. All of his rattles were replaced with puzzles, and his security blankets have been replaced by a basket full of board books. The more I look at his play area, the more I see toddler playthings rather than baby items. His bouncy seat was put into storage, as was the bumbo, and a series of stuffed animals that he won’t even look at anymore.The rainforest toy that hung on the side of his crib, that he loved to look at before naps, is now the Twilight Seaturtle that projects constellations and pictures of animals around his room. My baby is becoming a big boy.

It’s not just the toys that are changing. We are also going through a series of transitions to “big boy” stuff right now. From the high chair to his “big boy” chair (the booster) and from his pack n play (which he’s been sleeping in ever since the crib was recalled) to the “big boy” bed. He is even getting a “big boy” potty seat to use in the upstairs bathroom, and eventually one for the downstairs bathroom to replace his tiny potty chair.

The transition to the big boy chair at meal times has been relatively smooth. It actually started by accident, during Thanksgiving. My family has a huge dinner party on Thanksgiving, with a lot of family and friends. This year, there were four tables packed tight, and no room for a high chair. We had brought along our fisherprice rainforest booster seat, which has a tray on it like a high chair but straps to a regular chair. It seemed so impractical to try to fit the seat in as a high chair, with the tray on it, so we just took the tray off and pulled it up to the table. Jonah handled it like a pro. And I noticed that several of the behavioral problems that we were dealing with at mealtimes, had disappeared. Jonah was not rocking his chair, trying to feed the dogs, or throwing his food and cup as much. I wasn’t sure if it was just that situation, or if Jonah really did behave better in the booster seat.

Last week, we went to lunch at the Olive Garden with our holiday guests. My sister in law arrived to the restaraunt first, and ordered a booster rather than a high chair. Once again, Jonah ate like a pro. Every morsel went into his mouth. He even used the spoon! There was no screaming, banging, or rocking. Just a perfect little gentleman, eating his mac n cheese with tomato.

At home, I’m beginning to use the booster for breakfast, lunch, and snack. Because we eat dinner upstairs with the rest of the family, we have to follow my mother in law’s wishes that he stay in a high chair for dinner. We are trying to convince her that the booster is the better choice. It is definitely much less stressful for me, when I know that Jonah is sitting happily, eating, rather than when he is rocking the chair hard enough to make the legs come up from the floor, or throwing his food to the dogs, or knocking everything down by throwing his cup.

I am not sure why Jonah behaves so much better in his booster seat. My guess is because he is closer to us, at the table actually eating with us rather than to the side of us. I’m hoping that if I get a big plastic place mat to put in Jonah’s place, my mother in law will warm up to the idea of putting the high chair into the basement, and using the booster from now on. For now, we have it set up downstairs for a few select meals of the day. Which is fine for the time being, since it is still the transition period for the seat!

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