When Can a Baby Sit in a Highchair?

Mealtime Fun

Once your child can sit without support on the floor, he is ready to sit in a high chair. For most babies this happens when they are around 6 months old.

Once your baby is old enough to start sampling table foods, he's going to need somewhere to sit while he eats. While some parents choose to sit their little ones on their laps during mealtime, eventually your baby is going to want his own space. A high chair is the choice of most families since it gives babies a way to eat and participate in mealtimes while still having an area of their own. As a general rule, once your baby is sitting up with good head control and balance, around 6 months old, he is developmentally ready to sit in a high chair.

Sitting Tall

Although some high chairs have a reclining back for wobbly babies to lean against for support, you will generally want your baby to be sitting independently before you start using a high chair to feed him table foods. If your baby is ready for table foods but still an unsteady sitter, try using a high chair with more support or placing a few rolled towels around her to keep her upright. Be sure to use the included straps and buckles to keep your baby from sliding down in the high chair or leaning too far over the side.

High Chairs At Home

For many parents, the choice of high chairs at home comes down to space. If your eating area is small and your baby is a confident sitter, you may want to use a space-saving high chair or one that straps to a kitchen chair. If your area is a bit larger, a traditional high chair may be a better choice. These chairs are designed to stabilize smaller babies or less-stable sitters and give them a place of their own at mealtimes. High chairs can come with a wide variety of bells and whistles such as adjustable backs and foot rests, extra padding, removable trays, and removable covers. Whichever high chair you choose, be sure to place it on a steady, level surface in a part of the kitchen where your child cannot reach anything dangerous. Never leave your baby in the high chair without supervision.

Out On the Town

Once your baby is used to sitting in a high chair at home, he may want to practice his new skills in restaurants. Unless you're somewhere fancy, most restaurants will provide you with a wooden high chair designed so that your baby can sit at the table and eat with everyone else. Once she is sitting with good balance, your baby should be able to sit in a restaurant high chair. Be sure to use the buckles and straps to keep her from sliding or climbing out and watch for tipping hazards like her leaning over the edges of the chair. You'll also want to keep anything she shouldn't have out of arm's reach, such as full cups of ice water. If your baby has trouble sitting up in a restaurant high chair, you can always use a few rolled blankets to stabilize her, or let her sit on your lap.

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