Giving your baby a real glass.
One of the concepts of the Montessori method I have briefly touched on is the weaning glass. It discusses giving your baby (yes even your 6 month old!) an actual glass, glass. For Evie I purchased this glass set for roughly $11. They are the perfect size for her! She can grab them with both hands, and if she spills it isn’t dumping a ton of water everywhere. But isn’t that scary? It could break and shatter everywhere! They are just going to throw it around anyway! How expensive it must be to keep replacing them!
So, why give your baby a glass-glass?
1) Control of Error
For me, one of the biggest appeals of the weaning glass was teaching “control of error”. In Montessori, they encourage the child learning cause and effect, action and reaction, from a very young age. When you give a child glass, they learn that if it is thrown, knocked off the table, or slammed that it will break. In order to use the control of error, you need to make sure when a dish breaks that you handle it correctly. I.e., remaining calm, collected, and expressive. So, instead of yelling/scolding (“No! We don’t throw dishes!”) the advise the parent or guardian to softly express the cause/effect (“Uh-oh, we weren’t careful and the glass broke. Let’s clean it up now and try not to break the next one.”). It may seem silly to explain that to an infant, but they will soon realize that breaking a dish is undesired and be careful. Some parents choose to wait closer to a year to start the weaning glass, since their motor skills are more precise.
Conversely, when a child is given plastic the consequences of hurling it across the room, or slamming it in front of them is significantly lower. So when they consistently bang their plate or throw their sippy cup, they will not be able to quickly out grow the phase even as they age.
2) Confidence and Trust
Giving your child glass dish ware reflects in them confidence and trust! Maybe not right away, but as they get older they will know that you can give them precious items and know they can handle it.
This will transfer into their ability to be independent and self-sufficient. They can then be able to carry their tableware to their table setting, and proceed to bring it back to the sink or dishwasher when their are done. When they go out to eat or visit a friend, you won’t have to be concerned about making sure they have “kid friendly” dishes.
There are so many countless studies that have linked BPA and cancer. Hence, the sudden wave to make dishes, toys, bottles, etc. BPA free. The good news is the a majority of products are now safe from that harmful chemical. Unfortunately, there are other chemicals that are still present in plastic dish ware. For instance, melamine is found in that durable, shiny, tableware many families use especially with children since it is so strong. While eating off the material itself is not harmful, microwaving it can release the chemical and lurk into the food.
Glass as been known to be safe and non-toxic. While it may be breakable, if kids can learn to be careful it is a smart option to consider! Using a weaning glass is a great way to get your child used to being careful before approaching larger items like bowls and plates.