When babies are first learning to eat solid foods, they need to do it in a safe environment where they can be supported and watched over as they learn how to sit up independently.
That's why high chairs are such an essential piece of equipment in any home with children! Not only do high chairs keep babies comfortable during meals, but also secure and out of harm's way while their parents are busy preparing food or cleaning up messes.
When can my baby use a high chair?
As with most baby products, there's no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of when you should start using feeding chairs. Every child has their own timetable for motor skills development. However, there are some general guidelines that most pediatricians use to determine when it's time to put your baby in a feeding chair.
Your baby may be ready for a high chair at any time after he is able to sit up unassisted (approximately 4 months), hold his head up unassisted (6 months), and sit without slumping over (about 8 months). If you're finding yourself reaching for more props than usual when feeding your little one—stools, pillows—then it might be time to look into getting him used to sitting up straight while eating!
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when using a high chair:
1. Even if your child is sitting up without help or support, you should use the harness for safety.
Even if your child is sitting up without help or support, you should use the harness for safety.
The safety harness is designed to keep your baby safe and secure in his or her high chair. It’s important that you always utilize these features when feeding your infant so he or she won’t fall out of the feeding chair, lean too far forward or backwards, or tip over while eating.
If your child is able to wriggle free, opt for one with a 5-point harness. 5-point harnesses are more secure than 3-point or lap belts and can be adjusted as your baby grows.
2. Choose a high chair that will last until your child is old enough to get in and out of the chair on his or her own.
Choose a high chair that will last until your child is old enough to get in and out of the chair on his or her own. High chairs with trays that can be removed are better than those that don't have easy-clean seat covers, so you can wipe them down after meals. Look for other features, too—adjustable height settings so it can grow with your child, and a fold up design if you plan to travel with the high chair.
3. Ensure safety first when using a high chair
It's important to keep your baby safe while they're in the feeding chair.
- Check that the safety harness on the feeding chair is secure and functional.
- Never leave them unattended for too long, and make sure there are no sharp objects within reach. If you leave something on the table for them to explore, chances are good that it'll end up in their mouths before long!
- Make sure that even if it's a small space, your child won't be able to tip over the feeding chair by moving around in it or by leaning forward too far.
4. Try to clean the high chair immediately after each meal
We get it, this is hard to do with a baby demanding your attention every minute. But if you can spare a few minutes to wipe down the feeding chair after every meal, your future self will thank you!
- Remove food residue as soon as possible. (Better than trying to scrape off dried residue from the feeding chair weeks later.)
- Use warm water and mild soap to clean the tray and other removable parts of the chair.
- Once a week or more, wipe down the entire chair with warm water; use a soft cloth or sponge dipped in warm soapy water if necessary to remove any remaining residue from crevices and corners where crumbs may collect in the feeding chair.
We hope that these small tips help high chair life be a little smoother!Little Lou’sSwitch High Chair converts easily from baby high chair to toddler play chair, making meal and play times a breeze.