Why Your Baby Needs A High Chair

Tips on getting baby started with a high chair when she is ready for solid foods.

When you are ready to start feeding your baby solid food, it is important to have a high chair. A high chair holds your infant in the best position for eating and helps develop good habits at this early age. Learn more about high chairs and why your baby needs one.

First, it is important to make sure your baby is ready to sit in a high chair. A baby should be able to sit upright with just a little support before she is placed in a high chair. Make sure the high chair you select is stable and sturdy and always use the safety harness to ensure your baby does not slip or fall out. Even if your baby is not ready to eat solids, she may enjoy sitting in her high chair at your mealtimes. The high chair allows her to sit level with other family members and join in the social aspects of mealtime. Give her a bottle or sippy cup, or a soft toy to play with when she is in her chair.

Check with your pediatrician about when to start your baby on solid foods. Most doctors recommend starting solids at around five or six months of age. Some of the signs that a baby is ready for solids besides her ability to sit include holding her head upright, increased appetite and an interest in the foods you are eating.

Place your baby in the highchair at mealtimes. First, it is important for a baby's safety to be sitting upright when she eats solid foods. If she is not upright, she may not be able to swallow properly and could choke. If a highchair is not available, you can keep your baby upright on your lap for feedings, but this is less convenient. When your baby sits in her high chair, you can face her and easily see her while you feed her. This helps keep things neat and clean as well as establishing the social interaction of mealtime.

In addition, sitting in a highchair starts the habit of sitting at the table to eat instead of walking or running around with food. A child who walks with food is much more likely to choke on it than a child who is sitting at a table to eat. Teaching your child to only eat the food you give him at the table is also the first step toward good nutrition and toward establishing table manners later on.

A high chair is also useful for cutting down on messes. Babies will play with their food; food is a new and exciting experience for them. The high chair tray is made for catching messes; the rim helps keep liquids from spilling over the sides. Most high chair trays are easy to remove and clean.

Many modern high chairs have adjustable heights; look for one that will place baby at an appropriate level for your dining table and chairs to ensure the easiest feeding times. Make sure the seat cover is simple to remove and clean; the chair will see plenty of messes before baby outgrows it.

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