When to Transition Children From High Chair to Table

woman clapping with child in high end mima moon highchair

If you’re like most parents, you probably have a few questions about when to transition your child from high chair to table. It can be tricky to know when they’re ready for the next step, but luckily there are a few guidelines to help you out. Keep reading on to know when to make the transition for your kid.

When Your Child Can Sit Unsupported

Sitting upright is one of the important factors that indicate that it’s time to transition your child from high chair to table. You can tell that your little one has developed enough strength to sit up by themselves if they can lift their head and chest without much effort. This also means you should be cautious about cradling them in your arms, as it can interfere with their muscle development.

Around 18 Months of Age

Most experts suggest that you transition your child from high chair to table during this time, or somewhere between 1 and 2 years old. It would be best to keep in mind that every child has a slightly different range for this milestone. If you feel your toddler isn’t ready for this transition, keep them in the high chair and work on building up more strength.

When Your Child Can Feed Themselves

Your child should have mastered the art of self-feeding by the time you make the transition from a high chair to a table. If they’re capable of dipping a cracker in a small amount of peanut butter and bringing it towards their mouth, then they’ve probably attained some level of skill. You may find that your child is at different levels with some foods, so there’s no need to stress if they only manage to use a fork with certain items.

When Your Child Can Pull Themselves to a Standing Position

The ability to pull themselves up to a standing position is another milestone you’ll want to watch out for. When your child can do this, it usually means they can easily use a chair at the table. This way, when it’s time for dinner, and you put them in their seat, they’re able to keep themselves upright instead of relying on your support.

They Can Sit in the Chair on Their Own

While this isn’t necessarily a milestone you’ll reach with every child, it’s important to know what it means. When your toddler can sit down in their chair without any help from you, it usually means they’re ready for the transition to the table. However, if they seem uncomfortable in the chair, try giving them a few more months in the high chair.

When You’re Ready for the Transition

Don’t forget that it’s your decision when to make this move. Some parents prefer to wait until their child has mastered certain skills before shifting them into a big kid seat, while others want to get rid of the high chair as soon as possible. If you feel like your kid is becoming too comfortable with the high chair, go ahead and make the switch.

When Your Child Shows Interest Sitting at the Table

Even if your child misses a few milestones, you’ll likely notice their interest in sitting at the table. When you decide to put them in a seat for meals or snacks, they might be a little wobbly at first, but they won’t seem fazed by it. If you feel as though they’re not interested in eating at the table, then you shouldn’t force them into a chair. You want to make sure they’re ready before the transition is made.

Consider joining a playgroup or toddler group if you think your child would benefit from being around other children while they eat. It can help them become more comfortable with other kids, and it may be just the thing to encourage the transition from the high chair to the table.

When Your Child Has the Right Amount of Energy

It can be difficult to distinguish between a high chair and table readiness, as every child is different. You should also know that the right energy varies from child to child. Some kids will be energetic and active when sitting in a chair, while others will seem calm and subdued unless they’re in the high chair.

An energetic child will usually love the freedom that comes with sitting at the table, while a more introverted one may dislike it. If you sense some hesitation before your child makes a move to a table (they look like they’d rather be back in the high chair), then delay it until they’re ready.

Table readiness can be tricky, especially since some children are ready for it earlier than others. Go for it when you sense your child is ready to make the transition! Make sure you leave on time for meals and snacks, so they don’t think they have to rush through them. Remember that every child is unique, and their interests will determine their readiness.


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