Hieght Chair - when to stop?

chrisDecember 21, 2001

My DS is 20 months, and fits fine in his hight chair with plenty of room to grow. However I know friends with children the same age sit that right at the table. DS eats fine with a fork or spoon, but he makes a big mess, especially when he is not hungry. I can't trust him to keep unwanted food in the bowl or on the plate, so I prefer to keep using the hieght chair and TRAY. Also, its convenient for when I am not eatting with him, I can keep a better eye on him while I wash dishes or cook dinner.

He also likes to sit in the hieght chair and draw/color sometimes.

But now I am concerned that I might be holding him back or something by keeping him the hieght chair?

What do you think?

PS I know I shouldn't compare him to other children, but he seems to more advanced than some of these kids in most other ways, so I thought if they can sit at the table and eat now, than maybe he should too, and thats its my fault he still makes such a mess. - That I am holding him back.

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As long as he's happy, you're happy, and he's still safe in the high chair (weight limits), I don't see any reason to change things.

Our high chair broke, and we couldn't see getting another one at this point, so we got DS (18mo) a booster seat. With a tray. I also like that it keeps his mess fairly contained, and, frankly, I like being able to strap him down for meals so that he's safe and I at least have a fighting chance at a warm bite or two.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2001 at 11:06AM
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My ds is 20 months. I still have him in the highchair at home. I brought him to work with me yesterday for a breakfast we had here. He was just fine sitting in a regular chair. He was lower than I would have liked, but it didn't bother him. I've also used a booster chair at other places. No problem.

I think the highchair with its tray actually allows ds to be messier than other setups where he is directly against a table. DS still likes to throw food over the edge in his highchair. I've noticed when he is sitting up against a table, he's neater and will actually put the foods and drinks back on the table after he is finished with them. Sometimes DS can't help, but spill stuff on himself. That's going to happen regardless of where he is sitting.

I know people that still had their kids in highchairs without trays at 3 and 4 years. I don't think that held them back any.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2001 at 11:42AM
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My son was in a high chair till he was about 26 mths. I would have loved for him to be in it longer as he is MeSsY, mEsSy, MeSsEy but he climbed up beside dad one night for dinner, and would never go back to the high chair, hee, hee.

I found that using kitchen towels both on his chair and as a placemat (regular placemats are too small) helps contain his drips, smears, gobs and dribbles. I also make sure he only has one container at a time (to keep him transferring his food from the bowl to the cup to the bowl to the cup to the bowl--all of which eventually finds its way to the floor! He can work on those skills in the bathtub, lol, not the table!) I also give him small portions at a time and refill as he eats it up.

You're not holding your son back by keeping him in the high chair. As long as he goes into it willingly, I would keep him in it. Having him color in the chair while you make dinner is WONDERFUL! He gets mom-time and you don't have to worry about him grabbing a hot pan or reaching into a hot stove.

An added bonus of a toddler in a high chair is that they can't get up and down (and up and down and up and down) during a meal. Keeping them at the table helps establish meal time as a time to SIT and EAT and converse with the family, not snack/play time. (Just something that's important to our family, not necessarily an issue with others...)

Also, I wouldn't worry if your son is messy. Apart from not giving him too much food at a time, there's nothing you can do to keep him from being messy. Some kids are neat and proper and some love to dig in and explore. If he's eating, hey! that's what's important! I believe in table manners, don't get me wrong, but a toddler needs a lot of slack. We'll work on table manners before his first date, we've got lots of time : )

    Bookmark   December 21, 2001 at 12:40PM
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I think at a little over two, I took the tray off and pushed Shane up to the table. This was also when we started giving him the same plates we were using and also grown up silverware. He enjoyed being up at the table with us. Then back in Sept (he would have been 29 months) we got a booster seat from my MIL because it wasn't getting used at her house. So then we sat him up in the chair to the table and he loved that even more. Since then we got a new table and this one has benches and he can sit in the booster or go without one.

I would say to wait a few more months until your son has better control and then maybe try the high chair without the tray. I suggest you get a placemat to keep under his plate~it helps with clean up a bit. No matter what~the high chair will end up with food on it and so will the kid. It gets better, though, over time. Then when you think your son is ready you can move him to a booster seat and go from there. I just wouldn't rush things if you think he's not ready. As long as he's not too big for the chair, he's fine.


    Bookmark   December 21, 2001 at 11:32PM
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My children were 4 and 5 years old when they stopped using them and cried because they loved them so much. They were very comfortable for them and were the right height. They didn't use them at restaurants or when friends were over.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2001 at 2:24PM
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I think my son was about 2 when we put him at the table. Of course, he made a huge mess at first, but he is a very good table eater now. I think they just have to practice with their new responsibility...it was hard throwing that security chair (i.e. babysitter, mess saver) away, but I'm glad I did it now.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2001 at 5:52PM
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My daughter is 22 months and still using a highchair. As long as she is willing, I will keep her in it (man, they can be messy). Most of my friends have toddlers that eventually refused, but mine hasn't yet and I am thankful. It is just a chair, and as long as your toddler isn't eating alone, I wouldn't worry about it. I think that it is safer as well as easier on me. My toddler was slow in physical development (rolling over, crawling, walking, climbing, etc.), so I still worry about her falling out of a chair. (My toddler colors in her high chair too - I don't have to worry about her coloring on the table!)

    Bookmark   December 30, 2001 at 9:00PM
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