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October 17, 2017

Baby and Toddler Chairs -- Some Options

Montessori environments aim to allow children to develop as much independence as possible. For babies and toddlers, having the right sized piece of furniture can often make all the difference in allowing them to move independently throughout their home. When we think of small chairs, we often think of weaning. But, the right small chair in a Montessori home can actually be really helpful in a variety of situations. 

Montessori friendly baby and toddler chair options. These chairs are the perfect additions to a Montessori home.
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In particular, the right small chair can be used to assist in dressing, reading, putting on shoes, working at a table, and of course eating! It really does open up a completely new world when can move around a space without needing adult help or intervention. Just imagine how difficult life would be if you always had to climb up to get on the furniture or had to ask for help every time you wanted to sit down. 

1. 5" Chair 7" Chair | 2. Bench | 3. Cube Chair  | 4. 8" Chair  | 5. 6" Chair  | 6. 5" Chair  | 7. Low Chair | 8. Highback Chair | 9. Cube Chair | 10. 12" Taller Chair | 11. RIE Style Stool | 12. IKEA stool 

There are a few things that I look for when I'm picking out a chair for my kids. One, I want something sturdy. I want something that isn't going to tip or fall if my kids are climbing into it. I also want it to provide the right amount of support when they are leaning around on it. Two, it needs to be the right height. Many of these chairs come in a variety of heights to fit a child. My children are really small so we have smaller chairs in our house. But you want something where they can get in and out on their own, and sit with their feet flat on the floor. 
"In the home, the ideal environment for the child should also contain child-sized furniture, and utensils which he can handle himself." Maria Montessori
We, personally, have several of the number 1 brand chairs. I really like them because they have a wider seat (which fits older but shorter children), they have nice arms for support, and they have great handles to move around. They are also a great price! We've gotten them for around $40 each (although the price fluctuates on Amazon quite a bit so wait for the supply to go up). 

Do you have a toddler or baby chair that you love? How do your children use it?


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Nicole @ The Kavanaugh Report
I think for babies and toddlers specifically, many people recommend the RIE style stools for those reasons.
Anonymous said…
Thanks, apologies I forgot your kids are younger than mine. I had in mind 3 +. Also by ergonomic I meant 'wobbly' so that they have to engage their core muscles to sit. It seems to have a number of benefits for posture, muscles etc. They seem to benefit 'fidgety' children as well as those with adhd and other 'conditions'. Just contemplating if I should, going forward, change the wooden stools to these.
SeedhiBaat said…
When is right time to introduce chair to a baby ? Also, how do you adjust for a growing baby ? In your experience, how many chairs did you go through for a baby and can the lower height ones still be useful ?
SPARKY said…
Can someone also recommend tables that go with these chairs?
Candice said…
I have been reading your blog (which has been invaluable) since my 9-month old was 6 weeks old and can't believe I am finally posting my first comment. First of all thank you. The Kavanaugh Report has been an absolutely tremendous resource.

I have been trying to "follow the child" but I have found it can be tricky deciding how to respond appropriately to my baby's developmental needs. As SeedhiBaat asked, when is the right time to introduce a chair? What are the signs that he is ready for a table? My living room has evolved quite a bit but I worry about keeping up with my mobile explorer and providing him with the prepared environment he needs.

Because he seems to always be looking for something new to pull up on, I put out several safe surfaces all over the home for pulling up (suitcases laid flat, his bassinet stroller upside down, and a few underbed storage bins). His latest trick though is trying to climb on top of these things which makes me nervous because we have marble floors so it is a hard fall from the top. I would be interested to hear what you have to say on when to introduce a chair etc. because I am a bit stuck at the intersection of my baby loves a new "challenge" and how to safely follow my baby's cues.