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Which table manners can my toddler learn?

My wife and I love going out to restaurants, and we really want to take our toddler with us. How do we start teaching table manners to him when we’re eating at home? What are some table manners that very young children are able to understand?

Re: My wife and I love going out to restaurants, and we really want to take our toddler with us. How do we start teaching table manners to him when we’re eating at home? What are some table manners that very young children are able to understand?

The Bump Expert

Your toddler should be able to learn the basics of table manners: to wash his hands before each meal, to eat with utensils instead of his fingers, to say please and thank you, to keep his voice down. And be firm and consistent when you’re teaching him these skills.

Sometimes toddlers forget the rules -- for example, eating with their hands because it just seems like a faster way to get the food to his mouth. In that case, hand him his spoon as a reminder of what is and isn’t okay.

He learns, for the most part, from watching you. So, if he sees you enjoying meal time, odds are good that he'll enjoy it too.

The Bump Editors

Which table manners can my toddler learn?

One table manner I am teaching my son is that if he leaves his highchair that means he's done eating. Anytime he gets anything to eat he has to eat it in his highchair. My sister-in-law said this will be valuable when eating out. This way your toddler will sit in their highchair at the restaurant and eat their meal as oppose being a toddler running all over the restaurant. I have a 15-month old and I have to say he knows that whenever he wants something to eat, I tell him 'sit-down' and he runs over to his highchair.

maiyayang |