As a first-time mum, introducing your baby to the high chair can be an exciting but daunting experience. This essential piece of equipment enables your baby to join you at the table during meal times, promoting family bonding and socialisation. However, it’s crucial to approach this milestone with care and consideration. There are certain dos and don’ts to keep in mind when introducing the high chair to your little one, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for both of you.
Photo by MART PRODUCTION
Start with short sessions: When introducing your baby to the high chair, start with short sessions. This will allow your baby to become accustomed to the high chair without feeling overwhelmed. Begin with 5-10 minute sessions and gradually increase the time as your baby becomes more comfortable.
Use a comfortable baby high chair: Ensure that the high chair you choose is comfortable for your baby. Look for a high chair with a padded seat and backrest, adjustable footrest, and safety harness.
Be mindful of food allergies: Food allergies are common in babies and can cause severe reactions. Be mindful of any food allergies in your family, and talk to your pediatrician before introducing new foods to your baby. Additionally, watch for any signs of an allergic reaction, such as hives or difficulty breathing.
Make meal times fun: Meal times should be a fun experience for your baby. Use meal times as an opportunity to bond with your baby. Sing songs, play games, and make silly faces to keep them entertained.
Offer finger foods: When introducing your baby to the high chair, offer finger foods that are easy to pick up and eat. This will allow your baby to practise their fine motor skills and develop their hand-eye coordination.
Clean up spills immediately: Meal times can be messy, especially when your baby is learning to eat. Clean up spills immediately to prevent your baby from slipping or getting hurt.
Listen to your baby’s cues: Babies communicate their feelings about food through various cues. Listen attentively to your baby’s signals and respond accordingly. Avoid forcing your baby to eat something they dislike, and refrain from overfeeding them if they show signs of being full. By being responsive to your baby’s cues, you can create a positive and enjoyable mealtime experience and encourage a healthy relationship with food.
Force your baby to sit in the high chair: Never force your baby to sit in the high chair. Allow your baby to explore the high chair at their own pace. If your baby is resistant to the high chair, try again later.
Leave your baby unattended: Never leave your baby unattended in the high chair. Always stay within arm’s reach of your baby to prevent accidents.
Overfeed your baby: Avoid overfeeding your baby in the high chair. Overfeeding can lead to discomfort and may cause your baby to associate the high chair with negative feelings.
Use the high chair as a punishment: Never use the high chair as a punishment. This can create a negative association with the high chair and make meal times a stressful experience for your baby.
Use distractions during mealtime: Using distractions, such as toys or screens, during mealtime can make it difficult for your baby to focus on eating. Instead, make mealtime a quiet and calm experience to help your baby focus on the food.
Compare your baby to others: Every baby develops at their own pace, so it’s important not to compare your baby to others. Don’t worry if your baby is a picky eater or takes longer to adjust to solid foods. With patience and persistence, your baby will get the hang of it.
Rush the process: Introducing your baby to the high chair is a process that takes time. Rushing the process can cause your baby to feel overwhelmed and anxious. Take your time and allow your baby to adjust to the high chair at their own pace.
Tips for a smooth transition
Use a bib: Meal times can be messy, so use a bib to protect your baby’s clothing. Choose a bib that is easy to clean and has a catch-all pocket to catch any spills.
Offer water: Remember to offer your baby water during meal times. Providing water can help keep your little one hydrated and alleviate the risk of constipation. Ensuring they have access to water is essential for their overall well-being and digestive health.
Use a tray: Use a tray to hold your baby’s food and utensils. This will prevent the food from spilling onto the floor and make meal times easier for your baby.
Use a booster seat: As your baby grows, consider using a booster seat to elevate your baby to the height of the table. This will allow your baby to join the family at the table and make meal times a social experience.
Be patient: Introducing your baby to the high chair can be a challenging experience. Be patient, and remember that your baby is learning and growing with every meal.
Introducing your baby to the high chair is an important milestone in your baby’s development. Following these dos and don’ts can make the transition as smooth as possible. Remember to be patient, offer finger foods, and make meal times fun. With a little patience and practice, your baby will be a pro in the high chair in no time.