Unfortunately we have gotten into the habit of feeding dinner to our 14-month old mostly in the bath. It started around the time he turned one, at first as a means to get him to eat at all when he was too tired. It gradually changed so that now about 50%-75% of what he eats for dinner will be in the bath (at the table, he will just throw food on the floor, try to climb out of the high chair, or outright scream. Distractions like books or toys only last a short time). It doesn't seem to depend on when we have dinner, or whether we all eat together or he eats on his own.

Admittedly, eating in the bath tub is great for cleaning up the mess, but ultimately I'm worried we're encouraging the wrong behaviour. Does anyone have suggestions for how to encourage dinner at the table?

  • 2
    I understand taking the easier route while young. I thought it would work out. Turns out kids tend to be a lot more clingy to certain expectations than I had hoped. Eating in the bath is one thing you must stop before it becomes an expectation that lasts years. I'm still trying to get my kids to go to sleep without me having to be rolled in a ball at the foot of the bed. Don't become me. Build routines that work for your lifestyle and expectations and they'll follow. A little work now is worth it when you figure what nightmare it could be if they're 5, sitting in the bath and eating
    – Kai Qing
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 20:38
  • I agree with @KaiQing - a few days of screaming dinner times will nip this in the bud now... or it could go on.. and on...
    – user7678
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 0:20

1 Answer 1


For one, I'd get a plastic mat you can put under the high chair, you can always carry that later to the bathtub and clean it off.

I don't think it's going to be too hard to get him to eat at the table. If he throws a fit, or tosses his food away, he's clearly not hungry enough...yet. When he's hungry enough, he's going to eat! Don't give in and take him back to the tub, let him stay hungry for a few more hours and when he's good and hungry you won't have a problem getting it down. 1 year olds are not going to intentionally starve themselves in rebellion (that comes in the teenage years though!)

Good luck!

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