Becoming a part of family mealtimes is like joining the big people’s club for babies. You might wonder, ‘babies don’t understand mealtimes and such?’ but oh ho ho, that’s where you’re wrong!
A child develops their social sense at about 4-5 months. They start communicating with their family mostly with emotions, plus babies love getting attention. Sitting them in a high chair, especially during mealtimes, allows them to join the table in the social interaction, which not only boosts their development and social sense but maybe just maybe will let you have a bite or two in peace as well?
Psst! We caught the reason behind the rush, didn’t we? Well, this is what we’re here for! To answer your queries and help the parents adjust with their new baby in life.
When can I place my baby in a high chair?
6 to 4 months is an average time for a baby to learn to sit upright. However, every baby experiences further progress. So it means not every baby will be ready to sit in the high chair around the same age.
That is why we don’t recommend only referring to the standard age of putting a baby in a high chair. Instead, we’d advise you to make sure to read our guide and check out whether or not your baby is fully ready to mount their tiny throne.
- Check that your baby’s head and neck are mature and do not need to bolster.
- If your baby is ready to sit, they should be capable of maintaining the position on their own for longer than 30 minutes.
- If you notice their head falls to the side, squishing downwards towards the tray when sitting. Still not ready
- Suppose your baby cannot hold the posture without support or immense effort. Nope, still not okay.
- If you think the babies are starting to hold up okay without support, give them a week to get used to their sitting position and have a confident balance.
- If the baby’s shoulders are straight while sitting, their arms can move independently. That’s the best signal they’re ready.
- Once you’ve ticked out the precautions mentioned above, get your baby used to sitting in a high chair. They know how to sit, but you also have to make sure they sit in the high chair.
- Get the baby ready to “test” the chair and grow acquainted with it.
- If they lean down on the chair a lot, that means they aren’t sitting correctly and need to reposition.
- Make sure your baby can sit in an upright position, with their bum and pelvis precisely beneath their hips and can keep their torso upright and their airway is free.
- The shoulders of the baby are somewhat forward of the hips.
- Lastly, if all is well, but the baby is stubborn and doesn’t want to be held captive on the high chair, give them some toys to play with or if they’re old enough, place some baby-safe finger treats on the tray to keep them occupied. It will also help you start feeding solid food, which also happens around the same period.
So keep in mind as much as you’re eager to transition your baby to sit in a high chair, you need to make sure the baby is ready first. What age a baby uses a high chair doesn’t matter if your baby hasn’t progressed to that stage yet.
Besides that, transitioning a baby to a high chair is a significant milestone for both babies and their parents. There can be accidents, but you can avoid those entirely if you’re cautious beforehand.
Safety tips for using a high chair
No matter how hectic our lives get, one thing that you can’t compromise is the safety of our baby. A high chair will prove very helpful because your kid will be able to play in it by your side quietly.
But putting your little one on a height can be dangerous too. Keep these precautionary tips in mind when your baby starts occupying their high chair.
- Firstly, Remind other children or older siblings not to climb, lean on, or play with the high chair when the baby occupies it.
- Additionally, If you have pets that might run into the chair or try to climb it, make sure you hush them away from the chair whether or not your baby is using them to maintain a safe boundary at all times.
- Invest in a high chair tested and found to meet the standard safety criteria set by JPMA(Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association).
- Check that the baby’s High Chair has a large footprint and a firm stance on the floor. If it seems shaky, it’s a no-go since the baby’s risk to easily tip over is too significant.
- Having a secured crotch post is one of the most crucial safety features in a high chair, so your little one does not fall out through the bottom; we highly advise against using a High Chair without one.
- The removable tray should be affixed to the High Chair so that only you can release or remove it.
- Check carefully to make sure to set up the chair correctly. If you have a high wooden chair, There should be no cracks in the legs or joint sections.
- Keep an eye out for splinters if you buy a high wooden chair for your baby. All you need to do is do a quick sweep over the surface to avoid those nasty little blighters.
- Check for any damage right before every use, ensuring that the tray is still perfectly intact and the chair itself is stable.
