Today I moved some infant furniture around and I thought it would be useful to share some of the different chairs that Otto (11 months) uses. Finding suitable chairs for babies of this age can be difficult, you want the child to be able to use them but you want them to be long lasting too!
Otto uses all of these chairs, he has been able to independently sit in all of them - get in and out, from around nine months.
Cube Chair: Seat height is 20cm. These are really versatile as they can be used as a stool by older children and adults, they can be used as a step stool and can also be used as a table. The only down side is they can be pulled right up to the table but as the sides are so high, the chair does not side under the table. It has a nice deep seat and the child is secure once they are in it, it's hard for them to fall out. There are no requirements for the Cube Chair, they come in lots of different heights. This one has a seat height of 15cms but can be later flipped to 25cms.
Me-Do-It-Chair: Seat height is 13cm (5 inches). This is the chair we used for many years with Otis (see more here). They are lovely chairs, so stable. The seat is shallow so the child really reverses into it and sits down, they don't climb into it like they do with the other chairs. It is really low and for children aged 6-18 months. Otto uses this chair in our entryway, but Otis used his at his weaning table, I just used a saw to shorten the legs of a wooden children's table, the chair sides were able to slide under it. For younger babies, the arms or sides on the chairs are really important to support the child and to prevent them from toppling out.
Montessori Weaning Chair: Seat height is 18cm (7 inches). This is the chair along with the weaning table that is recommended during Montessori training. The seat is really deep so like the cube chair, the child climbs into it. This is a really stable chair and the arms slide under the weaning table which keep the baby secure. Similar available in the US through Michael Olaf.
If you are considering ordering a little chair I recommend doing it as soon as possible, perhaps even as young as six months. This way you have it ready for when the child can use it and get the most out of it. Child size tables and chairs are so important to the infant, they tell the child this is your home too, this is your environment and you are valued. They can also show the young child how capable they are, 'yes, you can sit in your own chair', it's an early independence that most children enjoy!
For an older child, perhaps around 14-18 months, a shortened child's chair can work really well. In Australia we had a whole set as they are reasonably priced (Ikea chairs work well), I just used a hand saw to shorten the (wooden) legs by a few inches so they were more accessible to the younger child.
Tell me if you've used any of these chairs or which one you would recommend to others!