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Benefits of the Montessori Weaning Table

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. In fact, I see many benefits of the Montessori weaning table

Montessori babies eat at small tables while still enjoying family means. The Montessori weaning table has many benefits for babies including promoting independence and cooperation among siblings.

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I see many benefits to ditching the high chair and using a weaning table instead. These benefits include:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. 
Different weaning table options for Montessori babies.

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. 

Montessori babies eat at small tables while still enjoying family means. The Montessori weaning table has many benefits for babies including promoting independence and cooperation among siblings.

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? 

If you liked this post, don't miss: Mornings at the Weaning Table; Introducing the Weaning Cup


Bee said…
Hi there, I'd love to hear some more of your thoughts on this!

My little one is nearly a year old. From the start we'd have him on our lap during meals, then when he really started diving into our food (at about 5 months) we'd put him in the high chair with some food to investigate. We never did purees, so it was all very baby-led. At about 9 months I got into Montessori, but I have never managed to resolve the weaning table / eating together thing.

We eat all our meals as a family, so while I like the idea of him having his own baby-sized table and chair, I'd rather he got used to us eating together. I'm inclined to think I won't worry about this until we have two, and they can share a meal together at a child table!

Bee x
Catherine said…
In The Joyful Child by Susan Stephenson, she recommends having the child's meal first and then sitting him in a chair for the adult meal with some bread or something. then, if it seems that he is no longer interested in sitting at the table then he can "play nearby."
Unknown said…
I can't find advice on this, so I'm commenting to ask: How do you handle a one year old that repeatedly gets up from his table? Recently, my son, who used to sit still until his food was gone, is now getting up to play and then running back over to his food. As soon as he gets up I take the plate off the table but that doesn't really work because when he comes back to see it gone he will beg for food.
alyslp said…
Just ordered the IKEA table to be used as a weaning table with my 11 month old. You said you cut yours down to much did you cut off or what height did you cut to? This is my first experience with a weaning table but love the idea of it! I also ordered the chair you suggested. How long do you think most babies can use that chair for? Hoping at least another year! He is in the 99th percentile for height though so he's a tall boy!
Hi! We cut our table legs to 12" which has worked really well with our chair! My kids are like 5% for height, so its a bit hard for me to tell you how long the chair will work for. But, Henry (at nearly 6)can still sit in the chair under the table. And Nora (at 2.5) uses it comfortably. You can see Henry using it here: (I would guess he's around 41" tall)
Unknown said…
I have the same situation! My son is now 9 months and love the montessori concept. Where do you put the weaning table? In the kitchen? In his play area/room? I would love to get rid of the high chair but we like eating together. Thoughts? Solutions? How did you do it with your kids and husband?
Unknown said…
This comment was helpful. What about for traveling or going out to restaurants? Do you use a silicone placemat or just whatever the restaurant may have? Regular plates? Do you find your kid throwing the food on the floor, the plate?

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