what age sitting w/out highchair?

Rachel - posted on 09/26/2011 ( 9 moms have responded )

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at what age did your toddlers start sitting at the dinner table without a high chair? and how long did it take for him/her to trasition from sitting in the highchair to sitting at the dinner table and eating without getting up and running around during dinner?

any tips for me, my 2 and a half year old is hyperactive and i'm trying to get him to sit at the dinner table until his meal is done.

thanks for your help

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Right now I have the high chair up to the table. My daughter (22 months) refuses to sit on her knees on a chair. I found that she spills (which makes her very upset) more when sitting on a regular chair. If the meal is a bit easier to eat she can sit easily in a chair.

Amanda - posted on 09/26/2011

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My 3 1/2 yr old has recently started to sit at the table and eat his meals. It makes him feel like a big boy so he's pretty good at sitting and eating most days.
My daughter turned 2, 2 weeks ago and she also eats at the table but on a booster seat.
We have never had a problem with my kids sitting at the table until they are fininshed their meals because they have never been allowed to get down unless they are fininshed and have been cleaned up.

I have always made a point that meals are to be eaten at the table, and we all eat together so they really don't know any different

Anna - posted on 09/29/2011

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My son stopped sitting in a highchair when he turned 1 but he also stopped sitting in a stroller unless it's for a nap lol. He hates being strapped in, which I don't blame him for. The car seat he tolerates as he sees that everyone is strapped in. Of course, he doesn't sit in a chair all by himself yet, someone at the table, usually me, always keeps him on his/her lap.

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Julie - posted on 10/17/2011

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I would say it's personal preference. I probably kept mine in the highchair until they were basically too big for it. Then they were strapped in a booster chair at the table (to help prevent the running around. My kids didn't mind the booster, they liked being pushed up the actual table over using the tray that came with the booster. My daughter is 6 1/2 and she still has a hard time actually sitting for an entire meal. My 4 1/2 y.o. twin boys are better about actually sitting, but they get ancy as soon as they are done. The rule in our house is that they need to stay at the table until everyone is done.....or at least all the kids. Once they were big enough to sit at the table by themselves (on their knees usually - because they wanted out of the booster) I had the rule that they could sit on the chair, but if they got up & ran around I was going to get the booster out of the closet & strap them in. They usually would prefer not to be strapped in, so that was a good motivator to stay at the table.

Heather - posted on 10/02/2011

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When you feel they are ready. Our daughter has been sitting at the table in a booster seat since she was around 16 or 18 months old. Now when we go out to eat, she sits with us most times, without a high chair!

Rachel - posted on 09/30/2011

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thank you all so much for shareing your exsperiences , it seems like kids do things at their own paces, i like the positive incentives to keep him at the table. I do have a booster chair that he can be straped in too. i think i'll try that! thanks so much you guys!!!

Vicki - posted on 09/29/2011

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My son stopped using the high chair really early, I can't remember when, not long after a year. I couldn't physically get him into it so gave up! He has a booster chair and uses that, or else sometimes he prefers my lap or sitting on a big chair like a grownup.

I have to admit we're pretty lazy in enforcing the 'wait until everyone's finished' rule, but most of the time he copies our behaviour and stays at the dinner table with us.

Sharon - posted on 09/27/2011

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Our eldest is almost 23mths and he hasn't used a highchair since he was about 11mths old. He started getting crouchy when we put him in it, so we started letting him have dinner at his craft table, he loved it, so we bought another small table & chair set and he eats there. It's at the end of our table and he loves setting it every meal time, then wiping it down at the end. He takes great pride in it, and can't stand even a crumb to be left laying anywhere near it. Sometimes we'll all sit down there with him, if not, he can still see us and converse with us throughout the meal.
We were lucky and never had a problem with him getting up, he's never been allowed to walk around with food, even snacks, so he knows the second he stands up the food goes away. If we are in public, he'll go in a highchair only because he can't reach the table at a restaurant.

We also have a 5mth old, who has a bumbo. If he's awake at dinner time he'll sit at the same table as our eldest. They have great fun, and lots of giggles. I don't know if he'll end up in the highchair at all. Will see what happens.

Kathy - posted on 09/26/2011

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i would say that a 2.5YO still needs a high chair. my DD who is 3.5YO still sits in a high chair at home sometimes and usually when we got out to eat. not that she needs it but she actually prefers it. she doesn't like sitting with her legs tucked under her.



as for running around and getting up off the table, i don't allow my child to do that. a family meal is that and from a young age, she learned the 'rules' of table manners. sometimes she gets antsy but that usually means she's close to being full so she'll tell me that she's done, ask to be excused and then goes to play. i would start working on some rules when you all are at the table. give him an incentive to stay and eat nicely and use a sticker chart if necessary. once he gets used to this behaviour, it will become normal for him and you can do away with the sticker chart but continue to praise him for 'eating and sitting nicely'. sometimes we forget about positive reinforcement and only make comments on the negative. even now, i praise my dd when she eats nicely/well.

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