ACCESSIBLE HIGH CHAIR VS. WEANING TABLE AND CHAIRS
BLW* is a common approach in Montessori homes, as it respects children’s ability and choice in feeding. It encourages independence and self-awareness as children are taught how to control their own eating including developing self-awareness to know when they need to continue eating or if they feel full.
Once a child is able to move independently and sit and balance, the question arises of which set-up is right for your family for feeding and eating.
While in Montessori school environments children eat from low, child-sized tables and chairs, the home environment is different and offers more options.
There are two common options for feeding and eating at home. The first option is to provide a low, child-sized table and chair for your little one. This gives accessibility while providing a sense of independence as children quickly recognize and take ownership of their table. Additionally, it offers early-on opportunities for practical life such as setting a table, and cleaning up after meals.
The second option is to provide your child an accessible chair at the family table. While in a Montessori classroom child-sized furniture is necessary, within the home the goal is to make your current home accessible. This means giving children the tools needed to reach the home. In the kitchen, you may set up a learning tower for your child to assist with cooking or food preparation, at the dining table you may give your child an accessible high chair.
What are the main benefits of an accessible high chair?
1. One of the biggest reasons to choose an accessible high chair over the weaning table is for inclusion. The child is welcomed to join the family for meals together at the dining table, instead of set apart at their own table and chair.
2. Families following BLW may favor an accessible high chair as children are eating the same food as the other family members. Watching their parents eat the food on their plates encourages the child to try different foods.
3. Our accessible high chair is adjustable and can grow with your child. This means your child will have a comfortable and ergonomic seating solution throughout their childhood and beyond, all with one chair. (Adults can even use it!)
4. Our accessible high chair can fit into your dining table just like other chairs, meaning they don’t take up extra space in your home (a common drawback of the weaning table and chairs).
5. It is easy to clean as there are few parts and few nooks and crannies. With BLW meals can be a mess and what you want is a chair that’s easy to clean.
The weaning table and chair and the accessible high chair are two Montessori-aligned options for introducing feeding to your little one. While both options offer independence and accessibility, the accessible high chair offers inclusion during family meals.
*Baby-led weaning (BLW) is an approach to introducing solids to your child in which children skip purees and instead eat the same meal as the parents. You eat together as a family, and children are largely in control of their food as they feed themselves, first by hand, then with utensils. There are very important safety guidelines to follow when serving food to your little one, so be sure to do your research.