High chairs are undoubtedly a boon for parents of young children. Once your little angel turns six months and can sit up independently, it’s time to turn to a high chair to save yourself the trouble of constantly holding the baby.
Plus, a high chair keeps them comfortable and safe and makes them feel part of the family as they can now join you at the dinner table.
But then, babies grow incredibly fast, and it’s good to discern when high chairs have outlived their purposes.
So, when is a child too old for a high chair?
Well, that’s one common question, especially among young parents. In this article, I’ll cover all there’s to know on this topic!
But of course, I’ll begin with why you must not skip using a high chair!
- Most babies can use high chairs once they’re six months old.
- High chairs are convenient and safe, and help a child in their developmental skills.
- Age, height and weight, and developmental milestones are some factors to tell you when you have a big kid who’s too old for a high chair.
- We don’t have a specific age when a child is too old for the high chair since each grows at their own pace, but it’s usually between 18 months to 3 years for most children.
- Booster seats, height-adjustable dining table chairs, and stools (or benches) are some of the best options after a child outgrows a high chair before they can begin to sit on a big-person chair.
Benefits Of A High Chair For Babies
Perhaps you just stumbled on this article and are wondering why you even need a high chair in the first place.
Well, just so you know, a high chair is by no means an overrated option. There’s a reason why you’re likely to find one in almost every home with babies.
Here, take a look at the benefits of using a high chair:
Kids are just as delicate as they are curious. So, the last thing you want is your little one running around oblivious to the dangers around them.
And yes, a high chair is one of the surest ways to keep your child safe.
Unlike standard dining chairs, high chairs are enriched with safety features for your little one’s safety.
Adjustable safety straps, a seat harness, and locks are all incorporated in this type of seat to keep the baby put and safe.
Of course, there are safety measures to follow when using a high chair, like ensuring that the chair is locked if using a foldable seat among other safety measures.
Even with a few months of having a baby in the home, you must have realized how stressful it can be to clean up after they’ve eaten.
Youngsters just aren’t capable of holding the plate and keeping their food from spilling over, owing to their lack of hand-eye coordination. That’s when a high chair comes to your rescue!
It enables you to provide and feed your baby with minimal fuss. It also means you only have one spot to clean up instead of having food in every corner of the house.
You Can Read: How to Make a Chair Taller?
High chairs are great even beyond meal times. They allow the little ones to play with their toys, an experience that aids their development.
Plus, it also helps the baby learn how to feed themselves as they can easily copy what everyone else at the dinner table is doing.
Factors To Consider When Determining When A Child Is Too Old For A High Chair
So, when is it time to bid farewell to the high chair? After all, it won’t be long before the baby outgrows it.
Well, there are a few factors to consider here.
By now, you should have known that your child’s age is one of the factors that often come in handy in your dealings with them.
Your child’s age will dictate what immunization shots they need, what size of shoes to buy for them, when to put them in the high chair, and, of course when to let go of the high chair.
As for what age a child should stop using a high chair, it’s not hard and fast!
Some children may outgrow it as early as 12 months, while others could still use it until their third birthday.
But generally, an average child should have outgrown a high chair by the time they’re 18 months.
At this time, you will notice the little one developing some resistance to being in a high chair.
You may also notice them attempting to open the buckle of their harness to get out of the chair.
And trust me – once they’ve developed that idea, be sure there’s no way they’ll go back. They’ll give it a try until they’ve succeeded in their mission.
Obviously, what follows could be disastrous, so you’d rather make the switch before they get to that extreme.
Height And Weight
At some point, your child’s height and weight will increase so much that the chair will no longer be comfortable for them. This is what you must be on the lookout for!
By the time a baby turns 18 months, their height and weight will be approaching the maximum capacity of the chair.
Of course, the recommended weight limit for most high chairs is about 35 pounds. But, of course, you don’t want your baby to use the high chair till the weight limit, do you?
Also Read: Are Egg Chairs Comfortable?
Sometimes you won’t even need to put your baby on the weighing scale or measure their height to know it’s time to transition them out of the high chair.
You will notice they’ve begun developing new skills that render their high chair unnecessary. Some of these skills are:
- Fork and spoon usage
- Mimicking you
- The ability to sit still in a chair for more than five minutes
- Eating solid food with little or no help
In some cases, you may also notice the child showing interest in chairs similar to what mom and dad use.
Signs That A Child May Be Too Old For A High Chair
If you still miss out on the above signs, your little one will eventually show you a few behavioral signs that they may be too old for the high chair.
Some of these signs are:
Difficulty Getting In And Out Of The Chair
Children definitely grow more rapidly in their first few years. So, when they become too big for the high chair, you’ll notice it becomes increasingly difficult for them to get in and out of the chair.
Showing A Desire For Independence During Meal Times
Most two-year-olds will begin to show a desire for independence during meal times. They will want to do things independently, like holding the spoon and feeding themselves or climbing up the high chair without help.
When your child shows these signs, that’s a tell-tale sign that they’re too old to be using a high chair.
No Longer Needing The Support Provided By A High Chair
Some parents may still be hesitant to move their child out of the high chair even when they’ve reached the recommended age.
But, when a child no longer needs the support the high chair provides, that’s a definite sign it’s time to transition them out of it.
Alternatives To High Chairs For Older Children
Once your child develops all the telltale signs of a need for a switch, the next exercise will be to look for an alternative.
Some great options are:
Booster seats are the most popular option for use by children before they move on to using a normal chair.
These chairs are designed to help the child easily transition from a high chair while still providing the extra support they need.
When getting one, be sure to find a chair that suits their needs. You can go for a no-back booster seat, a high-back booster seat, or a forward-facing seat depending on the age and size of your child.
If your family is more often on the move, then you may also need to focus more on portable booster seats. Otherwise, a floor booster seat should work just fine.
Of course, when choosing this big kid chair, remember to consider the recommended minimum weight.
For most manufacturers, your child needs to be at least 40 pounds before they can start using the booster seat.
Also, consider one with more convenient features like a removable dishwasher-safe food tray. It will save you a lot of effort when it’s time to clean up.
Related Read: High Chair Vs. Booster Seat: Which One Is Best?
Dining Chairs With Adjustable Heights
These are great alternatives if you plan to keep the same dining chair for all your children as they grow. The chairs come with adjustable heights, making them suitable for toddlers and older kids alike.
Stools Or Benches
If you can have your child sit upright independently without extra support, you can opt for stools or benches. These are great for encouraging your child’s independence and can also be used as a great way to teach them table manners.
No matter which option you choose, be sure it’s comfortable for your child and provides sufficient support for them when they sit.
And, of course, don’t stay far from them when they’re using it, especially in the first few days of use. Supervise them closely to ensure their safety.