Introducing solid foods to your infant is a fun and exciting time for parents. Watching your child discover new tastes and textures is always a great experiences and it is a unique bonding time with baby. Before having my first child, I always assumed high chairs were just bulky contraptions that served no real purpose. Boy was I wrong! here are 6 reasons why you really need to invest in a high chair.
1. They are safe. You don’t have to worry about your child falling off of or out of a high chair as long as the harness is secured. Also, for young infants who are just starting to gain more muscle in their necks, high chairs with a recline can accommodate infants from 4-5 months old. While young babies are still learning how to sit up on their own, you can rest assured that your baby will be properly supported in a high chair. Most high chairs also have a 3 point or a 5 point harness to buckle them in – perfect for any little escape artist.
2. Easier to the feed baby. When your child is in a high chair, it is a lot easier to feed them. You can face them and spoon feed them a lot easier. The high chair tray is also great to place a few tiny finger foods and allow them to feed themselves. Learning to use their fingers and feeding themselves is a very important milestone and it sets the stage for much more than eating food.
3. Helps practice and develop good dining habits. When in a high chair, your little one is learning how to eat at a dinner table. This is by practicing good dining habits. They start to understand what meal times are and when we eat throughout the day. When sitting in the high chair they will learn to anticipate that now is eating time and will be less resistant to eating in the future. This is especially important to develop early on because toddlers are notoriously picky eaters!
4. Easy cleanup. This sounds like a no brainer but trust me, kids make huge, out of this world messes with their food. I found the messiest stage was between 12 months to about 2 years, peaking at 18 months and the ease of high chair clean up was a lifesaver. High chairs have a special layer of plastic that makes clean up a breeze (try to get dried up puree off a wooden table–it’s a nightmare) and they are often equipped with machine washable padding and dishwasher safe trays.
5. Helps develop independent eating habits. Having your child in a high chair is a great way to help them develop independent eating. It is here that they can learn how to use feeding utensils such as spoon and fork along with bowls and plates. The high chair tray makes all of these items much easier for them to get a hold of. This is great for gross motor development.
6. Easy to Supervise. Having a child in a high chair makes it very easy to supervise them. They can’t crawl or go anywhere and you can keep them busy in a high chair with food while you work on something else such as washing the dishes after a meal. I have many fond memories of strapping my son into his high chair while he munched on cheerios and he and I “cooked” together. Many toys are made specifically for high chairs with suction cups that allow parents to stick the toy to the tray.