According to Montessori ideals, an environment is tailored to the children. This often means equipping your home with child-sized furniture. With comfortable furniture, children have the freedom to move independently.
A weaning table is no different. It allows babies to transition from a liquid diet (nursing or formula) to eating solid foods. It gives babies a place of their own to sit and enjoy a meal like the child has seen the parents do since birth.
I see many benefits to ditching the high chair and using a weaning table instead. These benefits include:
- Independence: It promotes independence, child can get in and out of chair to eat on their own. There's no waiting for you to lift them to a high chair or being stuck in the chair when they are done.
- Comfort: More comfortable for the child -- feet are flat on the ground and sitting up all the way. High back and arms help the child sit.
- Table Manners: More natural transition to sitting at a table, start to learn table manners from the start. Plenty of space for the child to use real dishes, place-mat, napkins and more.
- Work Table: Weaning tables provide a comfortable place for your child to work outside of meal times. It can be used even as your child ages for other purposeful work.
- Household Participation: Children can help to participate in setting, clearing and cleaning the table. These practical life skills are fun for you children and help children participate in the natural rhythm of the home.
- Sibling Interaction: Weaning tables provide a gathering space for young children, including siblings to fully interact during a meal. The baby isn't tucked away in a chair on their own, but right in the middle of the meal action.
There are many options when I comes to weaning tables. The important part is that the table is small and sturdy. A child needs to move in and out without fear of tipping the table. We personally have the IKEA side table cut down to size with a weaning chair.
Cube Weaning Table; Tag Toys First Table; 5 inch chair; Ikea Children's Table; Michael Olaf Table; Ikea Side Table
Our chairs (like number 3) are easy to use and a great size for work, now that Nora sits at the larger table (with Henry) for meals. She started using the weaning table as soon as she started eating solids at 6 months. At first, we sat and ate meals with her. As she's gotten older, she eats dinner with us at our large table. She continues to eat all other snacks and meals at the slightly larger table she and Henry share. If we didn't have an older child, she would still use the weaning table for meals, she just prefers to be next to Hen.
So, those are the benefits we've enjoyed by getting rid of our highchair and using a weaning table. It's been an experience, that we wouldn't trade.
Do you use a weaning table or a high chair? Do you see any benefits to your choice?
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