5 to 15 Months
Mealtime: Prayer & Socialization
1. God is the center of your
There is a hierarchy of relationships
in the family & at the meal table:
2. Human relationships are next
beginning with the marriage, then children
3. Our relationship with nature
is third & this includes feeding ourselves
under 6 months - when possible, have
child in an infant seat near the table
God's Image in Three Relationships."
Since God is the center of the family,
start mealtime with prayer.
Mealtime is also a time of socialization
with the whole family.
Transition your child to the meal table
6 - 12 months - feed before each meal
& give finger food when at the table
12 months - the family eats together
Mealtime: Foods & Skills
Introduce solids at 4 - 6 months.
Taking food from a spoon may take 3 to
Introduce cereal first, then vegetables
& finally fruit.
Once serving multiple solids at a meal,
serve fruits last since they are sweeter.
Start 50% diluted clear juices at 6 months
in a sippy cup & pulp juices at 1 year.
Self feeding finger foods in a high chair
can begin at 4 -6 months.
This helps develop the grasping reflex
& transitions to feeding independence.
Proactively teach rather than restricting
their behavior later.
For example, teach them from the start
where to put their hands when eating.
It is easier to train & give freedoms
later than to restrict from bad habits:
dropping & throwing food
playing with food
messy hands in the hair
banging on the tray
the high chair
arching the back
Vocabulary is learned first by understanding,
then speaking & then reading.
At 6 to 12 months a child can cognitively
communicate but cannot verbalize it.
Communication often starts in the form
of whining for food.
Whining prior to 15 months indicates limited
As an alternative, teach sign language
at 8 months for:
a portable bed when away from home
Playtime can be structured time alone,
time with the family & free time.
Structured alone time in a play pen &
later bedroom fosters focusing skills.
The play pen is also used as:
a safe environment when taking a shower,
unloading the car, etc.
Time with the family includes reading,
bathing, walking & physical touching.
Free play time in a play center is completed
with clean up with the parent.
the commonness of the offense
Parental discipline is similar to God's
discipline of His children (Heb 12:3-10).
While discipline is painful, it yields
character (Heb 12:11).
Parents are commanded to instruct &
discipline their children (Eph 6:4).
Consider the overall factors of your child's
the context of the moment
the child's age
the general characterization of their
First time obedience is immediate, complete,
without challenge & complaint.
Improper methods of instruction include:
1. If you ask for an answer
or action, expect immediate & complete response.
Following are 5 principles of instruction:
2. Never give a command unless
you intend it to be obeyed.
3. Be consistent, it produces
security & freedom.
4. Require eye contact when
giving fact-to-face instruction.
5. Always consider context.
1. verbal reprimand, a firm
"no" (remember, most things are an unspoken "yes")
Context protects against legalism &
the neglect of wrong behavior.
Instruction may be directive or restrictive.
Help them do directive instructions at
first & give verbal encouragement.
Use a sequence of disciple with restrictive
2. isolation - a toy free crib
3. loss of privilege (or toy)
4. light squeeze or swat of
Napping & Sleeping
Set boundaries not to abolish freedom,
but to give it within manageable limits.
In a power struggle, the parent is forced
into a "must-win" situation.
After verbal reprimand, leave the child
so they can surrender with dignity.
Baby-proof the house to preserve safety
& valuable items.
Don't baby-proof to eliminate all restrictions
in the house, train them instead.
At 8 months, a morning & afternoon
nap are all that is required.
At 20 months the morning nap can be dropped.
A happy wake up is fostered by the parent
determining start & end times.
A child may need 5 minutes of comfort
to transition from sleep to wake time.
Sleep props like a night time bottle,
pacifier & thumb sucking can be addictive.