For Nova's birthday, we bought a cute little kid's table for her to sit and eat at and even use for stationary time. Making the decision to ditch the highchair wasn't a difficult one for us at all. Nova has been showing readiness cues for sometime now. The MAJOR readiness cue was her attempting to stand up and get out of the high chair! I must say she wasn't the biggest fan of the table for the first couple of days but she's slowly beginning to tolerate it. It wasn't hard to believe that it would take some warming up to get used to because all toddlers want to do is run around and not be confined to one area. They absolutely can't sit still. Nova wants to eat everywhere but the table and part of the blame is somewhat on us as parents. Nijyl and I do not sit at the dining room table to eat like we should. Kid's are very observant and want to do any and everything you do. If you're not sitting at the table eating your meals and instead you're eating your meals on the couch of course your little one is going to mimic that behavior. When it's time to eat a daily meal, make sure you all sit down together as a family because that time is so sacred and has many benefits. That's a separate post I can elaborate more on next time though!
So are you exploring transitioning your little one from a high chair to table? Do you think your little one is ready for the transition? There is no specific age on when to make this transition it's really based on your child's development and what you're comfortable with. Here are a few signs that your child maybe ready to head over to the table and ditch the high chair.
If your child has a conniption when you try to put them in the highchair from hollering to kicking it may be time to take their talents to the kid's table. Mealtime should be an ease and a time for socialization with the family not a tug of war with sitting in the high chair.
You're child may be at the point where the have grown out of the high chair. If you see that they are squirming and uncomfortable it may time to consider the transition. You want them to be comfortable during mealtime and in general.
Exhibiting mealtime independence
Is your child using eating utensils all on their own? Are they showing signs that they are becoming more independent and can do certain things on their own? This may mean they want or need a little more independence during mealtime.
They want to eat with you
Have you noticed that your child has been imitating everything that you do? They want to brush their teeth when you do, they want to read when you do? All of those things are signs that they are ready for the transition.
Lastly, if you have a child that is figuring out different ways to get out of the high chair like unbuckling the straps and trying to stand up in their seat at this point the high chair is more of a safety hazard than helping hand.
If you've identified most of the signs above, it may be time to begin the transition. For me, we made it a big deal like a big event. We showed how excited we were about the table and Nova saw how excited we were so she also became excited too until she realized she still had to sit still. If you want to slowly transition them to the table start off gradually by only allowing them to sit at the table just during snack time and still have them eat their meals in the highchair.
Keep in mind that there is no set age to transition your child over to the table; however, if they are showing the above readiness cues and can follow directions it may be a good time to consider doing so. Here are some photos of Nova enjoying her child-size table. At what age did your child make the transition? When did you know it was time? Did you go the booster seat or child-size route?
Check out some of these cute child-size tables from Amazon. It was so hard for me to choose which one to purchase!