- For the baby’s safety, keep the chair away from the table so they don’t grab the food, utensil, or any sharp, hot, or glass objects but not too far either. This way, your little one can have their meals with the rest of the family and can be a part of the table too!
- Place the chair away from the wall, counter, table or any surface that your infant can use to push off and tip the chair.
- To safely strap your kid into the chair, always use safety straps with three positions or five point harnesses. The majority of mishaps occur when youngsters attempt to stand in their chairs. Make sure to never leave them without strapping them with seat straps first. Not even for a single second.
- Check for a footrest that can be adjusted to provide support for your baby’s feet.
- If you use the tray for baby’s mealtimes, make sure to wash it after every time or wipe clean when possible.
- Whatever you do, don’t leave the baby unattended. Always stay in the same room.
These precautions are a must and need to consider at all costs to avoid high chair accidents. Ultimately, trust your gut regarding your babies and their highchair as a parent.
Most parents look forward to getting some hand-free time. You might be anxious for your babies to sit up and move to their chair already, but you can’t use a highchair before your baby is ready to sit for their health and safety.
High chair is also a great way to make your kids a part of the family and meal times. Based on their behaviors and abilities, your child will show you what they are ready for typically when they are four to six months old. Although, As a parent, you know your little one better than anybody else.
Keep an eye on them when they develop their postural stability. Then build on those efforts to help them grow. Don’t worry; we’re sure it’ll happen sooner than later.
Parents Also Ask
What’s the purpose of a high chair?
A high Chair makes starting solids or weaning easier and safer for you and your child. In that regard, they serve as a tool for the parent rather than a seat for the little one.
It will also help them to learn to eat independently and they’ll will have a pleasant experience while finishing their meals. Your toddler can also use its tray as a table for other activities such as reading, coloring, drawing, or keeping your little one busy in general.
When can a baby sit in an upright position?
At about four months, a baby can usually hold their head firmly without any help, and during the 6th month, they learn to sit up with assistance. They sit upright by themselves at nine months and can get in and out of a sitting position but may still need a little support. Lastly, around 12 months, they grow fully independent and hopefully conquer many other milestones.
When can a baby use restaurant high chairs?
After about 6-9 months. However, We’d recommend avoiding using a high restaurant chair until your child is comfortable in their high chair. Most restaurants have High Chairs that are inexpensive, simple to clean, and easy to use. So they aren’t the optimal quality for new sitters at all.
High chairs at restaurants are usually roomier and do not have padding to provide support. Because a well padded seat necessitates more maintenance after each meal, that doesn’t mean you have to avoid going to a place for this reason.
You can either use blankets and pillows or their usual covering to make the high chair more comfortable for babies. Alternatively, you can bring the one at home with you when you go out, like a foldable, hook on high chair or a booster seat (when your kid gets older).
How long does a baby use a high chair?
Your kid will typically be ready to transition out of the high chair between the ages of 18 months and three years. However, there isn’t a specific age. High chairs are typically built to hold up around 250 pounds, so as long as your baby isn’t fussing to get out (highly unlikely), you can use it as long as you find it convenient.
Most babies don’t want to be restrained in their seats or insist on sitting on a regular one after they reach the estimated age of at least two years; we’d strongly advise parents not to push their limit. If anything, it’ll get unsafe for your baby to sit in that high chair.
They’ll find a way to get out one way or another to break free from the locking mechanism of a five point harness. So it’s better to have a safe transition option out of a toddler chair (which is typically a booster seat) than enduring the rebellious chaos of your little one.
Is there an alternative if my baby isn’t ready to use a high chair?
Many parents want their little ones to make a habit of sitting and feeding in a high chair as soon as possible. But If your kid isn’t quite ready yet and you want to start using a high chair, getting a reclining highchair is your best bet.
High chairs that recline can be used with younger babies as early as a few weeks old. You can even use the reclining high chairs for bottle feeding if you can’t hold them for whatever reason, but we would recommend against it.
Plus, keep in mind that the intent of these reclining high chairs isn’t feeding solid foods to infants. If they eat solid foods in a reclining position, they are more likely to have a piece of food become lodged in their airway and cause choking.
The only way you can use a reclining high chair to start solids is if your baby is four and six months old, can support their head, and is sitting in an upright position.