When will your baby be able to sit in a high chair?
Every baby will be slightly different, but most parents can expect their baby to be ready to sit in a high chair between 4 and 6 months of age. You may be able to start a little earlier with a reclining high chair.
Many parents look forward to this time because the transition to a high chair can free you up a bit in the kitchen and at the table. It also allows your baby to participate in some family activities, which is great for social development. To know when it’s time, there are a few key things to look for before you put your baby in a high chair.
Each chair manufacturer has age recommendations for each chair. Most recommend waiting until your baby is 6 months old before using a high chair. This is a good starting point, but you should make sure your child is ready. After all, every child develops at a different rate. For safety reasons, take your time.
Determining when your baby is ready to sit upright is fairly easy. Her physical development between 4 and 6 months should begin to show that she can sit well with some support. She should show pretty good stability and control in the sitting position, only wiggling slightly. Being able to hold her head up is also necessary.
Using a reclining high chair
If your baby has not yet reached this stage and you want to start using a high chair, consider purchasing a model with a reclining back. They can also be used in an upright position, so you’ll get a lot of use out of them as they grow.
Many parents find the reclining position convenient to use as a resting place for their child. Perhaps a reclining high chair would serve as a good seat with a view while mom or dad cooks dinner. It can also work for those rushed moments when you are feeding your baby from a bottle with one hand and eating dinner with the other.
The reclining position is not recommended when you start feeding your baby baby food .
Choose a good quality highchair
Whether you choose a recliner or a standard high chair, be sure to research all of your options. You want one that is sturdy and durable for at least two years of use. It should also be easy to clean and use. In the lying down position, a five-point harness is a must for young children. In the sitting position, a well-fastened seat belt should be used.
After purchase, be sure to write down the make and model number of your child’s highchair. It is also a good idea to register it with the company. This is a simple step you can take in case the manufacturer has recalled the product for safety reasons or any other reason, and will allow you to take immediate action.
Transferring your baby to a high chair
A great tip for starting solid foods is to teach your baby to sit in a high chair a few weeks before you start eating solid foods . Let her take the chair for a “test drive” and let her get used to her new throne. Give her a plate, a cup and a spoon to play with and you will have one less obstacle to deal with when it’s time to start .
As important as it is to make your baby feel comfortable in the highchair, it is equally important that anyone who will be watching your baby at mealtimes be familiar with its operation.
- Does it fold up and where is the locking mechanism?
- How do the straps holding the baby in the seat adjust and lock so the baby doesn’t slip out?
- How quickly does the tray come off?
- Is it easy to sit your baby down and get up from the chair without getting your little fingers caught in any of its parts?
These are not things you want to learn when your child is sitting in the chair. It’s also the stuff you’ll want to show everyone who will be around while baby is eating.
High chairs on wheels are very handy, especially if one parent is home alone with the child and needs to do several tasks at once while the child is eating. Be careful to check the locking mechanism on the wheels and know how to do it on the fly.
For some babies, engaging in social interactions at mealtime is the key to everyone eating in relative peace. Make sure the chair is set up so your baby can see you and feel part of the party, but not within reach of hot or sharp objects on the table.
Safety tips for the high chair
When moving your baby into a high chair, remember some important safety tips:
- Always secure infants with a five-point harness or seat belt.
- Take a moment before each use to inspect the chair. Make sure everything is in place and the chair is not damaged.
- Always keep the highchair close to you. You need to be able to see your baby wherever you are. Make sure it is out of reach of the table or countertops.
- Never leave infants in the high chair unattended.
Once your baby is ready to sit in the high chair, it will make mealtime much less hectic for mom and dad. You may even be allowed to finish the meal for a change. Just make sure your baby (and you) are ready for this important step.