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Why use an 'independent' high chair?

Montessori high chair at Home at HWM

Do you have a Tripp Trapp or similar high chair at home? We still had the baby seat attachment on ours and I found Otto trying to climb into it. It was so precarious. I wasn't sure what to do. Do I let him go and see if he can get in it? Do I tell him no and ask him to get down? 

I watched him try unsuccessfully to get into the high chair (with the baby seat attachment). It reminds me of how dangerous it is when young children climb in and out of their cribs. There is a better way. Today we removed the baby seat attachment and wow!! what a difference. Otto can now safely get in and out of his high chair. 

Not only did I remove the baby seat attachment I turned the top seat around (as it is supposed to be) and I lowered the bottom step so it is easier for Otto to get up and down. I googled Otis + tripp trapp and found that he started independently using his high chair at the same age!

Montessori high chair at Home at HWM

All three of my children have used the Tripp Trapp see Caspar (now 11yrs) and Otis (now 7yrs).

Montessori high chair at Home at HWM

Now you may be thinking it is safer to have a toddler strapped into the high chair, contained so they will sit and eat their meal. I believe that allowing the child to use the high chair independently and providing freedom within limits is much safer. The child has the freedom of movement, they are moving within their own capabilities and they have control over their body. The advantages of using a high chair like the Tripp Trapp include:

  • Independence - the child can use independent thought to decide when to get in or out of the chair. 
  • Freedom of movement - the child is not contained and can move as they need. 
  • Builds confidence 
  • Child can sit with the family/eat at the same table - I love that these high chairs allow the child to participate in the family meal at the dining table. Otto will still use his low table and chair (or weaning table) for snack and often for breakfast and lunch. 
  • Pulls right up to the table - the child's plate can be on the same table as everyone else's, no need for a separate tray.
  • Is respectful - the child is treated as an equal, they sit at the same height and eat off the same table as everyone else. 
  • Grows with the child - the seat and footrest are adjustable so can be moved to an ergonomic and safe position throughout childhood.
  • Facilitates good decision making - the child learns freedom within limits and this allow them at this young age to learn boundaries and to act within those boundaries. 
  • Happiness and joy - Otto is much happier getting into and out of the chair himself, he is super proud of his achievements.   

OTTO 16 months Stoke Tripp Trapp

Many Montessori families use a weaning table or a low table and chair until the child is old enough to sit at the dining table on an adult chair or booster seat and skip the high chair phase altogether. I completely get this but we love Otto sitting at the table with us and believe it provides so much!!

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