Skip to main content

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.

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.

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?

Popular Posts

The Ultimate Montessori Toy List -- Birth to Five -- UPDATED 2019

When you are interested in Montessori, it can be difficult to know exactly what types of products you should get for your home. Or which types of "Montessori" materials are really worth the price. There are no rules about types of products can use the name Montessori which can add to the confusion. Not to mention, every toy manufacturer slaps the word "educational" on the package for good measure!

2019 UPDATE: This post has been updated to include a variety of brands and new product finds! Just a reminder that no one child will be interested in all of this or needs all of this. These toys are just here to spark ideas and give you a feeling for some Montessori-friendly options available! 

So, with this post, I'm going to try to help with this confusion! Here's a list of Montessori-friendly toys and materials for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. 

First, let's clarify that there is no such thing as a "Montessori toy." Montessori never created to…

Sensitive Periods from Birth to 6 - A Chart and Guide

Dr. Maria Montessori spent her life observing, studying, and writing about children. During her lifetime of work she discovered that young children move through a series of special times when they are particularly attracted to specific developmental needs and interests. She called these times, sensitive periods. During the sensitive period, children learn skills related to the sensitive period with ease. They don't tire of that work, but seek it, crave it and need it. When the sensitive period passes, this intense desire is gone, never to return. 

That doesn't mean the skill is lost forever once the sensitive period is over. Instead, it just means that it will take a more conscious effort to learn. As Dr. Montessori explains, 
This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.
"A child learns to adjust himself and make acquisitions in his sensitive periods. These are like a beam that lights interiorly a battery that furnishes energy. It is this sensibility which enables a…

Working from Home with Kids - A Montessori Schedule

One part of my life that I haven't talked a ton about here on The Kavanaugh Report is how I'm a work-from-home parent. Eight years ago I started to work at home while parenting full time. For the first several years, I worked as a legal writer while maintaining this space on the side. When Gus was born, I moved into working on sharing our Montessori life full time. It has blossomed into a full time career sharing content here, teaching courses, and now the podcast! Through it all, my kids have been home with me. 
This all seems more relevant to so many of us now that Covid-19 has closed schools and forced parents to stay at home and work while caring for children. I'm not going to lie - it's tough. It's hard to balance work and kids, especially when children are used to a completely different routine. But, it's not impossible! And, it can even be enjoyable. 

As I talk about in my podcast Shelf Help, we block our days into 3 hours groups. It helps me remain fle…